Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sandy Hook: Who or what is to blame?

What happened on December 15, 2012 with the attack on the school by a heavily armed Adam Lanza, aged 20, was a tragedy and the logical outcome of an incomplete policy.

The federal gun free school zone was passed in 1990. A constitutional challenge prevented this law from being enforced. Many states had laws that preceded the federal attempt to expand gun free zones around schools. Connecticut was a state that adopted such a ban, but, as happened in each state that passed such a ban, failed to follow through to actually make a meaningful policy that would protect the kids from a terrorist attack. Nationwide, politicians at the federal and state level dropped the proverbial round short. The carnage that ensued from the politicians’ arrogance and negligence has failed to catalyze any correction, other than specious demands of firearms bans.

Adam Lanza was a terrorist. He had a mission. He had the weapons, and he acted without restraint. He went to Sandy Hook Elementary with the knowledge that he would be safe, that there would be no armed staff or visiting law abiding citizens who would be legally carrying concealed to present a threat. He knew that he had some time before any response by the local police in which to do the maximum damage. He took full advantage of the politicians’ negligence in crafting the ban on firearms in schools. The only prohibition was . . . words in a statute.

To take attention off of what allowed Lanza to act with impunity, to gain access and shoot young children without armed response, the liberal media and the liberal politicians are going hell bent for leather to hang . . . a rifle. They are not making any attempt to fix the law, they are seeking to ban a particular style of rifle alleging that once again, merely banning with words will serve to protect our children in unprotected elementary schools.

What could have been done under the intent of the law intended to protect children in elementary schools that now was not being done?

The average elementary school is open to the public during the day with several unlocked entrances. In some schools, there are some security cameras, but not enough to cover every entrance. There are no protocols that require locked doors with single point of entry to the school. There are no armed security or armed staff members to present a counter threat to any attempting to harm the schools’ youngsters. Visitors are not escorted to and from the office tothe classroom and back to the entrance door after the visit. For all practical purposes, the schools are unprotected.

The threat from terrorists is world-wide. From Finland to Israel, attacks on schools over the last thirty years have been increasing. Whether the terrorists are Islamic jihadists, revolutionaries, or students under the influence of anti-depressents, the threat to U.S. schools has always been considered a possibility. Why then, after 9-11, after the November 2009 massacre at Ft. Hood, after the prior school shooting incidents were elementary schools overlooked with respect to upgrading their security?

Government at every level has been silent on this issue. They have their red herring in the media’s demonizing of the AR15 sporting rifle.

No politician, including President Barrack Obama and Sen. Diane Feinstein, has to date suggested improvements to elementary school security, rather than specious attempts to ban weapons that are incredibly popular with Americans. The politicians’ misdirected cries to ban the rifle have eliminated any opportunity to have a public discussion of actual security improvements for elementary schools.

Until the politicians get serious about security, only words will be the outcome of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. We owe our children and the memory of those killed at Sandy Hook meaningful attention to creating a an environment that is reasonably secure from a terrorist attack.

Other nations have faced this problem and have addressed the reality. None more so than Israel. Israel’s children were a target of high value for terrorists since its inception. The Israeli law requires an armed security guard on duty at all Israeli schools. Some of the school staff are also armed. The Israeli model presents no opportunity for an unopposed attack on a school.

The American liberal model of no armed guards or armed staff, no single point of entry, insufficient security cameras, no protocols for escorting visitors not having children at the school, but prohibiting firearms by law, only served to make the elementary school a criminal safety zone.

Americans need to demand from their politicians that the safety and security of our children does not call for firearms bans. The safety and security of our children require real world solutions. They need to demand armed security guards, the ability for the school staff to carry concealed, the ability of law abiding parents who legally carry to be armed on school grounds, thereby magnifying the number of law abiding adults who could act to defend the children by several orders of magnitude. Protocols need to be instituted that require locked doors, single point of entry, and security cameras. That banning weapons is a red herring that will prevent nothing.

The massacre at Ft. Hood, a U.S. Army base by Major Nidal Malik Hassan on November 5, 2009 should be an indicator that even the U.S. Army is not immune from terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Our schools need not suffer politically correct solutions, such as gun bans. It is time to go to work and to finish the job on making our elementary schools secure. Adam Lanza was a terrorist whose act could have been prevented by proper security. Banning the AR15 will not provide any such security. No criminal will attack an a prepared target.

