Chris Nyman: It's time to suspend the dividend - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, August 1, 2021
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Chris Nyman: It’s time to suspend the dividend

By CHRIS NYMAN

The “illusion of truth effect” is the tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure.

Many may also be familiar with “Stockholm Syndrome,” where victims sympathize with their captors after prolonged exposure to stress and propaganda.

The people of Alaska, regrettably in my lifetime, are suffering from these effects in a way that threatens to destroy the very fabric of the institution we call the State of Alaska.

The trickle-down effect of that is to destroy our economy, our ability to make a living, and the social welfare of our lives.

Here is a summary of the most popular misconceptions:

  1. You are “owed” a Permanent Fund dividend.
  2. The dividend is “the people’s money.”
  3. Reducing or eliminating the dividend is a “tax.”
  4. The dividend is a beneficial boost to the economy.
  5. Reducing the dividend is unfair to low-income Alaskans.

The reason I focus this column on the dividend is because it has singularly been the obstacle to creating a sustainable Alaska State budget for the past decade.

The old axiom that “government will spend every cent it can get its hands on” seems to be very accurate whether it is New York, California, or Alaska and even most notably the United States Congress. There will always be the temptation to borrow from the future for the benefit of the current generation.

In Alaska, the Legislature has drained every reserve account it can get its hands on for the past 10 years to prop up unsustainable deficit spending. The Legislature has even decided to drain the Constitutional Budget Reserve (which requires a 3⁄4 majority) instead of over-drawing the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account (which only requires a simple majority).

To add insult to injury, the Legislature seems to have the opinion it does not have to observe the will, or plain text, of the state constitutional requirement to re-pay funds “borrowed” from the Constitutional Budget Reserve.

Keep in mind that up to 75% of all mineral lease rentals, royalties, royalty sale proceeds, federal mineral revenue sharing payments and bonuses received by the State… (paraphrasing Article 9, Paragraph 15 Alaska Constitution) has already been consumed by our State government over the past 40 years. The other 25% was deposited into the Permanent Fund corpus and thank goodness for that.

For most of that 40 years, the dividend was affordable, as State oil income exceeded the cost of State government. Thus the surplus was available as a “true dividend.”

That changed 10 years ago, and one could argue six years ago when Bill Walker vetoed half the dividend and the Legislature essentially began to reduce the dividend each year and observe a percent of market value strategy for drawing from the Permanent Fund.

Despite this laudable effort, the Legislature continued to deficit-spend by raiding the Constitutional Budget Reserve. Today we are at a point where we cannot afford any Dividend without over-drawing from the Permanent Fund.

Other repercussions from deficit dividends are the minimization of our Capital Budget, out inability to pay off the oil tax credits, and our inability to build back our budget reserve account – the Constitutional Budget Reserve.

Now is the perfect time to suspend the dividend indefinitely. With the pandemic and economic reset we are experiencing – federal aid is expected to be over $5 billion, (5 times the impact of the dividend).

We cannot afford to pay deficit dividends. It’s not an illusion.

Chris Nyman writes occasionally for Must Read Alaska.

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  • i am fine with that and put a cap on government spending

    • I’ll consider it after two things happen. Close UAA and UAS, then end all union contracts in state government.

      Nyman wants the dividend? What is he willing to give to get it?

  • Apparently, many of our “misconceptions” are written into the state constitution. You DO have a right to a share of the oil wealth etc.

    • What I love most about Alaska is “conservative” republicans believe UBI is a human right.

  • More liberal BS, the people of AK entered into a agreement with the state, back when people held to their word and agreements were for life. Alaskans gave up their right to mineral and oil rights with the land for a portion of the proceeds put into a dividend account. This allows many Alaskan families to live on their own and the left does not like that at all!! To cut the dividend or suspend it is the epitome of a double cross to the early Alaskan’s which could have made a decision the other way around and this state could have a large number of millionaires and a larger population as more and more people moved to AK to get oil, gas, or gold. So no this article is the biggeist sloppiest pile of manure I have ever read and just goes to show us exactly how dangerous, turning blue can be for this state!

