Tell us what you think about the Permanent Fund.
Use the fund to balance budget
If we're thinking logically, a percentage of the fund should be allocated directly to pay off the state's debt. It's inevitable that lawmakers will continue to grow the state's budget and increase expenditures, so it's only wise to consider portioning out a reasonable percentage for state spending.
Authorizing a portion of the Permanent Fund earnings for state expenses will also prevent lawmakers from implementing new state taxes. For those of you opposed to the state dipping into Permanent Fund earnings, the answer is clear: We need to dramatically reduce Alaska's state budget.
— Brooks Riess, Anchorage
PFD is good for all Alaskans
I think the PFD is the great equalizer. It is money given to the rich and the poor. The poor use it to survive. The rich use it to help the poor. How far is the Pick.Click.Give down? So the poor get a double-whammy.
Please make the PFD a permanent part of Alaska. It is like setting up a foundation in the church. Pastors are good people but once in awhile their hearts are bigger than their brains and when extra money comes in they think they are the best ones to come up with how it should be spent. The PFD 50-50 split as part of the constitution will keep the hands of well-meaning but misguided politicians off money they have no right to.
— Robbin Robbert, Wasilla
Manage the fund with POMV
I believe it is to set for current and future generations of Alaskans the share of natural resources held in common by the state. It has grown to be a huge economic generator for all Alaskans.
Certainty is important, and POMV should be the way the fund is managed, and the draw should be given to the Legislature for annual appropriations — not to exceed 50 percent for government purposes.
— Jim Mallery, Anchorage
Time to cash it out for the people
Personally, I'd like to see it be cashed out to the people. I get very tired of all the politics and issues that surround it every year. It also costs a lot of time and money every year in Juneau with the Legislature always being held overtime and using the per diem money to load their pockets through the means of overtime, because they always save it until the last issue to be resolved. Please — cash us out!
— Jamie Lyons, Kenai
Hands off dividend, governor
I don't see the point in answering the same questions over, and over, and over again, but somehow the folks in Anchorage and their newspaper think that the result will be anything different. Alaskans overwhelmingly have said, time and again, to leave the dividend alone; I and a majority of Alaskans are in this camp.
Gov. Walker is on the record saying that Alaskans not in support of restructuring the Permanent Fund, who demand a fiscally sustainable government, do so without giving specifics.
A majority of Alaskans, over the last two years, have written, emailed, and testified in great detail as to how our government can achieve fiscal sustainability without using the dividend or enacting a broad based tax. It's time for Walker to cut government spending and leave the dividend alone like he said he would.
— Randy Hodges, Anchorage
Dividend is privilege, not a right
Thank you for letting Alaskans speak out on the Permanent Fund. It is the most important decision facing Alaskans and our legislators.
Alaska has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and while the rest of the country is booming we are mired in a recession. Companies are afraid to invest in a place that doesn't have a sustainable fiscal plan. I applaud Gov. Walker's introduction of his plan. It is a great starting point and should merit serious discussion during the legislative session.
Alaskans must realize the Permanent Fund was not created to pay them a dividend. We are not entitled to a PFD. It should not be enshrined in the constitution.
Lawmakers should adopt a percentage of market value, or POMV, at around 5 percent to help fund state government. The POMV is commonly used by endowments across the country and would allow the fund to continue to grow while greatly contributing to reducing budget deficit. Doing some back of the envelop calculations, 5 percent would generate $3 billion. $2 billion could go to state services and $1 billion to fund a $1,400 dividend, which if done right would increase over time.
Thank you for reading. Please contact your legislators and let them know your plan and stress that inaction is unacceptable.
— Michael Henrich, Anchorage
Legislators don't care about us
About "Tell us what you think about the Permanent Fund:" Since when has Juneau cared what the people think?
— Bill Samuelson, Anchorage
Give it back to the people
It is so frustrating to see the legislators fighting over the people's PFD. A suggestion would be to legislatively give the entire fund back to the Alaska citizens — but still invested and mostly held by the Permanent Fund folks — with a maximum withdrawal limitation of a fraction of a percent going to the citizens.
Of course the state would have to institute an income tax. The citizens could then use their PFD payout to help pay some or all of their tax. This should make the legislators a little more accountable when they use "your money" for their programs.
Let's then see if your legislators really represent you!
— Michael D. Wilson, Wasilla