Yesterday Walker Administration OMB Director Pat Pitney and Chief of Staff Scott Kendall joined Michael Dukes on his, The Michael Dukes Show (6-9am each weekday morning on KBYR AM700), to discuss the Administration’s proposed FY 2018 budget.
The full interview — which starts at 35:30 of the above clip — is well worth the listen (it’s about 14 minutes), but if you only have time for one bit I would recommend going to 41:45 and picking up there.
Here is the question that starts that segment: “The economy is in a recession. … When you guys put together the budget … did you analyze … the impact on the Alaska economy … of what the budget proposals would do to the recession?”
The answer? To paraphrase, we looked at the ISER studies and knew the proposals would hurt the overall economy. Then why did you do it? Because business [my interjection, GCI] wants “certainty.”
My comment: Uhhhh, Pat, you still could have “certainty” by adopting the original sustainable budget model, cutting spending to somewhat lower spending levels and preserving the PFD (and with it, the Alaska economy). So, what’s really going on is the “businesses” you are talking to want more than just “certainty;” they want the “certainty” of higher sustained state spending levels.
And you agreed to propose it, knowing that it comes at the expense of the economic health of both the overall Alaska economy and average Alaskans. Just … wow.