Monthly Archives: March 2007

Prescription Drug Lobby Meets 60 Minutes Expose

On Sunday, April 1, 60 Minutes will run a hard-hitting segment about the prescription drug lobby. The segment focuses on how the drug lobby’s enormous clout distorted the purposes of the new Medicare druglegislation and resulted in a prohibition that prevents Medicare from bargaining for more reasonable drug prices. Read the rest of this entry

Three-Way Conversation about Anchorage Property Taxes

Late February of this year I sent the following letter to the Anchorage Daily News editor:

I am baffled by the Daily News’ righteous indignation expressed in the Feb. 14 editorial, “Tax shift no answer.” The Fairbanks City Council approved a resolution asking legislators to shift more property tax responsibility to commercial properties and away from residential properties. The Daily News response was “shifting the tax burden from residential property owners to commercial property owners … is not fair and is not the answer.”

I would respond, “How would you know? You offer no analysis.” Read the rest of this entry

Stateline.org

Stateline.org is an excellent resource on an extremely wide range of state policy issues. Take a look at the well-organized website. Issues range from health care to homeland security, and taxes and budget to transportation. And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter, which can be customized to send you information only about issues of interest to you.

Funded entirely by The Pew Charitable Trusts as a public service, Stateline.org has published online every weekday except holidays since Jan. 25, 1999.

This Web site, staffed entirely by professional journalists, was originally envisioned primarily as a resource for newsmen and newswomen who cover state government. Using computer technology as a delivery vehicle, we proposed to arm these news-gatherers with timely tips and research material on state policy innovations and trends, enabling them to make their reporting more informative and useful to consumers. This, we believed, would help nourish public debate of important state-level issues such as healthcare, tax and budget policy, the environment, welfare reform and other issues that in recent years have not gotten the media attention they deserve. Read the rest of this entry

Megaproject Mentality

Recently Brian Yanity published Part One and Part Two of a two-part article titled Alaska’s Megaproject Mentality examining what he calls “megaproject pathology.” Specifically he looked at this phenomenon as it pertained to projects in Alaska.

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Alaskans Pay $780,600,000 for Iraq War

According to the National Priorities Project, Alaskans soon will have collectively paid $780,600,000 for the war in Iraq. This figure is based on a total cost of $456 billion. Around $378 billion has already been spent or allocated by Congress, and Congress will debate additional war spending. The National Priorities Project estimates around $78 billion will be for the Iraq War. The $456 billion number is the total if Congress were to approve the additional spending requested. I have a little trouble putting my arms around Alaska’s three-quarters of a billion dollars, and maybe you do too, so think of it this way: Read the rest of this entry

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