As I have suggested elsewhere, this coming election may become a referendum on Alaska's future. As readers of these pages will know, earlier this year the University of Alaska Anchorage's Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) had this to say about Alaska's current direction:
Right now, the state is on a path it can’t sustain. Growing spending and falling revenues are creating a widening fiscal gap. In its 10-year fiscal plan, the state Office of Management and Budget (OMB) projects that spending the cash reserves might fill this gap until 2023, as the adjacent figure shows. But what happens after 2023?
Thusfar, the Governor and Legislature have taken some steps toward avoiding this future, but not nearly enough.Reasonable assumptions about potential new revenue sources suggest we do not have enough cash in reserves to avoid a severe fiscal crunch soon after 2023, and with that fiscal crisis will come an economic crash.
I am going to support candidates this coming year that are committed to helping turn the ship around. I would urge those who have the same concerns to do the same.
Lynn Gattis is one of those candidates. I am going to spend part of my Friday evening showing my support. If you have the time, I hope some of you will join me.