Letters to the Editor

Letter: Critique misrepresents commentary

Roger Marks’ critique (“Equating PFD cuts to a tax is a piecemeal metaphor”) completely misstated the point of my Monday commentary (“ADN editorial board is looking at the PFD the wrong way”). Contrary to Marks’ thesis, neither my commentary nor the detailed economic studies on which it relied suggest paying for Permanent Fund dividends by reducing government spending. Instead, they advocate paying for government spending in the way that has the lowest impact on Alaska families and the Alaska economy.

As I explained in the commentary, using PFD cuts to pay for government spending — what University of Alaska-Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research professor Matthew Berman has called on these pages “the most regressive tax ever proposed” — has the “largest adverse impact” on both the overall Alaska economy and middle- and lower-income (80% of) Alaska families. Other revenue approaches have far lower impacts on both.

By badly misstating the point of the commentary and the detailed economic studies on which it relied, the critique chased ghosts.

— Brad Keithley


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