This week (April 11, 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 why the House passage of HB 111 (the oil tax bill) is the right thing to do at the moment, and why Sen. Natasha Von Imhof’s recent piece in the ADN defending the Senate’s version of a fiscal solution (“Better a temporary deficit than an income tax,” goo.gl/pkjOAL) is wrong.

We have started publishing our weekly discussions both on YouTube and Soundcloud. Listen at the widget above for this week’s show on YouTube.  For those interested, our YouTube page is here.

Listen here for this week’s show on Soundcloud. For past episodes on Soundcloud, go here.

Our discussion on fiscal policy (and a few other things) on KFAR’s “Problem Corner” …

Last Monday (April 3, 2017) I joined host David Pruhs on Fairbanks radio station KFAR 660 AM‘s regular program “Problem Corner.”

We were on an hour, and after opening with what had brought me to Fairbanks and a bit of my background (“how long have you been in Alaska and what brought you here”), we launched right in to a discussion of Alaska’s fiscal situation, my views on what the solution should be and why maintaining the PFD at 50% of earnings as originally envisioned by Governor Hammond is a critically important piece of that.

A YouTube version of the discussion is at the link above.  For those who prefer listening on SoundCloud, a link to the discussion on that format is here.

#KeepThePFD 3

This is the third piece in our a radio and social media campaign focused on urging legislators to retain the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend as it currently is. The first two are here and here.

This piece is introduced in our social media campaign this way:

Economists tell us depositing the PFD directly into the pockets of Alaskans produces more Alaska income than if redirected to and spent by government. Simply put, we Alaskans produce more income — generate more money in the economy — if WE spend the money rather than government.

Alaska already is in a recession, if you agree with us that taking even more money out of the Alaska economy during these uncertain times through a PFD cut is the wrong step for Alaska, 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 (a sample email and contact information for members of the legislature 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.

We’ll take this …

2017-04-06Yesterday we received word that that the news aggregator “Feedspot” has included this blog in its listing of the global “Top 60 Oil and Gas Blogs and Websites.”  We are listed at No. 44 and the only one listed whose specific focus is on Alaska.

According to Feedspot, the ranking is based on: (1) Google reputation and Google search ranking, (2) influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites, (3) quality and consistency of posts, and (4) Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.

If nothing else we appreciate the ranking because it has enabled us to identify some additional blogs focused on similar issues that we hadn’t been aware of before.  Readers can check out the full list, and perhaps similarly decide to follow a few more, here.

Chris Story & I discuss an income tax …

Yesterday, Chris Story invited me to join him on his Homer-based “Alaska Matters Radio” program to discuss the proposal by some (including his home town State Representative, Paul Seaton) to institute an Alaska state income tax.  Chris’ interest was triggered by a recent piece I did on our Medium blog:  Reason № 3 behind why the Alaska economy is in a recession and potentially, about to get worse …“.

On our way to that topic we also managed to work in a discussion about the current status of the Alaska economy, the effect on that of the PFD cut made last year by Governor Walker and proposed to be made permanent by the Governor and others in the legislature, former Governor Jay Hammond’s approach to the use of earnings from the Permanent Fund and my recent meeting with Governor Walker to discuss my approach to addressing Alaska’s current fiscal situation.  A podcast of the discussion is available above or here.

This week (April 4, 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 why I would be a no vote on the Alaska Senate Majority’s proposed Operating Budget, their claim and others that they “already” have reduced state spending by “44%,” why Nat Herz has it right in a recent ADN piece (“With 2 weeks left in session, Alaska House and Senate look as deadlocked as Day 1“), and what that means on where the #AKLeg goes from here. The clip starts at my segment.

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

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.