Gov. Michael Dunleavy faces the same problem that stared former Gov. Bill Walker in the face: The state has hemorrhaged its reserves, and like a train speeding toward a wall, Alaska is getting closer to fiscal catastrophe.
The difference is that Walker never really faced “the wall” of budget limitations because he didn’t plan to cut the budget. He had too many public employee unions controlling him.
Instead, he “taxed” Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividends by 50 percent, cut capital projects, and stopped paying tax credits owed to oil and gas producers. He ratcheted up spending on Medicaid expansion, and now more than 220,000 Alaskans are enrolled.