  • Perhaps, but in lieu of the dividend I want the state to send out a letter to every eligible citizen stating how much they should be receiving that our legislators have chosen to fritter away instead. We demand no accountability from Juneau and we get none, only pandering to this and that noisy progressive group with spending to make a drunken sailor on annual shore leave look frugal.

    • Exactly. !

    • That’s what you get when you put the GOP in charge for 20 years. People say the Dems are the tax and spend party. Maybe, but there is no question that the Repubs are the borrow and spend party. That part has now come to and end because the AK Repubs, who have run the state for the last 2 (or was it 3) decades (or maybe 4), have borrowed all they can from state savings, which were meant to support us when the oil ran out (and when do you think that will happen?), and now that savings (usually called a reserve) has been frittered away.
      So, if you are a “conservative” of the Alaska ilk, look in the mirror and you will see who has caused this problem. You put these guys in charge.

      • Which is why conservative and republican are only rarely used in the same sentence-I give you Leeza. There are a few conservative republicans, and no democrats, and if you read another of my recent posts on the state operating budget I berate the republicans for their failure to the people over the decades. There is the evil party and the stupid party. At least the evil party holds their minions in strict control. I choose neither.

        • In the real world, Lisa is what is considered moderate. All that seems to mean now is that she will cross party lines if she feels it is warranted.
          Hard line Trump conservatives are not really conservative. They’ll spend both money and natural treasure like drunken sailors if they think it will benefit themselves. That’s the transactional nature of Trump’s politics.
          To me, that sounds both evil and stupid, since the benefit only accrues to those who are already rich and well positioned, leaving everyone else out in the cold. Eventually, those left out chillin’ will catch on and stop drinking the ultra-right kool-aid, or we will all end up with a dictatorial oligarchy, ala Trump, running the show. In that case, we won’t need to worry about voter suppression. We won’t have any choices (see Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban, and others).
          There is no doubt the so-called conservative side of the GOP is doing its very best to intimidate its minions and keep them in strict control. They threaten to challenge anyone who wanders astray with a more conservative primary adversary (see recent Mat-Su election results).
          On the other hand, the Dems are still, as Will Rogers put it, not an organized political part. One wonders if they ever will be.

          • Please don’t insult sailors, even drunken ones. They can’t hold a candle to the (insert vile word here, my thesaurus doesn’t show one bad enough) of politicians. There are some bizarre ‘ultra-right’ but most people just want a fair system for all. Most don’t care the color of your skin, the length of your hair, your sexuality unless you are in my face with it, or any other attributes. We just want the best job done and to get on with our lives. I have never been intimidated by the republican party. I have been threatened by the party when I was a democrat and did first hand participate in unethical, if not illegal ballot collection then. And I remember when my democrat party was pro life.

  • What do you do for work, Chris Nyman?

  • Its interesting that you say Alaskans are not owed the dividend when by law it is supposed to be paid to us. Alaska spends several times more that than other states our size and slightly larger in population. I think there could be a compromise
    Pass legislation with a referendum to split the 70 billion dollar fund in two. Half can never be touched by the government and half can be for state budgets using the growth. The compromise would be a balanced budget in 2 years.

    • Nice try Bill, but they would just find a way to spend even more…

    • I agree it is the peoples money
      The state should stop over spending, thats it

      If you give them half then when thats gone they will want the other half

      our state government is a joke like the ones in dc

  • Chris your illusion is, is that we the people are subservient to the legislature.

    Quit taking up sensible conservative ink space and go run for a Democrat House Seat.

  • What’s this guy talking about? I thought the dividend was paid from investment earning. Earnings from the PF corpus..half those earning go to government and half go to the people in the form of a dividend. If that’s the case, revenue generated from the PF is not based on oil, Rather broad market investments. True?

  • Chris,

    Get off your one way road….

    The legislature has the power to control the budget
    to match income……..it has not for many years……

    To push for reductions in things like Dividends without
    a move to balance spending vs income is a fool’s error.

