Another from our Medium page: Reason № 3 behind why the Alaska economy is in a recession and potentially, about to get worse …

facepalmPublisher’s Note:  As readers of these pages may recall Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets also maintains a separate blog providing news & commentary on Alaska fiscal and economic policy on national website Medium.  The following piece appeared first on that website.  ______________________________

Yesterday in response to a question during the Fairbanks presentation of the Alaska Senate Majority’s Fiscal Plan Senator Click Bishop said that he had started talking to colleagues about developing an “economic stimulus plan” of various capital projects. The question and response begins at about 54:00 of the following video. Fortunately, I was sitting out of the frame, so my resulting facepalm is not recorded for posterity.

In many ways, Sen. Bishop’s response tells you all you ever need to know about why the Alaska economy is in the shape it is, and why it will become worse if either the current Alaska Senate Majority or Alaska House Majority Coalition fiscal plans are enacted.

Alaska already has what many economists view as an outstanding and long term “economic stimulus plan.” It’s the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). According to a March 2016 analysis by the University of Alaska-Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), each $1 distributed as a PFD in Alaska produces about $1.40 in income in the overall Alaska economy. As “stimulus” packages go that’s an extremely good bang for the buck.

As significantly, according to the March 2016 and subsequent ISER studies the PFD also materially reduces state poverty levels and helps reduce income disparity, both also very important economic objectives.

But that program is troublesome to some because it puts the dollars — and economic decisions — in the hands of individual Alaskans, rather than government. So, rather than do whatever it takes to maintain the program during an increasingly serious economic recession, the majority caucuses in both bodies are currently proposing to curtail it severely and move roughly half of the dollars — and resulting control over how those dollars are spent — over to government, substituting instead things like Senator Bishop’s “economic stimulus plan” to help drive the economy. Continue reading

From our Medium page: If Alaska is going to implement PFD cuts, then it should implement a state income tax also …

2016_03_30-ShortrunEconomicImpactsOfAlaskaFiscalOptions (p. III-9)

Source:  Institute of Social & Economic Research, “Short-run economic impacts of Alaska Fiscal Options” at III -9.

Publisher’s Note:  As readers of these pages may recall Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets also maintains a separate blog providing news & commentary on Alaska fiscal and economic policy on national website Medium.  The following piece appeared first on that website.     ______________________________

Let’s be clear on this to start. We oppose state income taxes.

We oppose them for the same reason that others will assert as well, because of the adverse effect on the Alaska economy and families.

But let’s also be clear about something else, if that is your reason for opposing an income tax, then you should have opposed the PFD cut as well. Why? Because, according to ISER’s March and October 2016 studies, cutting the PFD has a larger adverse impact on overall Alaska income and jobs — the Alaska economy and families — than an income tax. Continue reading

#KeepThePFD 2

As we mentioned in a post last week we have started a radio and social media campaign focused on urging legislators to retain the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend as it currently is. The ad above is the second in the series (the first is here). The audio is the radio campaign ad.

The second ad is introduced in our social media campaign this way:

We believe the full PFD should stay in the pockets of Alaskans rather than be used by government to help fund special interests. If you agree, contact your legislator by email, text, by posting on Facebook or Twitter with one simple message — tell them you want them to KEEP THE PFD AS IT IS (to help get you started, a draft of an email and contact information for members of the Senate and House is available here: https://goo.gl/BT2BAz). Then, repost this video so that your friends do the same. For continuing updates and commentary on Alaska’s fiscal situation, like, follow and engage with us at Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets. #KeepThePFD

As we have discussed often on these pages, we believe retaining the PFD as it is, is an important part of developing a long term, sustainable Alaska budget and overall economy.  If you agree, please support the effort in the ways we describe in our social media post above.

This week (March 28, 2017) on The Michael Dukes Show …

Each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues. This week Michael and I discuss (1) taxes (PFD cuts), taxes (income taxes), and taxes (oil taxes), but where are the budget cuts, (2) what role having the #AKleg in Juneau is playing in this, and (3) too briefly (this week, but more to come next), why some #AKleg are really irritating. The clip starts at my segment.

Listen here or at the widget below for this week’s show. For past episodes, go here.

