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    Alaskans must not compromise or capitulate on PFD payment or fiscal plan

    By AlaskaWatchman.com

    I keep hearing that the Republicans must compromise in order to gain a fiscal plan for Alaska. Compromise is a virtue in the politically-correct-woke world. I looked at the two issues that are supposedly blocking the enactment of the fiscal plan.

    First, the demand of Democrats and RINO Republicans that additional revenue in the amount of $700 million must be added in new or current taxes in order to justify a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans. If those of us who are advocates of the private sector just compromise, and ask our legislators to raise oil taxes by $700 million by killing the oil tax credit, we could have a fiscal plan? Right? That’s the same logic as Commonwealth North who built a computer model with three alternatives for folks who want a fiscal plan: 1. Raise oil taxes. 2. Enact a sales tax. 3. Re-enact a personal income tax. Factually, however, we don’t need another $700 million fed to our bloated state government from the private sector. If we compromise, we capitulate.

    Democrats and RINO Republicans deny we have the money to pay a sustained dividend. They want us to ignore the actual performance of the Alaska Permanent Fund…

    Let’s be clear. If you read the CPA’s opinion on the financial statements of the State of Alaska, you discover that our books are in surplus. In other words, we bring in more revenue that we require to balance our state’s budget. It also discloses that expenses each year have gone up despite those who would tell you that the budget has been slashed.

    Let me explain. If you project a budget of $1,000 but only actually spend $800, you can claim (just like the majorities in both houses) that you have slashed the budget by 20%. The fact that last year, the Legislature spent $750 is not mentioned. The fact that you are asking to increase the budget by 25% is not mentioned. The budget is where the liberals want you to focus. But the reality is the actual income and expense of the financial statements. See the shell game? They are hiding our income and expense with word games.

    Some Legislators have the gall to say, we don’t have the money to pay the collected and earned dividend.

    Second, Democrats and RINO Republicans deny we have the money to pay a sustained dividend. They want us to ignore the actual performance of the Alaska Permanent Fund which in the last fiscal year made $19.4 billion in net income for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. We made another $395.5 million just during the month of July 2021. Because of the insanity of the Percentage of Market Value rule, our earnings of 29.73% ($19.4 billion) were hidden from you and only 5% of profits were available for dividends and appropriations. Slick trick.

    The Legislature set aside 5.25% of the entire Fund for its contribution to government expense and dividends. Arbitrarily. Willingly. They cut off the earnings to deny their constituents those earnings. Then they used the Act they created to deny their constituents their earned dividends. They left the money in the Reserve account, subject to their immediate appropriation.

    So, the fisherman in Bristol Bay with a wife and three kids gets stiffed $16,000 while our legislators burn through the 3rd Special Session with cash per diems! According to the financial statements for July 2021, we have $20.9 BILLION in our Permanent Fund reserve account. Some Legislators have the gall to say, we don’t have the money to pay the collected and earned dividend. Going back to an earnings calculation as we had for nearly 40 years and getting away from this insane system of calculation by confusion is required and obvious. If we compromise, we capitulate.

    Let’s be straight. The Legislature, through its coalitions, has stopped Governor Dunleavy is his tracks.

    Dividends set by earnings calculations are self-sustaining. Always. If we have a good year, we pay more. If we have a bad year, we learn our lessons and change personnel. Just like every other profit-seeking enterprise in Alaska.

    The status quo perpetrators are deathly afraid of the Constitutional Convention. How do the special interests hold onto their iron-fisted control of the State budget and force more spending each year for our failed education system? Or the failed judicial appointment process that provides an automatic majority of bar association members to preclude conservative judges? Or telling people that the budget is going down while the actual expenses are exploding.

    Let’s be straight. The Legislature, through its coalitions, has stopped Governor Dunleavy is his tracks. They have stopped his cost cuts, his statutory dividend, his stand against public corruption and his Constitutional amendments to protect the dividend, cap state expenses and contain the Legislature’s never-ending thirst for state taxes.

    Why would a representative or senator from the rural area of the state deny his or her poor constituents their dividends? The statute on the books was not amended to change the distribution formulae. Our Legislature abetted by Governor Walker changed the rules, ignored the law and now wants public approval for their intransigence and spendthrift ways.