Had the politicians carried through with the necessary steps to secure the elementary schools beyond the words of the firearms prohibition laws, no one may have ever heard of an Adam Lanza and Newtown, CT may have continued to be the quiet backwater that it was so proud of.

Firearms bans and restrictive gun laws are meaningless, feel good, ineffective legislation and a waste of time.

CT received $668.85M in DHS grants

The gun control advocates are going full bore to eliminate U.S. made rifles that are complimentary to our military models. These civilian rifles use the same type of magazines and the same caliber of ammo, making a readily available supply of spare magazines and ammuntion outside of military stores. Such is necessary to maintaining a strong, indigenous firearms manufacturing base for national defense. The Second Amendment and Alaska Statutes require that we as citizens maintain a firearm for use during a call up of the unorganized militia (AS 26.05.010, AS 26.05.110).

The fact that owning this type of rifle is a good investment and shooting them is just plain fun is an affront to the civility and righteous indignation of the liberal gun control advocate.

The howl for gun control and the banning of "high capacity" magazines are red herrings designed to obscure our politicians’ and state and local leaders’ negligence and outright ignoring of the very real danger to our schools. A danger that was promised by fatwa before and after September 11, 2001. Bin Laden had signed a fatwa in February, 1998 "to kill the Americans, civilian and military" that was inclusive of killing American children.

Another danger had been building since the 80s that was the result of the overuse of anti-depressants on young male children. A result that was unforeseen in the mad rush to ‘calm’ little boys into being quiet and to "behave" without instilling discipline or a sense of right and wrong. A result forced by liberals who believed that little boys should act other than as normal male adolescents. In the liberal view of man, males were too aggressive.

What was a noticeable change between those children who were in school since the early 80s, and those generations before? What could their parents and even schools do that was not legal prior to the 1980s?

The drugging of male children. At times, without the parents’ consent. That is why the shooters in school shootings are all male. Every shooter in the schools who was a student had been on prozac, luvox, ritalin or some other anti-depressant. They had taken themselves off of their prescribed medication and had gone ‘cold turkey’. The result was to create a paranoid, violent, psychotics. There was never any long term clinical study on the use of these drugs on male children, before they began to be prescribed for young children. Yet, these drugs have been used on male children as young as 3 years old. Behavioral modification by drugs, a liberal dream come true. In the 1990s, ritalin presecriptions rose to 2 million and then doubled every two years. (Merrow Report, PBS, 1995).

These dangers coalesced into the threat of armed attacks upon our schools, with the goal of killing children, creating terror, and gaining notoriety for the organization or the attackers themselves. Armed attacks were anticipated and mitigation for such was provided for under the Department of Homeland Security’s homeland security grant program to the States.

Adam Lanza was a terrorist. He did what terrorists do: he killed to create terror, for whatever his reasoning, he assaulted the school--he had to break in, and he attacked staff and students to gain noteriety and to send a message to his dead mother. He killed 27 people. It has been reported, that given his mental issues, he too may have been on anti-depressants.

Studies have been done at the federal level on how to protect our schools from an armed attack. Our military and our civil security know that the threat exists to the schools, but little or nothing has been done to create security protocols and to place armed security at elementary schools that would certainly reduce the potential for carnage, if not outright eliminate the potential for such.

In Israel, school security includes armed guards and armed staff. This model has been effective in preventing armed attacks on Israeli schools by terrorists.

At Sandy Hook Elementary a single point of entry through a locked door with a security camera was in place. That was a good first step. Evidently, the windows were not shatterproof, as that is how Lanza gained entrance after the door would not open. The principal put Lanza’s yelling and shooting on the loudspeaker system to notify the teachers to lock their rooms. The implication is that they lacked a common code word that would have notified staff to immediately go into lockdown. No armed guards or armed staff.

Did CT have the money to mitigate the armed threat that Adam Lanza demonstrated?

The State of Connecticut each year receives homeland security grants:
2011: $23M
2010: $142M
2009: $192M
2008: $37.5M
2007: $98M
2006: $22.6M
2005: $34.2M
2004: $60.6M
2003: $47.15M
2002: 11.85M

Total 2002-2011: $668.85 million in homeland security grants.

