My kingdom for a comma: Governor's grammar-challenged proclamation - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, June 12, 2021
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My kingdom for a comma: Governor’s grammar-challenged proclamation

The proclamation for the Oct. 23 special session is a lesson in commas. Or lack thereof.

The proclamation by Gov. Bill Walker states he is calling the Legislature back to Juneau to focus on two things: Crime, and a tax on the self-employed.

Yes, that is, in fact, what his proclamation says: Just the self-employed.

It’s a matter of comma usage:

“An act or acts enacting a tax on wages and net earnings from self-employment; and relating to the administration and enforcement of the wages and net earnings from self-employment tax.”

Without the comma between “wages” and “net earnings from self-employment,” it appears that all who work for others will not have to pay the Walker income tax. State workers, for instance.

His verbiage only targets the people who work for themselves, such as the smallest of the small business owners in Alaska.

Surely this isn’t what Walker intended. And surely there are enough commas to go around in Alaska, unless those, too, are in short supply.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Indeed, the proclamation is a grammatical mess. The statement “and relating to the administration and enforcement of the wages and net earnings from self-employment tax” can’t even be saved by a comma because it says “the wages”, not just “wages”. So what this is saying is that only self-employed people will pay income tax and the special session will determine how this tax on the self-employed will be enforced and administered. Like you say, state employees and employees of companies will pay no tax. Walker is an idiot.

  • We must remain committed to keeping the formula for the PFD and restoring our mineral keeping the taxes off our PFD rights. It is an important step we all must take in defending our Alaskan Tradition. We need to cut spending and do so in a manner that both bodies of legislature tackle the issues of waste in government by developing a plan that reduces it at a minimum by percentage and keeps us in as Alaskans in pursuit of life liberty and happiness bringing the maximum benefit to the people through open discussion and not dependent on one group or another to hold spending cuts hostage as we saw with the representatives in Junea this last session.

    Additionally the Governor Walker and his legal folks continue to try and change wording in legislation to take from the and not protect the private sector. Look no further than SB-91 where we have lost some of our safety as the current administration has influenced changing a few legal words to suit their agenda affecting all of Alaska. We need to take a step toward fixing this and putting non politicians in office who will follow the intent and design of putting all Alaskans first. Stephen is Wright for Lt. Governor. Buyers beware of those who have been in politics and continue to fail us.

  • SO WALKER IS WRONG AND HE IS FORGETTING ABOUT THE TIME VALUE OF MONEY AND PUTTING TO GREAT A BURDEN ON THE PRIVATE SECTOR. SIMPLY PUT CUT THE BUDGET AND WATCH THE FUND GROW…HE IS FALSLY TRYING TO WRANGLE THE FUND AWY ON FALSE PRETENSES.
    FY 2015: 2,907
    FY 2016: 2,198
    FY 2017: 3,214..

  • Bowing to the President of China when its in the Japanese culture not China’s, taking part of our permanent fund, spending millions on a gas line to nowhere and now tax the self employed, GRRRRR!
    Can he get anything right? He needs to be held accountable.

  • Wait! Did the Pajama Media realize the error by the Govenor?!?! How about that!

  • NO one else could come up with take PFD and tax as a way to raise more money……lol. They didn’t have enough money when they had 10 billion. If they spent as much time coming up with ways to save money as they do with ways to spend money we would be in fine shape.

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