    As far the Dividend being “owed or “the people’s money,”
    yes by Alaska statute.

    So use your breath to get the legislature to being the
    responsible path of balance….

    As the fund builds, we will all be rewarded……

    That happens not by Spending the monetary assets away….

    Bob Williams

  • So what this guy is saying is that because state government is unable to control and reduce its spending, residents of Alaska must reduce their own spending even more? I understand that now may seem like a good time to stop the dividend completely, since Commy-Bill Walker got the ball rolling by unconstitutionally cutting our dividends, and not-standing-so-tall Mike Dunleavy can’t seem to stand up to anybody except for picking on a woman, namely Laura Reinbold, and the rest of our legislature except for a few, are on board, but is now really the time to let the thieves steal another $60 billion+ of oil revenues until they have milked the cow down to nothing but a sack of bones lying dead in the Mojave desert?

  • Couldn’t disagree more. The dividend is the people’s money. That’s why it’s a tax to take it from them. I don’t need or count on the money but doesn’t matter if I do or don’t need it. It is money that is in payment for the state taking our mineral rights. We gave all our mineral rights to the state. I cannot own mineral rights in Alaska, but I can in every other state in the US. It is socialism, and I do not think it should have started like that, however, that is the way the law reads.

    Your theory is that suspending a dividend will shur up government and stop the bleeding. That is laughable. They will blow through that money before you can shake a stick at them, then they come walking up to my pocket to take more. Government is a fire, and this one is out of control. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. We spend more per capita than every other state by far, (not including the dividend payment). We spend almost $20,000 per student in Anchorage alone (state and local) and are consistently in the bottom two states in performance. There are proven ways of cutting 50% of that with better results, however education is not about the students anymore, its about the unions. Politician refuse to do that because it angers the unions, so instead they just give away other peoples money. That is just one of many examples.

    I want my dividend just for one reason. I want to starve the beast. I want them to hurt and be forced to cut due to lack of money, because if they don’t hurt, they won’t consider cutting anything.

  • The establishment hacks wanting to preserve money for their friends with lucrative contracts and non-profits that work to keep certain families wealthy, stole the PFD. It’s that simple. Pay it back to the the people you STOLE it from. Then, if you want to talk about changing the formula, suspending it, enshrining it, getting rid of it, whatever, run it by the people in a ballot measure or referendum. At least get it on record what they want, even if the politicians stab us in the back again, at least we will have it on record. But Until the original bad deed is amended, then I really don’t want to hear all novel ideas for why we could do or shouldn’t do, this or that with it. It was stolen. It was stolen to help a select few and the politicians they own, and that’s definitively corrupt and it needs to be corrected before anything else.

  • The PFD “…has singularly been the obstacle to creating a sustainable Alaska State budget for the past decade”.

    The key to staying within a budget is spending within your means; not lamenting a perceived inability to appropriate more cash from other sources.

  • I beg to differ! We cannot afford to NOT pay the full dividend into the private economy. As you point out, the Legislators will not curtail their deficit spending so why should we blithely give them more $$ to waste on pork projects and government expansion?

  • Nyman’s the one full of misconceptions. His 5 points are all subjective opinion, none of which can be supported by empirical evidence.
    Nyman is simply conjuring up “fake-facts” to bolster his personal agenda … an agenda which has “What’s in it for me?” written all over it.
    He will continue to repeat his fake-facts until they become “truth”. Another great lie in the making.
    The FBI say’s that Alaska is one of the most corrupt states in the union. Third or maybe even first place, depending on how it’s measured.
    Alaska’s CBC is where the money is going, in a futile attempt to sate their never ending greed. They’re behind all the bridges to nowhere, and every other boondoggle.
    The short list would be the few who aren’t in the CBC.

