Throughout his campaign for Governor, then later in defense of his sweeping cuts to kids, the elderly and rural Alaska, Mike Dunleavy has talked a lot about an “honest budget.” In fact, that’s what he calls it on the official state web site: An Honest Budget.
Most Alaskans alarmed at the Dunleavy budget cuts, and the shady process that produced them, would call them anything but honest.
Yet it’s not surprising these days to hear politicians and their corporate handlers lie to us. And it’s even less surprising when we know the billionaire Koch Brothers – the magnificent dark masters of the phony narrative – are the puppeteers behind Dunleavy’s dishonest claims.
For example, the Alaska Policy Forum – yet another Koch-funded group in the billionaire brothers’ sprawling political influence machine – has played an outsized-role as echo chamber for the phony “honest budget” storyline.
Yet even by Koch-ian standards, it’s remarkably shameless the Mike Dunleavy has never once mentioned the $1.2 billion in additional revenues Alaskans could be using for schools and health care were we not giving it away to the oil companies through extravagant tax credits.
“The foundation of my budget is based on the principle that expenditures cannot exceed revenues,” says Dunleavy.
But what if we’re slashing our revenues by giving some of the richest oil companies on the planet giant hand-outs they don’t need to stay profitable?
The answer is simple: according to Mike Dunleavy, we Alaskans are not allowed to talk about these revenue cuts because the Koch Brothers and ConocoPhillips and British Petroleum and ExxonMobil would take less money out of Alaska.
Corporate socialism is alive and well in the Great Land.
It’s now old news the Koch Brothers’ group Americans for Prosperity organized and paid-for the Governor’s budget road show across the state. And we also know the number 3 guy in the Dunleavy Administration – Jeremy Price – came from the Koch Brothers network before joining forces with Dunleavy Chief-of-Staff Tuckerman Babcock.
Yet sometimes it’s hard to tell just how far up our pants the Koch Brothers truly are. For example, what happened to Mia Costello? How did she go from a respected position as the Alaska Senate Majority Leader to fumbling around in lock-step with the stone-walling Dunleavy minority in Wasilla?
Of course there are no secret tapes detailing her motives, but here’s what Mia Costello had to say about the Koch-funded Alaska Policy Forum (AFP) when she asked the AFP to testify before her committee in 2016: “Their information is really relevant as we attempt to reduce our budget. Their research helps frame the need to do that,” she said.
So, the former Senate Majority Leader has looked to the Koch Brothers for “research” to “frame” a “need” to cut Alaska’s budget. And that’s exactly what the Koch Brothers do: they create a phony frame – a phony narrative – to tell a phony story. Then they manufacture a crisis around this phony story and bully their agenda through. It’s shock therapy on a huge scale.
Yet it’s flat-out dishonest to say we have a fiscal crisis. The Dunleavy/Koch Brothers made a choice: they want to give away $1.2 billion a year to enrich themselves and the oil companies, rather than support education for our kids and health care for our elders.
Now it’s time for Alaskans to decide if this is OUR choice too. It’s as simple as that.