The DHS homeland security grant monies are designated by the applicant (State, county, city, school district) for planning, threat evaluation, disaster mitigation, hardening of vulnerable targets--including schools, training for emergency management, first responders, and impacted personnel--school staff for example; equipment for WMD and emergency response, communications, and emergency management.

Why did the state and local police, civil leadership of CT and DHS not act to harden the schools, against an armed threat? In failing to do so, they were negligent in their duties and responsibilities.

Schools have been targets of terror world-wide. On September, 1, 2004, over 1,000 school staff and students were taken prisoner at School 1 in Beslan autonomous republic with disastrous results for the students. 186 children were killed in the ensuing attempt to rescue the children. 334 people total were killed. How could this happen in a country with draconian prohibitions against private gun ownership? Russia has such strong gun laws, that only three groups have weapons: the Russian government agencies, including the military, the Russian mob, and the jihadis.

Was CT's problem simply being too politically correct to accept the idea of armed security and staff in elementary schools, or was it a sitaution of recognizing the threat, but dismissing it, because of the small probability of an armed incursion actually happening?

NEA, liberal administrators and staff do not want armed security in elementary schools. Guns! are bad!

We need to adopt the Israeli policy of an armed guard and at least one trained armed staff member. Teachers should be allowed concealed carry.

Law abiding citizens should be allowed to carry in a school when they come to visit their kids, to pick them up, or to attend functions. This increases the armed security protection significantly at no cost to the school district.

Had there been an armed security guard or had there been armed staff, Adam Lanza's attack would have been truncated very early on, probably at the door.

Instead, we have liberal gun control advocates howling about 'high' capacity magazines and other nonesense that has no bearing on the problem. They express anger and outrage that the NRA would even suggest armed security. Yet, the liberal gun control advocates and politicians want a meaningful dialogue.

Why do banks have armed security? To protect the customers’ valuables. Were the 20 kids killed at Sandy Hook unworthy of the protection afforded . . . money?

The liberal politicians at every level of government, including President Barrack Obama, do not want to owe up to the fact that all they did when the school firearms prohibitions were passed was to put words in a code book. Without the rest of the program--locked doors, training, security protocols, and armed staff and amred security--the words of the law only created safety zones for the Adam Lanza’s.

Who's to blame for our school massacres? Liberal politicians and anti-gun groups.

The only effective remedy to reducing crime has been arming the law abiding citizen. Criminals do not want to encounter, armed citizens. They want unarmed victims. Same for terrorists.

CT had collected over $668,850,000 from the federal DHS homeland security grant program. Why did CT’s leaders not see to it that their schools were hardened against an armed threat? Heads should roll. They ignored the threat. The children and the school staff paid the price.

Now, do we learn from that inexcusable negligence, or do we let the red herring of ineffective gun laws take away our attention from the reality of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre: CT had the money, but did not protect their children!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The 2d Amendment and the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre

On December 14, 2012 a horrific mass murder occurred in Newtown, CT, a small town that was noted as being ‘quiet’ and a nice place to live. Already, the liberal politicians are jumping on this like ‘white on rice’ to make political hay over the bodies of the dead.

A 20 year old named Adam Lanza who evidently suffered from mental issues was the shooter. It is reported that a total of four pistols had been found at the shooting site. He also had a semi-automatic rifle in his trunk that was not used. He murdured 28 people, including Nancy Lanza, his mother, that day.

The liberal outcry has focused the public scrutiny upon the firearms and the false need to further restrict American’s Second Amendment rights to self-defense and self-protection.

Apparently, Nancy Lanza was one who collected firearms legally. The liberal press has been trying to make her hobby appear aberrant in the eyes of the public and has implied that her acquisition of the firearms was possibly illegal. It appears that at least two of the pistols used were hers. The Bushmaster AR15 rifle found in the trunk of Adam Lanza’s car was also her’s. All legally owned, and legally purchased.

Adam Lanza killed his mother and used her legally owned firearms to commit mass murder. Not once has the media managed to link Adam’s possession of the firearms with the killing of his mother. Obviously Adam Lanza acquired the firearms used in the mass murder by murdering his mother. Not by legally acquiring them. The question that should be asked is, did he have to kill his mother to get the firearms in the first place?