  • So if I understand the author of the article correctly, it’s OK to take $5Billion from the federal government to solve our budget issues, this year.
    I guess that I don’t understand where he’s coming from! As he stated in the article, ‘There will always be the temptation to borrow from the future for the benefit of the current generation.’ It seems to me that due to the dividend being paid out to all Alaskans, it tends to benefit all Alaskans. However taking $5Billion from the federal coffers and doing away with the dividend would have a serious impact on many in that it would no longer be there. Additionally the burden of an ever increasing National Debt will be with us forever!
    This morning every U.S. citizens share of the National Debt is just shy of $85,000 while each taxpayers share is just shy of $225,000. If “We cannot afford to pay deficit dividends. It’s not an illusion.”, is in fact true how then can it be acceptable to add to the National Debt without blinking an eye?
    If Mr Nyman’s opening statement “The “illusion of truth effect” is the tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure.”, maybe his statement “With the pandemic and economic reset we are experiencing – federal aid is expected to be over $5 billion, (5 times the impact of the dividend).”, is not only short sighted but quite possibly an ‘Illusion of the Truth’!

  • First we have to materially and actually reduce the operating budget; then we talk about suspending the PFD. As committee hearings this session have revealed we have not yet cut one dollar from the operating budget. We have switched funding around and around and around, but the budget continues to grow, slower now but it still grows. We have to stop transferring wealth to the transfer payment crowd (those who cannot work and those who choose to not work) and to the bureaucrat class. As things stand today the PFD is the only benefit that family-wage, private sector Alaskans receive from state assets. Sure, we all drive on plowed roads, but Juneau, state workers, and people who don’t work get all the oil and mineral wealth if we curtail, suspend or eliminate the PFD.

    • Don’t call what already belongs to the people a “benefit” – all the State does is distribute it.

  • What is unaffrordable is the continued Government spending on medicaid, fuel, food, housing, and every other want or need in areas of the state that have zero economy. The cities that actually have an economy need to start paying their own way and get hold of their own finances. The complete lack of fiscal responsibility is not a problem with the people getting the dividend, it is with the government that has hundreds of leaches hanging off the budget every year. And Bill Wlaker was the biggest leach of all, with that LNG pipeline idiocy.

    • A few environmental activists with their DONATE buttons on their websites scuttled our mining sector, which could have had thousands of high paying, year around jobs, in those areas of zero economy.
      The major mining companies contribution to the bush economy has always been relatively small, compared to the numerous “mom & pop” mining ventures.
      The Circle mining district alone supported directly and indirectly, hundreds of families, before the EPA laid crushing regulations on them.
      In 1983, one mom & pop operation, just over the ridge from mine, and one mountain peak away from my uncle’s, paid a half million cash for a D-9L cat. Others would wash off a month’s paycheck for the average worker, just to clean “dirt” off of equipment, to repair it.
      The majority of bush residents are in favor of more jobs closer to home. It is mostly urban Alaskan’s who supported the environmentalists agenda … and are now complaining about having to subsidize the bush economy.
      Coal suet from China’s power industry is constantly bombarding the N-slope, accelerating melting of the permafrost, and compromising the ecology.
      You can’t save the planet by kicking the extractive industries out of highly regulated countries, and driving them to practically unregulated S*** holes.

      • Gas comes from the station and bread from the store. Remember, our Energy Secretary thinks that her car runs on sunshine so we don’t need those dirty old mines and oil wells. When I was a child (so long ago), we learned where things came from and how things work. The mines produce tons of ore for a pittance of copper; the Drake Well changed the world and brought prosperity by freeing people from expensive whale oil (and saved the whales). We learned to cast and to forge to create things, and that is real work! Today, schools teach that if 2+2=5 that’s okay if you feel good, so woe to those flying airplanes designed by future engineers. If it can’t be grown it must be mined. Fantasy farming doesn’t put food on the table any more than fantasy football gives you a workout. And I sat in the audience McGrath when the head of the Sierra Club argued against Donlin Mine because it would destroy the ‘quaint’ lifestyle of people in the YK villages, then flew away in her private Lear Jet.

