Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Rep. Gattis Wants Poor Seniors To Leave Alaska

Following the mythical ancient tradition of putting elders on ice floes when they can no longer contribute to the survival of the village,  KTVA reports Rep. Gattis (R -Wasilla) said
". . . people with families here should be able to stay in Alaska, only if they can afford it on their own." 

 Actually,  The Full Wiki tells us that,
"Senicide among the Inuit people was rare, except during famines."
Famine is when there is no food and people are starving to death.  Short of famine and imminent death of the whole community, Inuit share with all their community members.

Alaska is not facing starvation.  We have almost ten years worth of budget money in the Permanent Fund and other reserve funds.  We aren't at the point where sending people off on ice floes makes sense, morally or practically.  Besides, because of global warming, we have fewer ice floes.

And since we have plenty of wealth, if we use Inuit logic, we'd take care of all the people in our community.

But that's besides the point.  Let's look at a little more of the quote from KTVA:
"She said in tight budget times, the state has to pick and choose where to put its money, and shouldn’t “subsidize” people to stay. “Here’s our challenge — when you lose two-thirds of your budget, where do you put the money?” Gattis asked. “Do you put it in road plowing? Do you put it in safe roads? Do you put it in police? Do you put it in fire departments? Do you put it in corrections? Do you put it in subsidizing people to stay here because that’s what they thought they wanted to do?” Gattis said before asking her constituents to pay taxes, she wants to make sure programs in the budget are ones they’re willing to pay for."
[Let's not even mention that Republicans have been responsible for the Alaska budget for the past ten years or so and they've been repeatedly warned that it wasn't sustainable.]

If people can't afford to live in Alaska, how could they afford to pick up and leave Alaska and get to and survive anywhere else?  Those who have some support from family and friends, would lose that help if they left,  making survival even harder.

I'm guessing this is Rep. Gattis' logic:

The state is spending more than it is getting in revenue.
Therefore we must cut the state budget.
Therefore we must cut things that are not essential.
Among those things that are not essential is aid for poor seniors - like the Pioneers Home I guess.

Her logic for the state is also applied to people.
If people are spending more than they are taking in, then they should leave the state.

Lookout Lower 48, Alaska is sending you its old and poor.  
Now, if all states took that approach, where would they go?  Do we make some holes in Mr. Trump's wall and send them off to Mexico?  Maybe Alaskans can take them to the Canadian border.   And what about Alaska Natives whose families have been in Alaska for millennia?  Where should we send them?

But there are two parts of balancing the budget and she's only addressing spending, but why not just raise the state revenue?   Why not have those who are benefiting from living in Alaska help support those who are old and not doing so well?  Maybe the company they worked for has reneged on its promises to pay a pension.  Maybe there was an illness and the health care used up their retirement savings.  None of that matters to Gattis, cause she's a tough fiscal conservative.

Let's get rid of the riffraff who don't contribute.

But these seniors probably do contribute in ways that Gattis isn't considering.  Maybe they are providing care for their grandchildren - teaching them family history, preparing their meals, getting them ready for school by reading books to them.  Maybe their care of those kids allows the mother to work and contribute to Alaska's economy.

Splitting up families seems inconsistent with the party that claims to be for family values.

There's a point where Gattis' logic makes sense.  But Gattis takes this concept and applies it in such a mean and narrow-minded way that she violates many other important values, particularly the value of family.    But like many literal, concrete thinkers, she fails to see all the intangible benefits of having seniors among us.

Gattis' Reelection website says:
Lynn believes our government’s role is to provide 
  • Reasonable and stable tax policy 
  • Reasonable regulation 
  • Educated, trained and energetic work force 
  • Low cost energy 
  • Supportive infrastructure 
  • Strong public safety 
  • Strong support of quality community livability 

So, does 'strong support of quality community livability' mean, sending your grandparents out of state?  And does 'Reasonable and stable tax policy" mean no taxes?

Voters of Wasilla - thanks again for putting people like Gattis into the state legislature.  The news media appreciate you giving them things to write about.

What?  You live in Wasilla and didn't vote for her?  Actually, most of you didn't vote at all.  Only 49% of District 9 voters voted in the November 2014 election.  Only 33% of registered voters voted for Gattis. You don't think voting matters?   Wait till your grandmother gets deported. 

[Sorry, more feedburner problems]


  1. I think Lynn Gattis is planning to run for Charlie Huggins state senate seat. Maybe there are very few elders in that district so insulting us is "no big deal" to her and Charlie.

  2. As a senior and life-long Alaskan, I say "fuck you, Lynn Gattis."


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