It has been reported by NBC that recently Adam Lanza tried to purchase a rifle on two separate days at a sporting goods store in Danbury, CT, but had been refused the purchase both times. CT has a waiting period before purchase. However, the report stated that he had been refused the purchases. A waiting period is not a refusal for a purchase. More should be forthcoming in the investigation as to why Lanza was refused the purchase of a rifle twice.

Connecticut, like every State, has imposed restrictions on legal firearms carry on school grounds. Law abiding citizens who legally carry a firearm are not allowed to take the firearm into a school. Law abiding citizens obey the law, criminals and those with criminal intent do not. Elementary schools are left unprotected from the criminal. Many inner city middle and high schools in heavily populated states with gang related violence have metal detectors and armed guards.

Given the prohibition against carry on school grounds, would any sane law abiding concealed carry gun owner risk jail time to go to the aid of the people in the school with their firearm, were the individual to witness a shooting in progress?

Legally carrying concealed carries no obligation to go to the aid of another or to put your own life at risk. That many have gone to the aid of others in jeopardy is a tribute to their sense of civic duty and training. The legal use of firearms by law abiding citizens has stopped 1.5 million to 2.5 million crimes a year across the U.S., and saved hundreds, if not thousands of innocent lives each year.

An Alaskan, like his/her Outside peer, who legally carries a firearm will not carry the firearm where prohibited to avoid breaking the law. The individual is not a threat to the children, other than in the minds of liberals who want absolute control over our lives.

The liberal believes that taking the firearm away from the law abiding citizen makes us all safe. History has shown that premise false. The Brady law waiting periods, and CT is one state with a waiting period to purchase a firearm, did not result in any reduction in crime rates where implemented.

Where concealed carry laws have been passed, mass mayhem arising from shootings between legal carry citizens has not happened, much to the disappointment of the liberal politicians. From 1977 to 1992, states that passed concealed carry laws had a reduction of 8.5% in murder, 5% reduction in rape, 7% reduction in aggravated assault, and a 3% reduction in robbery.

If the number of kids killed were a factor, football for our children would be outlawed. 45 kids were killed over a three year period in the 90s from heat stroke, injury to the head, and heart failure. Yet, there is no hue and cry to ban football.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is prominent in his taking advantage of this tragedy to call for the banning of firearms. This is typical of the liberal elite. Bloomberg is a billionaire who has one of the few concealed carry permits in NYC and is protected by armed body guards. A typical liberal hypocrite. You, lowly citizen are not to be trusted with a firearm, but those who live in the world of the rich and liberal are as gods on Mt. Olympus, above reproach and excepted from any earthly restrictions on self defense and protection. It is for the common man or woman and the children to be sacrificed upon the liberal alter by the criminal so that these elite can ‘feel good’ about themselves. Oh, see how civilized that we are, we took their firearms away, violence has been banished . . . because we say it is! And, they tend to live in areas relatively crime free due to private security, and increased police patrols, because of their economic and political status. Such people do not live in the real world, but they recognize the danger, because they enjoy private armed security protection and they exercise their Second Amendment right to self-defense by concealed carry, where they act to deny the same right to the average law abiding citizen.

Is everyone forgetting the 13 service members killed at Ft. Hood by Major Nidal Malik Hasan on 5 November, 2009? This slaughter happened on a military base where concealed carry is prohibited. The soldiers were all unarmed.

The July 20th theater shootings by James Holmes in Aurora, Colorado were in a business that prohibited the legal carry of concealed firearms. Only Holmes was armed. The theater was a safe place for Holmes to commit his carnage.

April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech campus shootings were enabled, because the college regents had prohibited the legal carry of concealed firearms. Only the shooter was armed, leaving the student body at the mercy of the criminal and the insane.

In each of these massacres, the victims were unprotected, unarmed and vulnerable. The common element was their vulnerability imposed by shortsighted politicians passing unrealistic laws prohibiting their right to self-defense using a firearm under the Second Amendment.

You cannot outlaw something and make it so. The war on drugs is an abject failure. DUIs are still prolific–yet there is no law to outlaw cars, other than SUVs.

Crime is rampant in our major cities in the face of major initiatives to better police the high crime areas and to educate against violence. The missing element is the armed law abiding citizen.