  • Sorry… but giving the dividend to
    Looters & Unaccountable Liars is not the answer.
    —-problem has never been revenue …. but problem spending

  • Nyman, you sir are a prevaricator of the worst degree – what you label “myth” is the truth, and giving the legislature our dividend will solve nothing – especially the proclivity of government to spend too much money. Stop giving the left an excuse to spend away – OUR money. The PFD does not belong to the State, it belongs to the people. Taking without permission that which belongs to others is STEALING.

  • How about cutting the bloated state government first? It’s worth noting while the rest of us were suffering state workers never missed a paycheck.

    While he has the right to his opinion, it’s like the boy who cried “dividend”. Since it’s all he goes on about it hard to take seriously.

  • What is so attractive to Chris Nyman about the Alaska dividend? A will to make life better for Alaska’s population? Or for Chris?-Alaska has been plagued with a parade of greedy politicians for decades now-all too willing to sacrifice our beautiful state at the alter of their own corrupt enrichment. What grandiose projects or direction of development is the goal here? I see NOTHING coming from Chis to offer the fiercely INDEPENDANT Alaskan! Nothing-except to swallow Alaskan freedom of the individual which is totally unacceptable

    . Let’s get rid of them-the whole group of the Alaska legislature

  • The people arent fighting for a Full PFD, Alaskans are arguing for a BALENCED BUDGET, its just the words arent coming out right. Today no Governor will had needed to restructure the dividend if we knew how to read books to know how to read the bad candidates whom generations voted for the last thirty years. Walker will had Never been Governor if Alaskans voting in the 1990s vetted out candidates better supporting honest candidates.

