Get behind me, Golden Calf from the Permanent Fund | Community perspective


The Alaskans have taken a collective leap over the rubbish of common sense.

We have not just left the Church of Wisdom route, we have turned to the Church’s false political god of the Permanent Dividend Fund to lead us to the Promised Land.

Think about what Moses would do. Instead of leaving the Israelites alone for 40 days on his trek up Mount Sinai to reclaim the Ten Commandments, and had he climbed Denali and returned with a long-term budget plan for Alaska, only to see the people pray to the Golden letters “PFD”.

He would probably break the tablet the same way he did at Mount Sinai.

After 40 years of dividends from the Permanent Fund, it may be too late for Alaskans to step back from the golden calf they idolize. Hopefully not.

The governor’s growing insistence that a large dividend belongs to the state constitution is appalling. Not only would it put the annual PFD ahead of education and everything, but that so many legislators, community leaders, and the public are supporting the idea.

Some support him because they believe their reelection world revolves around dividends.

Some believe that PFD should be a constitutional right, similar to safety and education.

Some because they think it helps low-income Alaskans more than anything else in the state budget, and therefore part of the constitutional commandments.

And some believe that a majority of lawmakers and the public will never agree to the state’s long-term sustainable fiscal plan – that is, taxes – that we desperately need unless the PFD does. enters into the constitution. It’s a political profession, and they are ready to make a deal to enshrine a bad idea in the highest laws of the state.

Although the beliefs are sincere, they inappropriately elevate the dividend to exalted status.

The dividend is an incredibly large addition to the household budgets of many Alaskans, and hopefully the state can continue the annual PFD for decades to come. But is it equal to the opening section of the constitution? Where it says: “All people have a natural right to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness and to enjoy the rewards of their own industry.

Happiness, of course, the PFD helps with that. But come on, is the dividend up to the level of freedom?

The constitution also says: “All people have corresponding obligations to the people and the state. He is not saying that the state has an obligation to us; rather that we have obligations to our neighbors and our communities.

This means that we work together for the common good in education, protecting freedoms of speech and religion and civil rights, public health and welfare – all of which are in the constitution, as they should be. ‘to be.

Adding to the constitution that there will be an annual dividend, and devoting specific funding to checks as the governor wishes, would put it above all else at budget time.

Does Moses need to slap our heads with his tablet to bring back some common sense?

Larry Persily is a longtime reporter from Alaska, with breaks for federal, state, and municipal services in the areas of oil and gas, taxes, and policy. He is currently the owner and editor of the weekly Wrangell Sentinel.


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