To the socialist liberal, if firearms were banned, then Adam Lanza could not have killed those children. Yet, in China, on the same day, a demented individual with a knife managed to slash 22 elementary children at their school. Private firearms ownership is prohibited in China. The weapon used is irrelevant, because it is merely a tool, it is the state of mind of the killer that is the catalyst.

A firearm can be an advantage a criminal, but, not if there are citizens legally armed and prepared to respond. We arm the police for self-protection, why not ourselves? We have the right under the Second Amendment to self-defense. Our rights are endowed by a Creator and immutable.

The major factor in the proliferation of crime in many states has been the disarming of the law abiding citizen, or placing such restrictions on firearms ownership that one cannot carry outside of the home, and must keep the firearm locked and unloaded in the house, thereby making them useless–except as an object of theft. The effect is that only the police and criminals are armed.

Outlawing legally carried firearms is the only instance where the government has chosen to unreasonably restrict or to outright deny the law abiding citizen their rights to self-defense under the Second Amendment. The liberal is not interested in preventing a criminal entry to a premises that prohibits the carry of firearms, but to restrict the law abiding, because in the liberal mind there is a greater danger from the law abiding armed and trained citizen than from an armed criminal. In their liberal minds, they believe that their fellow law abiding citizens are mentally unhinged in wanting to own a firearm in the first place, and incompetent and untrustworthy in the use of a firearm, because that’s how the liberal ‘feels’ about firearms ownership. Of course, there are exceptions, but only liberal hypocrites are allowed to be the exceptions, like Bloomberg and his liberal ilk.

It is interesting that in the liberal mind, it is alright for only two groups to be armed: one with a badge and a gun, and the other the lawless criminal. The government controls the group with the badge and gun. This group comes on the scene after the group operating outside of the law finishes their evil. The law abiding citizen is expected to just suffer the consequences of the criminal act and to move on with their life, if they survived the encounter with the criminal.

It should be noted that the Constitution of the United States provides no bar to being offended or to being afraid. It does, however enable the individual the right to speak out and a right under the Second Amendment to self-defense of person and family using a firearm. In fact, it deems ownership and use of a firearm for such purposes necessary.

Connecticut made it illegal to enter a school with a firearm. It is illegal to carry concealed by a law abiding citizen or a soldier on a military base. NYC banned the ownership of handguns under the Sullivan Act. It is illegal to carry openly or concealed in many states where murder and mayhem are serious problems. The outcome of government abolishing legal firearms carry by law abiding citizens only results in the unnecessary death of innocents and the proliferation of crime. Such failed policies do serve the purpose of keeping the law abiding citizens afraid and looking to the government to afford them safety that they themselves have the right to under the Second Amendment. A safety that government has failed to provide and cannot provide.

The deaths of the children at Sandy Hook Elementary are a direct result of a failed government policy designed not to protect the children, because no sane individual would believe that the mentally imbalanced or the criminal would obey the restriction on firearms carry, but to restrict the law abiding, because it makes liberals ‘feel’ safer.

Instead of America and Americans focusing on those calling to restrict restrict our Second Amendment rights, and and the facetious lie that Americans should somehow be collectively ashamed by the murder of these innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary, we should argue for the full exercise of our Second Amendment rights under the Constitution. Our rights are immutable. Yet the liberal politicians are again telling us that we need to further restrict our rights to meet the liberal utopian view of the world so that Bloomberg and his liberal cohorts can ‘feel’ good. And, to be the only citizens allowed to legally carry under their law.

There is legislation introduced in Michigan to once again allow legal carry in schools and government buildings. This means that any citizen who has a concealed carry permit and has taken additional firearms training will be allowed to carry when they visit a school or a government agency. This should be the example for the rest of the U.S., including Alaska. This is how it used to be and should be again for a free society. This would be good in Alaska, given our high percentage of active duty, former military, and former and retired police officers, and a well trained and legally armed citizenry.

While Alaska has the most liberal carry laws in the U.S., Alaskans still cannot exercise their legal Second Amendment rights on school grounds, in government buildings, and those businesses that post a notice prohibiting the carry of a firearm on the premises. A notice must be posted near the door or on the door readily visible to the public that demonstrates that the building or business prohibits the free exercise of our Second Amendment rights.

Such firearms free zones create danger free zones for the criminals, and unnecessarily endanger the government employee, students, and business owner and their clientel. Notice is prominent that there will be no danger to the criminal who elects to commit a crime.