#KeepThePFD

As the next step in our efforts, yesterday we started a radio and social media campaign focused on urging legislators to retain the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend as it currently is.  The ad above is the first in the series. The audio is the radio campaign ad.

The social media campaign is introduced by this post:

We believe the full PFD should stay in the pockets of Alaskans rather than be used by government to help fund special interests. If you agree, contact your legislator by email, text, by posting on Facebook or Twitter and tell them you want them to #KeepThePFD. Their contact information can be found at http://akleg.gov. Then, repost this video so that your friends do the same. For continuing updates and commentary on Alaska’s fiscal situation, like, follow and engage with us at Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets.

We are taking this step because, for the reasons we have explained on these pages, we believe strongly that the Alaska legislature is headed in the wrong direction on this issue and are willing to put our money where our mouth is.

This week (March 21, 2017) on The Michael Dukes Show …

Each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues. This week Michael and I discuss what the #AKleg end game is starting to look like, what is going on with oil taxes and why I am running radio ads on the proposed #PFDcut. The clip starts at my segment.

Listen here or at the widget below for this week’s show. For past episodes, go here.

This week on the radio …

radio05As regular readers know each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues. This week Michael and I discuss SB 26, the Senate’s proposal to permanently cut the PFD in half, oil producer Repsol’s announcement last Friday that they believe they have discovered the biggest US onshore oil field in the last 30 years right here in Alaska, and what the latter topic means for the former. The clip below starts at my segment.

Toward the end of that segment House Minority Leader Charisse Millett called in to discuss the problems the Minority is facing in pursuing additional budget cuts (in order to avoid or limit the amount of “new revenue” required to be raised through PFD cuts and/or taxes).  Her conversation continued with Michael into the next segment, which is available here.

And then today (Friday) I joined KFQD’s The Mark Colavecchio Show to discuss why the Senate passed SB 26, what it means to the Alaska economy and the gradual meltdown going on in the House.  Again, the clip starts at my segment.

The segments from the two shows are below. For past episodes of my discussions with Michael Dukes and a previous one also with Mark Colavecchio, go here.

This week (March 7, 2017) on The Michael Dukes Show …

Each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues. This week Michael and I discuss the House budget, fiscal and oil tax bills, the various fiscal bills pending before Senate Finance and whether the Alaska Senate Majority is living up to its claim to be “fiscally conservative.” The clip starts at my segment.

Listen here or at the widget below for this week’s show. For past episodes, go here.

Our comments on the proposed House Operating Budget (HB 57) …

CommentsOver the weekend we prepared and submitted our comments to the House Finance Committee on the proposed House Operating Budget (HB 57).  Here was the summary:

Alaska is currently in an economic recession. We believe consideration of that fact should drive the evaluation this session of every bill touching on the state’s economy. Things that adversely affect the state’s overall economic situation — or unfairly treat some Alaskans economically compared with others — should either be amended to avoid those effects or rejected.

HB 57 certainly is one of those bills that touch on the state’s economy.

For the reasons explained below, we believe that, in its current form, HB 57 both worsens Alaska’s overall economic situation and unfairly treats some Alaskans. In other words, we believe that HB 57 worsens the recession for both Alaska and Alaskans.

In order to avoid those effects, we believe that HB 57 should be amended in certain respects.

Our full comments are here:

An hour on the #AKbudget with Michael Dukes (a special, “Fiscal Friday” edition) …

As regular readers know, each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues.

This week, however, I also joined Michael a second time on a special, “Fiscal Friday” edition of the show.  Michael and I spent the hour working through the various budget proposals currently pending in the House and Senate, their effect on the overall Alaska economy and which legislators are living up to their self-styled claim to be fiscal conservatives and which aren’t (for example, did you know that in an on the record roll call vote Thursday in the Senate State Affairs Committee Senators Cathy Giessel and John Coghill voted with Democrat Senator Dennis Egan and over the objection of Senators Mike Dunleavy and David Wilson to advance the Governor’s PFD-cutting fiscal plan).

The clip starts at my segment. Listen here or at the widget below for the discussion. For past episodes of my discussions with Michael Dukes, go here.