Dunleavy forgets the First Law of Holes: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging

During the summer and fall of his campaign, Mike Dunleavy said the state could achieve a sustainable budget without making cuts to state services. He said the state could save $450 million with a few simple changes. The budget could grow after that by 2 percent a year.

Now Gov. Mike Dunleavy is claiming he was given some bad information about the future price of oil. That claim is as ridiculous as it sounds.

It is about as believable as his explanation for demanding that legislators and others who visit his office surrender cell phones and recording devices at the door. He told the Anchorage Daily News, “I don’t like texting in meetings. I don’t like phone calls happening in meetings.”

Sure. This has absolutely nothing to do with being paranoid about people recording him.

About the budget, Dunleavy ought to admit to Alaskans that he was spinning a yarn when he talked about a budget with no pain, no taxes, no service cuts and giant dividends.

He said many times during his campaign that efficiencies would get the budget to $4.1 billion and it could grow at 2 percent a year after that, and that oil revenues would rise and take care of things. “We can grow our way out of this,” he said many times.

“If we get our budget down to about $4, $4.1 billion, somewhere in that neighborhood, and then let it grow—the operating aspect of the budget, the operating side of the budget—at about 2 percent a year, we can maintain, we can keep up with some inflationary costs at 2 percent a year. But it also gives us some breathing room to get these other resources on line, to get this other oil in the pipeline and increase our revenue stream,” he said in a public radio appearance on Sept. 4.

But now, asked Tuesday by KTUU about not preparing people during his campaign for the extreme level of cuts he has proposed, Dunleavy tried to blame others for the contradictions.

“During the campaign in the summer and fall, we were told that the revenue picture was gonna be $75 a barrel oil,” he said.

Who told him that? The guy who guessed his weight at the state fair?

He gave a similar cock-and-bull story about the pain-free budget to the Anchorage Daily News. “At that point we were campaigning, we were not inside. Once we got inside, we realized that we were not going to have revenues of $75 a barrel oil.”

Oil is now $66 a barrel. This has nothing to do with being on the inside or the outside. It’s about saying whatever you think will get you elected.

I think he assumed that oil prices would be $75 a barrel and he based his entire pitch to voters on that assumption, assured by his advisers that he was right. Now he won't admit it was his assumption.

Dunleavy has forgotten the First Law of Holes: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Dermot Cole4 Comments