School staff should have the right to legal carry, with at least some of the staff armed at all times, especially in major high schools with a history of violence against the teachers. Additional training should be required to qualify for such carry.

The responsible, legal carry of concealed weapons by armed law abiding citizens should not be prohibited, but welcomed by business and government.

The liberal attitude that the public should be disarmed needs to be set aside by our politicians in favor of the recognition of immutable Creator given rights to self-protection and self-defense under the Second. Even the federal courts are beginning to recognize that our rights under the Second Amendment to self-protection mean that our firearms be carried with us for that use.

On December 12, 2012 in the case of Moore v. Madigan, the federal Seventh Court of Appeals ruled against the State of Illinois ban on lawful concealed carry. The court ruled that the concept of self defense is "broader than the right to have a gun in one’s home." Illinois will have 180 days to draft legislation to enact legal carry legislation that "will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public."

The Legislature of the State of Alaska needs to extend Alaskan’s ability to legally carry firearms where they are now restricted against doing so. Law abiding Alaskans should be allowed to legally carry concealed on school grounds without restriction. The safety of our children may depend upon the law abiding citizen who happens to be in the right place at the time an "Adam Lanza" decides to use that school as his obituary.

It is the duty of each American to be armed and adequately prepared in the use of a firearm. It was the Framer’s intent that the firearm be carried at all times for self-protection. It is time to throw off the liberal lie and to demand the full and unfettered exercise of our Second Amendment rights.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Alaska's problems lie elsewhere

There is a great deal of press on the so called fiscal cliff that Congress has been wrestling with since 2011. After working on the issue for almost two years, no progress has been made. What is at stake, what is the potential impact upon Alaskans?

The fiscal cliff is a failure on the part of Congress and President Obama to reconcile the Administration’s desire to push the United States further into deficit spending and wealth redistribution with fiscal reality. The Obama Administration wanted a tax increase on those earning over $250,000 per year, without any reductions in spending. The Republican majority in the House had to this point refused any tax increases and had worked instead on spending cuts. The amount in contention with respect to the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations is about $600M. The total deficit for 2012 is approximately $1.1T.

The tax increase is an about face for President Obama who said in July, 2011 that no tax increases were necessary, that deductions and loopholes would provide the necessary revenues.

The United States is borrowing $4.8B per DAY to fund government. President Obama’s administration has accomplished the greatest expansion of government since FDR’s New Deal Administration in the 1930s. In the first two years of his adminstration, the federal government grew by 117,000 employees.

In 2011, an attempt was made to resolve the $1.6T in deficit spending for that year. Congress failed to reach a consensus and appointed a bipartisan supercommittee to negotiate a budget. The supercommittee failed. No budget was produced, and the federal government has been operating on debt limit increases since.

However, Congress did agree that if no budget was passed, sunset provisions would end the Bush tax cuts and a 10 year reduction in military spending termed sequestration would occur. The military budget would be cut 9% per year, or $55B per year, beginning in 2013, and continuing for another 9 years. Another $55B would be cut from domestic programs: social security and Medicare. Personal income taxes across the board would increase as the Bush tax cuts would also sunset.

The expected increase in taxes to the average middle class taxpayer is over $2,000 with the Obamacare increases in set to begin this coming year.

Bottom line is that the Republican Congress will most likely cave on the no tax position on the upper income bracket increase. However, that may not be enough for President Obama, as he does not want any decreases in spending. Therefore, it appears that the Republicans in Congress are in a no win situation, as the Obama Administration and the Democrats have them in a no win situation. If the Republicans cave on the tax increase on the upper income earners, there will be no accompanying decrease in spending and the deficit will continue to increase. If the Republicans hold their ground and House Speaker Boehner does not cave, then they will be blamed for the sequestration cuts, the end of the Bush tax cuts, and the negative impact upon the economy.

The reality is, that the Democrats have never failed to increase taxes when it suited their agenda. Therefore, they feel that they will not be the losers if there is a failure to remedy the ‘fiscal cliff’ scenario. They will simply blame the ‘intransigence’ of the Republicans.