  • I sent the following letter to all 60 of the Alaska legislators.
    .
    Dear Senator,
    .
    I have a suggestion to save the state $500 million, without hurting poor people.
    .
    You have a horribly tough job trying to balance the budget with a looming $2 billion deficit. Sometimes, private companies have a bad year with a big loss, and they are unable to pay out a dividend to their shareholders.
    .
    Stockholders understand this, and realize it is more important for the company to pay its bills, such as for employees, fuel, maintenance and raw materials, so as to keep the machinery turning, so as to not go bankrupt. Otherwise, the company stock value will crash, and everyone loses.
    .
    So, if you can only send me a $20 Permanent Fund Dividend check this year, I understand. But some people are really hurting financially, and really depend on an annual infusion of cash from the state.
    .
    My idea to save the state $500 million is as follows:
    .
    Start a new payment program as a temporary substitute for the regular PFD program. It would be called the “PAP” (Public Assistance Payment). It would bridge the gap, until the time when the price of oil jumps back up, and the state has a surplus and can afford to send out bigger regular PFD checks.
    .
    Instead of the state spending $700 million (such as for the 2020 PFD), spend only $100 million for a “PAP” (Public Assistance Payment). The “PAP” would be open to everyone, rich or poor, just like the PFD, but its application instructions would strongly request that only people who are kind of poor and hurting financially, should apply.
    .
    It would explain that the state is struggling with a $2 billion deficit due to the crash in oil prices, and the fact that the oil flow through the Trans Alaska Pipeline is only 1/4 of its 1988 highpoint, due to natural oilfield decline. The instructions would explain that the state is struggling with limited funds to provide vital services for all Alaskans and that the CBR savings account has been nearly drained dry.
    .
    The hope is that no more than 100,000 Alaskans would apply for the “PAP”. This would permit each PAP check to be $1000. If less people apply, then the checks would remain at $1000, but the extra money left over would be used to help close the deficit.
    .
    If more than 100,000 people applied, then the checks would have to be reduced, because only $100 million has been set aside for the PAP. But if the PAP checks were reduced, it would be the fault of richer Alaskans taking away from the poor Alaskans that the PAP was intended for.
    .
    But there would be no “means test” for the PAP. That would be too much trouble. And this proposed PAP is supposed to be a “stand in” for the PFD, which is open to all Alaskans, rich or poor. Whether to apply or not, would be left up to everyone’s own conscience and personal judgement.
    .
    The Alaskan people are being badly misled by the word “dividend”, which implies that there is a “surplus” and that they are entitled to a portion of the “windfall” or net profit. But there is no “surplus” in the state budget, at the present time.
    .
    This proposed “Public Assistance Payment” program is more honest. The name “PAP” accurately implies that this annual $1000 check from the state is for helping out citizens who are truly in need. It does not try to con people into thinking that there is a surplus that can be grabbed and scarfed up without any thought or care for fiscal responsibility.
    .
    The earnings from the Permanent Fund, and oil taxes going directly to the general fund, provide for a “services dividend” (snow clearing, infrastructure, maintenance, troopers, courts, crime control, education, marine highway, healthcare, etc.) that all of us Alaskans receive without having to pay any state income tax or state sales tax.
    .
    As far as applying for this proposed “PAP”, I’m betting that Alaskans of more substantial means, upon seeing the name “Public Assistance Payment” will have second thoughts about applying, and will graciously step aside so that poorer fellow citizens can get some extra help.
    .
    I’m sort of poor myself, but I promise that I will step aside and not apply for a “PAP”, since I fortunately have a steady job and am able to pay my bills.
    .
    Some final points:
    • We should not exceed the sustainable 5% POMV annual draw on the Alaska Permanent Fund. We need to maintain the earning power of the fund for the next few years ahead.
    • The original 1980 PFD plan (passed by the legislature) based the size of each check on the length of Alaskan residency ($50 for each year, going back a maximum of 21 years to statehood in 1959). Also, it was only to be paid to adult Alaska residents. Children under 18, were not eligible for the PFD. However, the U.S. Supreme Court did not go along with the “length of residency” part, which gave a bigger PFD check to long-term residents. So, in 1982, the legislature had to redo it, and hand out the same amount of cash to new arrivals (such as 1-year residents). The legislature also decided to hand out money to kids, since there was lots of cash floating around at the time, and the flow through the oil pipeline was increasing every year.
    • The NANA Alaska native regional corporation gives an annual dividend to their shareholders (about 14,000 members). In 2015, the annual dividend was about $900 per person. But in 2016, they did not pay a dividend at all, due to economic troubles. They were able to pay a dividend in 2017.
    • I hope that efficiencies and appropriate cuts can be found in government expenditures, so that the budget can be balanced and the CBR reimbursed. If the price of oil goes up, we may even be able to get a surplus that can provide for an honest and legitimate cash dividend. But right now, to accept the “services dividend” (snow clearing, troopers, education, etc.) while at the same time scarfing up a spurious, propped-up and deficit-inducing “cash dividend”, is simply a devious case of double-dipping.
    • Citizens can honestly “earn” a cash dividend by getting involved and helping their representatives find cost saving measures and specifying which services and capital expenditures they want cut, so as to create a surplus in the budget.

    Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Randy Griffin, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99707

  • Well we all know now do not Elect Chris Nyman to any position, if he got friends know who they are and don’t elect them to anything. They undoubtedly will think the same, and keep the same likeminded residents elected taking advantage of a weak and illiterate population.

  • Let’s look at the math behind the dividend. Take the earnings for the year (this is money we already have in the bank). Average it over 5 years. Divide by two. Half the money goes to the state, half goes to the PFD.

    The legislature is trying to make us think the dividend is “unsustainable”. They’re lying. The earnings we’re averaging is money we already have in hand. The problem is, government has grown until it has spent its half, and now they want our half. The only “unsustainable” piece here is government spending.

    The PFD doesn’t “grow every year” and demand bigger chunks from some fund, making it “unsustainable”. The PFD is an average of money we already earned. We have it in hand. We just have to write the checks. If government can’t afford to operate on its half, CUT THE GOVERNMENT.

    • CUT THE GOVERNMENT!!!…

  • Get rid of MAPA More Alaska Production Act. This is a net tax with progressivity accomplished through a per barrel tax credit, making it more complicated than taxes in the five states. Replace it with a flat rate (e.g. based on Texas model) of 5% on the market value of a barrel of oil or 5 cents on 42 gallons of oil produced, whichever is greater value to the State.

