To be claimed
Member, Finance Committee
Member, Subcommittee on Corrections
Member, Subcommittee on Education and Early Development
The people overwhelmingly demand the repeal of SB91. Any legislative fix that doesn't include this action is arrogance at its worst. The thinking that gave us SB91 is related to the principle of reformation enshrined in our State Constitution. The progressive ideal that all criminals can be reformed is a fallacy. Only those individuals who choose to can be reformed. Our high recidivism rates indicate there are criminals not taking reformation seriously. We need to amend Article I, Section 12 of the State Constitution to prevent criminals from using the principle of reformation as a means to continue their lawless ways. The people's patience and good will has limits. If repeat offenders are unwilling to reform themselves, they should not be allowed to continue their lawless ways. "Thou shalt not steal other people's property" needs to be the law of the land again, and it needs to be respected. The cost of incarceration must be reduced. Our State Criminal Administration policies are constitutionally required to protect the public. Incarceration is supposed to protect the public by removing the threat and by serving as a deterrent for potential criminals. Our high recidivism rates indicate that our incarceration policies are not effectively protecting the public nor deterring crime. Prisons are not country clubs and should not have revolving doors. Where there's a will, there's a way. We must reduce the cost of keeping criminals in prison. We must have incarceration policies that deter crime.
Return 100% of the PFD to the people. We need to rethink the way our government does business, not just cut budgets or look for easy revenue. Raiding the permanent fund to increase State spending is a symptom of the cancer that persists in the thinking of our elected representatives. The permanent fund is an inappropriate source of revenue for our unsustainable State government. Alaskans are not allowed to own mineral rights like other states' citizens are. The PFD is the way we get to exercise our rights to our land. Local communities benefit far more from the PFD when locals spend it than when Juneau spends it. Innovation is the key to meaningful reductions in spending and lasting financial improvement. Innovation is very unlikely to come from the public sector without intense scrutiny and determination. This election is about putting the right people in place to force innovation. A conservative governor and real conservatives in the legislature are required for success. The season is ripe for change. We need to tackle education and health and social services. These bureaucratic organizations are the elephants in the room that must be dealt with if we are to improve our long-term financial health. Our fine public-school teachers can figure out how best to educate our youth without burdensome government bureaucracy. How do I know this? Because it is being done every day in the private sector. It is the antiquated public-school system, not the teachers, that needs to innovate. Government bureaucracy is expensive, self-protective and hasn't been reduced to sustainable levels. Only when it has been reduced in scope should we talk about additional revenue. Even the most efficient State government requires funding to operate. We need to improve our long-term revenue stability through diversification -- reducing our reliance on oil and gas tax revenue -- and a reduction of the tax burden on the drivers of economic growth. Reduce the small and medium sized business tax responsibility and leverage our seasonal population fluctuation with a modest partial year sales tax. Most tourists are already accustomed to paying a sales tax in their home state, therefore a modest sales tax is unlikely to dissuade future tourism. If necessary, we should institute a modest personal flat tax. The burden of funding our State government should be shared by all equally and a flat tax is the least costly option for the State government to maintain. Of course, a flat tax should be unnecessary with a growing economy and a more efficient State government. No progressive income tax. Ever. It is a productivity killer and a factor that helps perpetuate big government growth.
Obscene amounts of federal dollars flow into our State but healthy economic growth will never come from the government sector. I will fight to reduce the government burden on the private sector economy and where appropriate, use government influence to promote private sector growth. The less we have to rely on the federal dollar, the healthier our State will be. A sure way to stimulate our economy is to develop our natural resources, responsibly. Anyone who has been to the North Slope knows that resources can be developed with minimal impact to the environment. We are a resource rich State and should use those resources to our advantage. We need to promote our entrepreneurs and their ideas. Look to your neighbors who own businesses to grow our economy. We need to diversify, innovate, and keep wealth flowing into our communities, not out of them. One-way government can stimulate growth is to provide incentives for private investment that generates wealth which remains in our communities. Oil tax credits stimulated resource development. Proven to work in the oil industry, we need to apply the concept to other areas of the private sector and the people's government must live up to its end of the bargain. We need to promote agricultural self-sufficiency. A purchase of food from a national supermarket sends money out of our communities. Money spent on local food ends up with local farmers and businesses and remains in the community. More agricultural transactions occurring within our communities fuel job creation and more income for local businesses.
Thur 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM AKDT
Representative Ben Carpenter Kenai, AK
Sat 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AKDT
Representative Ben Carpenter Kenai, AK
Sat 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM AKST
Nikiski Rec Center