In regard to Sen. Bill Wielechowski’s prefiled bill to give a supplemental PFD of $3,733: Nice try, but Sen. Wielechowski has to go a long way to top Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s promised $6,700-plus dividend! All potential candidates need to remember how much their possible opponents promised to give in PFDs and vow to top that amount, because it is the only thing that matters to the vast majority of Alaskan voters, it seems. Its a sure-fire way to win political office in Alaska!
After a 40-year run of no state sales or income taxes and a Permanent Fund dividend, and now a huge budget deficit, “How large will my PFD be” is still the No. 1 issue. Not public health or safety or education or the long-term financial security of Alaska, just the dividend! Sorry, folks, but the time is at hand to implement a state income tax similar to the one proposed by former Gov. Bill Walker and terminate the PFD program. The current generations of Alaskans have had their share of this non-renewable oil resource; it’s time to save some for the next generation. Had the $22 billion handed out for dividends been invested in the Permanent Fund, we would probably have more than $100 billion by now — nearly enough to fund education, public safety, infrastructure and possible solutions for lowering rural energy costs, etc., on the interest alone forever.
— Fred Klouda
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