  • Mr Nyman says It’s Time To Suspend The Dividend and gives us the following reasons why we should:
    .
    “The old axiom that “government will spend every cent it can get its hands on” seems to be very accurate whether it is New York, California, or Alaska and even most notably the United States Congress. There will always be the temptation to borrow from the future for the benefit of the current generation.”
    .
    So why is it that we should give government more money to spend?
    .
    “In Alaska, the Legislature has drained every reserve account it can get its hands on for the past 10 years to prop up unsustainable deficit spending. The Legislature has even decided to drain the Constitutional Budget Reserve (which requires a 3⁄4 majority) instead of over-drawing the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account (which only requires a simple majority).”
    .
    So why is it that we should give government more money to spend?”
    .
    “To add insult to injury, the Legislature seems to have the opinion it does not have to observe the will, or plain text, of the state constitutional requirement to re-pay funds “borrowed” from the Constitutional Budget Reserve.”
    .
    So why is it that we should give government more money to spend?
    .
    “Keep in mind that up to 75% of all mineral lease rentals, royalties, royalty sale proceeds, federal mineral revenue sharing payments and bonuses received by the State… (paraphrasing Article 9, Paragraph 15 Alaska Constitution) has already been consumed by our State government over the past 40 years. The other 25% was deposited into the Permanent Fund corpus and thank goodness for that.”
    .
    So why is it that we should give government more money to spend?
    .
    Mr Nyman has done nothing but give us reasons why we should not turn the dividend over to the government and not one single reason why we should.

  • What we can’t afford is our bloated Public Sector and their Unions.

  • How about cutting the bloated state government first? It’s worth noting while the rest of us were suffering, state workers never missed a paycheck and many weren’t and sttll are not even going to work!

  • close U of A and subsidize our students in S-48 colleges … which would save a billion or so every year.
    Get rid of Medicaid … another billion or so.
    Make the mental health services live off of the trust lands they received for just that purpose. Another billion or so. Stop them from inventing so many new ailments for them to “cure”.
    Stop subsidizing non-profits. Another billion or so.
    Outlaw civil service unions and double-dipping pensions. More billions.
    Stop letting agencies rat-hole cash reserves. Another billion or so.
    Cut all civil service pensions in half … no retire person needs 20 thousand a month in their sunset years. I’m living on 1400 a month, and I eat well enough, have a nice vehicle, and a roof over my head.
    Alaska could pay for government and services just on these savings alone.
    Too simplistic? That’s a big lie. The simpler the better. Less room for fudging.

    • And, not to be too snarky, we could do away with hot, running water and flush toilets.
      Grandma and Grandpa did. Who needs good roads? And cops? Optional, if they want more than $7.50 an hour and a publicly subsidized patrol car. Or how ’bout vigilance groups? Do away with cops entirely. That worked in the Wild West, didn’t it? Education? Who needs it. All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten and behind the woodshed.
      Sometimes solutions really are too simplistic.

      • “In logic, reductio ad absurdum also known as argumentum ad absurdum apagogical arguments, negation introduction or the appeal to extremes, is the form of argument that attempts to establish a claim by showing that the opposite scenario would lead to absurdity or contradiction.”
        You won’t make the debate team like that Greg.

        • Well, my point, at the reductio level, is that you get what you pay for, and progress does not exist without funding, ergo, the less you pay for government, the less you get from it, such as roads, infrastructure (including running water and sewage disposal) or the things you need to make living in a society worthwhile (i.e. art, music, education, scientific research).
          ‘Course, we could all go back to the era of personal independence and of pit toilets, dug wells, cattle and/or horses stabled in the house, starvation, child labor etc., etc., but I certainly don’t want to do that just to save a few bucks because I’m mad that we’re paying people a decent wage to do the jobs we consider important or to get health care or to teach our next generation of citizens how things once were and how they got better and how important it is for them to pay attention so that things will continue to get better.
          Just sayin’.

