This morning, incoming Senate President Pete Kelly and incoming House Majority Leader Chris Tuck offered starkly different visions of Alaska’s budget problems and the upcoming legislative session at a joint breakfast appearance before the Resource Development Council.
Tuck said, “We (The House Majority) came together around this common theme of protection of the economy, making sure we secure jobs and a good education for families, making sure that government isn’t the enemy, and making sure we are no longer living beyond our means.” Tuck Continued, “We also know we can’t cut our way into prosperity. It is going to take additional revenues.”
Kelly then spoke and characterized the morning as “A tale of two speeches.” One, he said of Tuck’s, would be “Nice and forward looking” and the other, referring to his own speech, would be “Partisan.”
Kelly then went on to cast this legislative session as a battle of ideologies, “Most people will tell you the fight this year is going to be over budget, and oil taxes, and tax credits…but I think the more important fight is between capitalism and socialism.”
If that isn’t enough to give you an idea of how the morning went, as well as to whet your appetite, nothing is.
You can watch the full exchange here:
I was there but had to leave early. Some points of clarification I would have loved to hear from Sen Kelly include:
1. Which party was in control of the leg and exec branches of government when Alaska was passing record $8B budgets a few ago?
2. Since he was all into ideology this morning, I’d like his perspective on how he would characterize the PFD: as a “redistribution of wealth” (a socialist phrase he used this morning), or a personal dividend owed to each and every Alaskan for their well-earned investment in our state.
3. Tax credits are a form of welfare, namely corporate welfare.
Welfare, of any stripe, is undoubtedly, indisputably, undeniably,
wholeheartedly socialist. Amirite?
4. The Democratic primary did overwhelmingly go toward Bernie Sanders, a socialist. But in the general election, the state went overwhelmingly toward someone who only recently “became” a Republican, and in fact has all the tendencies of a Communist/socialist: Trump is a sycophant toward Putin and Russia (remind me of that political ideology); he is scrapping free trade deals and is actually more interested in putting up walls and jacking tariffs (not so good for our export based economy); he develops industrial policy by fiat, ie tweeting out cajoling threats to any company that makes a move to pursue their capitalistic goals, even if that means moving jobs abroad; DJT castigates the media at every turn, as many a socialistic/fascist dictator has done, and would prefer his own “state” run media (Kelly by the way was equally thin-skinned about his own media coverage this morning); and the PEOTUS wants to develop his own intelligence services, which sounds an awfully like a socialist spawned KGB.
I would not have invoked all these comparisons if Senator Kelly had not wanted to get all into party politics in the first place. The local elections, if anything, seemed to signal that Alaskans weren’t all that interested in party ideologies. But I guess he has a different take.
It is a sad state of affairs that Senator Kelly thinks political ideology is going to solve the State of Alaska’s financial impending train wreck. It is unfortunate that partisan politics trumps common sense and that Kelly seems hell bent on cutting the budget beyond a point of no return to prove he is in charge of the Senate. It looks like the 30th Legislature will end up being another stalemate.