This week’s discussion is a bit different than most. One of the reasons we use the sustainable budget model developed by Dr. Scott Goldsmith to analyze state fiscal issues is because it is an excellent tool for identifying the consequences of current decisions on Alaska’s future fiscal situation — and by extension, overall economy. Looking at the consequences through the lens of that model, I believe Alaska received at last week’s #AKLNG hearings before the Joint Senate and House Resource Committees some very, very … very … bad news about the outlook for the state’s fiscal situation and economy .
In a sound bite, I believe both Alaska’s state budget and economy are headed to a very difficult place if the direction that emerged from those hearings comes to pass.
I outlined the reasons why in a piece posted on the blog over the weekend — “Why the #AKLNG hearings have us thinking about Don McLean’s ‘the day the music died’”. This week’s conversation with Michael Dukes expands on that piece, and in the second segment focuses on what I think that means also for the current debate around cutting the #PFD.
Some — especially in the current election cycle those wanting to minimize the effect of continuing down the current road — will suggest that my concerns are overblown. In response I offer this recent observation from Casey Reynolds’ political blog, The Midnight Sun:
Fiscal conservative advocate Brad Keithley spent … his own money two years ago in a campaign to convince lawmakers that the state was on the verge of a budget crisis, only to see Republican candidates and radio hosts alike declare loudly he was being an alarmist. They of course then acknowledged he was right the day after the election.
Based on last week’s hearings, I believe we are headed to an even more difficult place than I thought then. For the reasons I believe why — and what that place may look like when we arrive — pick up my discussion with Michael at 15:00 into the segment.