      • We don’t want to do away with them, we just want people to pay for their own. I’m on my fourth kid in UAF and I paid every cent for their education. And while the first attended the university we lived without running water or flush toilets. They all pay their own ways, now too. AOC bragged of the $22 per hour at McDonalds in Denmark while not realizing that the market sets wages there and there is no minimum wage.

        • Right. As I understand it, Denmark is considered a socialist nation. Maybe we should pay attention to what they are doing without condemning it.

          • Denmark is a Constitutional Monarchy with many government services and extremely high taxes, but it is a market economy. It also has an aged, stable homogenous population.

  • Do the whole job!

    Cash out the Permanent Fund and distribute every penny to the people of Alaska.

    Amend the Alaska Constitution to restore sub-surface rights to the people who own the surface above.

    Then tax petroleum however high you want. You’ll know when to stop when the wells are capped and there is no income.

  • Chris
    I understand sarcasm. My leg has been pulled . You had me going. Great piece. You got the laugh
    Your last.line should have been ” strike that, reverse it” Willy Wonka.

  • First, we aren’t even getting half the revenue, ever since they cut the pfd, that means they already are stealing from the people by that much. Second, the notion here is, give the government more money and they will some how magically learn how to budget. Next you’ll be saying they’ll need a state income tax to go along with our pfd, and then they might learn to budget. If someone keeps loosing your money, you don’t keep throwing good money after bad at them.
    BTW, You take my PFD, then you give me my full land mineral rights to me then, you crooks.

  • Someone needs to look into the Alaska CAFRs, there’s money there. It’s a public record document.

  • EXCUSE ME !!! Before we suspend the PFD we need to “clean house” in Juneau….OVER SPENDING < UNECESSARY SPENDING
    …Last week it was posted all the assistants and personnel each legislature has working for them ,,,,, Why.

  • Nyman is nuts and Downing displays her agenda for printing…

    • I applaud Suzanne for printing differing points of view, as opposed to the Soros owned rest of the media in this state. I care to hear what others think and not blindly follow fanatics. The comments I most enjoy are those with whom I disagree. Unlike the current national party in control, I don’t advocate concentration camps for the 50%-1 of the population with whom I disagree. We either need to learn to discuss in civil conversation and get along or we will bring about chaos and anarchy, which is what too many strive for now.

  • Chris you are a broken record on your ad nauseam no PFD addiction. We are all sick of it.

  • Doing away with the PFD and legislative sessions in Juneau would take us from clown car hurling into dumpster fire to about 85% of optimal.

  • So, after reading lines and lines of comments, my main takeaway is that y’all do not trust yer legislators.
    It’s a representative democracy. You vote your legislators into office. If you don’t like what they are doing, why don’t you vote them out?

    • Because they are in the habit and practice of voting for the candidates who most closely resemble themselves.
      Like father, like son … Like politician, like voter.

      • Successful panhandlers understand this. They dress like the one’s they’re trying to get money from … just a little threadbare, like they once had it , but fell on hard times.

  • “Illusion of truth effect” The world is flat and I evolved from…. one has been proven wrong the other is a basis for 2 diverging ‘theories’. The ebb and flow of creation vs evolution is an ongoing discussion. Alaska is entrenched in an ongoing discussion. We elect people we think will carry on our side of the discussion, we get sidetracked, we still discuss for another day. Meanwhile life is going to be tougher for everyone. It will take some bold leadership; perhaps the current gov is the one perhaps not. I do not accept your 5 premises….in fact, I would argue the opposite on each one. There are enough of us that think that way to make this a looooong discussion! Hence our stalemate in Juneau.

  • Thanks Everyone! I enjoyed your comments even though they were mostly wrong…Chris

  • Making the PFD disappear will make at least 10% of the population disappear, and the very people who we need to disappear, too. Think who it was who told you that they’d leave if it was taken away. Makes me wish it happened yesterday. I remember an Alaska before the Permanent Fund, PFD, and Big Oil, and I’d love to have it back. Let’s do it!

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