Monthly Archives: May 2006

Spending Millions to Save Billions

The Alaska Center for Public Policy is proud to be one of hundreds of state and national organizations to sign on to a letter to the United States Senate. The sign-on letter was drafted by Americans for a Fair Estate Tax (which includes OMB Watch, United for a Fair Economy, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The Coalition on Human Needs, and other organizations. More detailed information about this issue is available in a document entitled Spending Millions to Save Billions: The Campaign of the Super Wealthy to Kill the Estate Tax which was authored by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy. The letter follows: Read the rest of this entry

Inexcusable Trustfulness

Senator Kim Elton writes an excellent newsletter. Every now and then, however, it is particularly revealing, and particularly relevant to a critical public policy issue in Alaska. Such was the case with his recently released “off the record” #242…

The gas pipeline deal… Is it a case of “inexcusable trustfulness”?

The gas pipeline contract knit together by the governor and three multi-national energy companies seems less the product of bruising debate and more the product of a deal written on a cocktail napkin in the country club bar. Read the rest of this entry

Democracy or Corporate State?

One of my colleagues is a thoughtful and mild-mannered policy analyst. I don’t hear from him very often, but clearly he is becoming increasingly alarmed by some of the issues surrounding the Governor’s dealings with the multinational energy companies. With permission, I am reproducing here part of a powerfully stated and deeply disturbing email message I recently received from him: Read the rest of this entry

New Massachusetts Health Reform Law

The following quote is from the first electronic edition of State Health Notes, a new emailed newsletter from Families USA, one of my favorite progressive public policy websites. I am posting this here because I believe that we in Alaska need to be monitoring all innovative state legislation that has the goal of increasing access to health care for those that do not have adequate access.

By now, you’ve all heard about the Massachusetts health reform law, which seeks to expand affordable coverage to all state residents through a variety of means, including both employer and individual mandates. What you may not have seen is the blog created by a Massachusetts health advocate that discusses this health reform legislation, as well as other health care issues that affect the state. On this blog, John McDonough from Health Care for All provides an informative and insightful commentary on all the debates going on in Massachusetts around health reform. Definitely worth checking out. Read the rest of this entry

Reality or Hoax: The Alaska Public Employees Retirement System "Crisis"

Despite everything you may have heard in the last year about the “unfunded liability crisis of the public employees retirement system,” and despite everything you may have heard about how the debt has grown to billions of dollars and is increasing year after year, the facts indicate that there may be no financial crisis at all. An examination of the same facts that have been available to everyone appears to indicate that the “unfunded liability crisis” may be nothing more than an empty, mean-spirited, politically motivated manipulation of the media message. Worse yet, Senate Bill 141 which destroys the public employee retirement system and replaces it with a vastly inferior retirement savings account and a vastly inferior health insurance plan, is totally unnecessary. Let’s just take a look at the existing facts, the facts that have been generated by the actuarial experts hired by the state. Read the rest of this entry