The national debt figure that is admitted by the Obama Administration is estimated at $16T, an impossibly large number for most people to comprehend. However, that figure may be just an indicator, and nothing more. Former Representative Chris Cox, former Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and former Representative Bill Archer, former Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, both of whom served on President Clinton’s Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Refore in 1994, wrote in the November 26, 2012 WSJ that the national debt is being purposefully understated to hide the true cost of government and the liabilities of entitlements to the people. They stated that were the federal government required to account for future and present liabilities to Social Security, Medicare and federal employees retirement benefits, these liabilities exceed $86.8T.

Corporations are required by law to report these liabilities, but not the federal government.

Former Reps Cox and Archer disclosed that U.S. liabilities are increasing at a rate of $8T per year. In order to reduce deficit spending, tax revenues of $8T would be required to balance the deficit. Unfortunately, the total adjusted gross income of all Americans earning more than $66,193 per year is $5.1T, leaving a deficit of $2.9T necessary to balance the budget. In otherwords, there is not enough money available/collectable by the IRS to balance the budget. Ever.

The truth is, the United States went over the ‘fiscal cliff’ years ago.

As America’s remote northwestern step-child, given the 222 million acres of federal lands to the approximately 103 million acres of State lands granted by the federal government at Statehood in 1959, Alaska is particularly vulnerable to any cuts in federal spending. 239 villages are largely dependent upon federal grants and other funding under BIA programs. Alaska further depends upon federal highway funding to repair and maintain existing roads, airports, and harbors, and to construct new infrastructure.

According to the Institute of Social and Economic Research, UAA, federal spending in Alaska in 2010 amounted to $10.9B. The federal government provided $3.5B in grants, $2.6B in payments to individuals (BIA), $3.3B in defense spending for wages and procurement in the State, and $1.5B in federal agency spending in wages and procurement. Governor Parnell’s budget for the same year was $10.5B in capital improvements and State operating budget.

Alaska is not like the rest of the United States in that Alaska came into the Union in 1959 as a largely undeveloped frontier State. It was recognized that the amount of money it would take to give Alaska parity in transportation and communications infrastructure exceeded the money available from federal resources. Congress gave Alaska a 90% royalty from any resource development as a means of self-funding needed roads, airports, and harbors. Today, most of Alaska is still accessible only by boat or airplane.

The State does not receive any royalty from development on federal lands, including offshore leasing for oil and gas development. Shell Oil Company’s off shore development in northwestern Alaska’s continental shelf will not produce any royalties for the State of Alaska. The benefit will be to the local villages that provide services and labor for the project.

The State of Alaska has managed to save approximately $45B in the State’s Permanent Fund (PF), largely invested in the stock market from royalties and taxes produced by the North Slope oil development. The PF is intended to fund State government should there be a severe economic downturn and declining State revenues. Every year, Alaskans enjoy a dividend check from the PF from a percentage of the PF’s earnings. This is one of the first programs that will go by the wayside, if federal expenditures and federal funding is sharply reduced. Especially, in the face of declining oil production. Expect to see legislation for a State income tax in the near future.

The PF is very exposed because of the amount of money invested in the stock market. During the massacre of 2000, the PF lost $10B in a matter of a few days. The money has since been restored, but the potential negative impact of severe downturns in the stock market is still there.

The oil industry revenues contribute approximately half of Alaska’s 374,000 jobs, largely State and local government. Directly, the oil companies account for 4,497 jobs, and another 8,410 jobs in the oil service sector. It is estimated that another 28,837 jobs are created through the trickle down of oil company Alaska wages and procurement. The oil industry has provided over $170B in revenues to the State since Statehood. (ISER 2010)

The reality of Alaska’s economy today is that it is oil driven. There is very little in the way of diversity in our economy. Alaska’s economy is oil and government and the retail and construction sector that support oil and government. Alaska has been fortunate to have a defense spending priority because of the strategic geographical position Alaska has with respect to Asia and the Pacific.

The defense initiatives benefitting Alaska has seen an increase in the number of National
Guard personnel on full time active duty.

The Alaska Air National Guard has seen a tremendous growth with a C17 heavy lift squadron and three aerospace rescue and recovery squadrons based at JBER near Anchorage, and a KC135 aerial tanker squadron at JBEW near Fairbanks. These are active duty squadrons with strategic support and war support missions.

