IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM
This graph was developed last year which appeared in the United for Liberty Budget book ( see footnote ) and was hand carried to all State legislators last year. It clearly shows the massive growth of State government between 2006 and 2016. Overall the growth was approximately 109% while the rate of inflation was approximately 20% during this same period. This unbridled spending period is the cause of our deficit crisis today. Government created this crisis, not the people of Alaska.
The next graph indicates the false narrative regarding "downsizing" state government over the last 3 years. The Governor and some legislators are quick to indicate that there have been "substantial" cuts in the Undesignated General Funds ( UGF) but upon close inspection you can see that while the UGF went down in 2016, overall state government expenses have remained virtually unchecked because the Designated Funds and "Other Funds" have increased. This is nothing but a classic nut & shell game.
The actual bulk of government decrease has been on the one time expenditure of the Capital Budget, not the operating budget. Without meaningful cuts to the operating budget, we will never effect the deficit spending now occurring. This is precisely why there is a call from the governor and select legislators to maintain the current level of government by developing a realignment of the PFD and promoting legislation which advances a whole host of tax revenues.
When you hear statements that the budget has been cut by XXX,XXX,XXX # be reminded that the governor and these select representatives are lumping in the substantial cuts of the Capital Budget to attempt to make their point that they have cut State government substantially when this is clearly not the case.
* If you would like to reference United for Liberty Budget book in it's entirety, you can access it here.