The Army National Guard has seen some changes structurally with a new Military Police Battalion replacing an infantry battalion. The Alaska Army National Guard gained the security and operations responsibilities for the Ft. Greeley Missile Defense Base near Big Delta, Alaska. The Army National Guard in Alaska has a UH60 Blackhawk company and a C23 Sherpa company at JBER near Anchorage, an Eskimo scout battalion located in various villages throughout the interior and western Alaska, and a transportation battalion located in the Matanuska Valley. The AK ARNG is now organized as a battlefield surveillance brigade, rather than an infantry brigade consisting of cavalry, infantry, and organic air support.

The National Guard has pumped a lot of money into Alaska since 9-11 and provides jobs or an extra paycheck for part-timers for more than 2,000 Alaskans who serve in the National Guard in Alaska.

However, the USAF recently announced a 5,000 man reduction in manpower with some personnel to be transferred to the federal USAF, along with a reduction in ANG fighter squadrons nationwide. It is doubtful that Alaska’s ANG will be affected, as the ANG role of heavy airlift squadron and aerial refueling are strategic missions, and global in nature. Thus far, only midwestern States’ ANG fighter squadrons have been mentioned as being in jeopardy for the reduction or transfer of personnel and equipment to the USAF.

The U.S. Army has a Stryker Brigade at JBEW as it primary maneuver element in Alaska. The USAF has a squadron of F22 Raptors at JBER and a squadron of F16s at JBEW. Therefore, there is little impact locally with respect to any reduction in federal military forces in Alaska. It looks like the 9% reduction in the DOD’s budget, should sequestering happen on 31 December, will have little impact because of Alaska’s strategic geographical position.

The increased emphasis on the development of Arctic resources has seen the stationing of a U.S. Coast Guard cutter at Pt. Barrow and air patrols of the northern and northwestern coast of Alaska above Kotzebue. This has mean money and opportunity for the villages in the area used as support bases.

This year’s State budget is $12.5B. An incredible amount of money for a state with about 650,000 residents. Even with the incredible budgets beginning with Governor Frank Murkowski in 2003, Alaska’s leadership has failed to diversify since the first oil and gas lease sales on the North Slope in the late 60s. This has left Alaska in its present predicament of being largely a single source economy, fueling a bloated and socialist State government. Granted, the PF will keep the State afloat for three or four years post any shut down of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). Last years budget was declared unsustainable by Rep. Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair House Finance. Yet, an even larger budget was passed for 2013.

Whether it be Fiscal Cliff or the shut down of TAPS, Alaska has some hard times coming if the leadership of the Legislature and Governor Sean Parnell cannot come to grips with the long term implications of the failure to act on an in-state natural gas pipeline to tidewater and the inevitable increase in south central natural gas prices by at least 8%-13% due to the need to import natural gas into Cook Inlet. Since the early 1990s, some legislators and mayors of south central boroughs and cities have been warning of the shortfalls in the production of Cook Inlet gas insufficient to meet the needs of Alaskans during winter months. This coming year will see the first Russian LNG tanker loaded with LNG coming into Cook Inlet.

The bottom line is that it does not look like the federal government will cut spending in Alaska anytime soon. It is not the desire of the Obama Administration to cut government spending, but to increase spending and the to increase the size and reach of the federal government. What is inevitable, given the past history of democrat administrations, is that our taxes will go up. Given the incredible reality of a $86.8T debt, the U.S. is in serious, serious trouble financially. Eventually, this mess will impact Alaska’s economy in a very negative fashion. However, reality is not what Washington, D.C. is about. The worst is yet to come.

54% of Americans who voted, voted for a socialist expansion of government with the increase in deficit spending and increased liabilities that come with the lack of reality associated with socialism. They have given their future generations an incredible burden, but shirked their responsibility with Obama’s reelection.

Already, the Obama Administration is planning a carbon tax, which will certainly impact Alaska’s coal and diesel power generation costs and increase the cost of power to all Alaskans. Obamacare will increase medical costs to Alaskans, and restrict services.

Unfortunately, the Fiscal Cliff and Obamacare are not the real threat to Alaskan’s welfare or cost of living, as we are in the same boat there with the rest of Americans. The real threat to the economic well being of the State of Alaska and her people is the shortsightedness of our Governor and the Legislature to provide a sound, diversified economic base for the future with sufficient low cost energy to insure that future. 35 trillion cubic feet of the energy available is in natural gas under Alaska’s North Slope. After 35 years, that energy has yet to be tapped.