    To put the voters back in the driver’s seat means driving straight to the Constitutional Convention. The opposition is already using scare tactics to convince you that it’s a terrible idea. To them, it’s terrible since it takes the power away from their special interests and reinstalls the public in decision making for Alaska. If you want a solution to the dividend, if you want an incorruptible judicial system, if you want Constitution protection for a budget and a vibrant state economy, take a hard look at the Constitutional Convention. The protection for Alaskans is that every issue that gains a majority in a Constitutional Convention must be approved by the vote of a majority of Alaskans at the next election.

    It is time for a change. The Legislature has proven that it will not create a fiscal plan. Their plans end the Governor’s plans for a vibrant economy. We can’t compromise without capitulation. Time for Alaskans to step up and vote for our children’s future.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Jim Crawford
    Jim Crawford is a third-generation Alaskan entrepreneur who resides in Anchorage. The Alaska Institute for Growth is a local think tank which studies and reports on and may sponsor projects of sustained economic growth for the Alaskan economy. Mr. Crawford known as the Permanent Fund Defender was a member of the Investment Advisory Committee, appointed by Governor Hammond to plan and execute the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.

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    11 Comments

    1. Most Alaskans probably really don’t know or understand how the PFD really works. The nuts and bolts so to speak are very rusty and only the law makers get enough information to speak about it. Then they’re constantly moving money from here to their and nobody can track it. Finally to bring the normal people up to speed so they can understand it would take a few weeks or intense training. Channel 2 get to work. Its time to start training people and reporting something worth while for a change.

      Thank uou!

    2. If I break, refuse to follow state law, as I am legally bound to, I am prosecutable. The state legislators are “violating” state laws (statutes), and are not being held accountable. A statute is a “law” passed by state, or federal legislators, and the Alaska state legislators are bound to follow those laws. There are no excuses, so how can they just sit there, and pretend that it’s no big deal ?

      • I agree 100%. Article Vlll, section 2 of our state constitution is clear – to everyone that reads it excepting the rogue legislators. “The legislature SHALL provide for the utilization, development, and conservation of All natural resources belonging to the state, including land and waters, FOR THE MAXIMUM BENEFIT OF ITS PEOPLE.” Note – it does Not read ‘for the maximum benefit of the states budget’. It does Not read ‘for the maximum benefit of the legislature’. It is reads: For the maximum benefit of its people! We gave up our individual mineral rights in the 1970’s in exchange for the PFD program to Maximize the developement of our natural resources in an orderly manner – instead of a few making billions – that was spread out for EVERY ALASKAN RESIDENT. Can you imagine any other entity telling its stock holders – ‘sorry we can’t pay your due dividends this year because we spent it all on things that do not benefit all our members…. Fecal matter would hit the fan! It is time we DEMAND our vote be complied with and force the legislature to meet on the road system.

      • Because, ‘They’ can.
        The “unwashed/ungloved” fearful won’t say, a word; nor bring it up except in passing. The Recourse?. . . An Exercise in Futility. “Politics” – a good busines$ for smilers and ‘glad-handers’ that- Like to talk.
        “Loose cannons” needn’t apply. Or if you do, – at your own(+family) risk.

    3. I would like to invite your news organization to attend the Will You Stand AK Chapter event this Saturday in Palmer @ the downtown pavilion to Protest all mandates. This is not event politics as it is about bringing together no matter their politics to share information that isn’t being presented by media outlets, encourage people sith information and R.eources to make a decision that best suits the needs for themselves & their families. We want to encourage people to come together and stand for everyone’s individual rights & tell government that you don’t get to think for us.

    4. It’s becoming increasingly clear that voting doesn’t work.
      Our political class on the local, state, and federal level are corrupt to the core.
      This is reminiscent of the Soviet politburo.
      The winds of revolution are blowing. All it will take is fir the economy to collapse – the the tree of Liberty will be watered by blood of traitors and patriots alike.

    5. If Alaskans fail to even look at their own constitution, how can we ask the right questions concerning a Constitutional Convention? If we fail to know how the PFD works, how can we know what is going on and expect anything but tyranny?
      I sure hope brilliant minds like Crawford and Judge Anna von Reitz do not give up on this state.

      • First we need to secure the vote. I think you’ll see a lot of them fall. At present, we have some apathetic people who don’t think their vote counts. Although I still vote, I am one of them. (As a matter of fact, my vote could actually get turned around and add to the opposing vote.) We need more integrity at the polls or I might not be there in 2022. I was a poll worker. You say recall. Individuals in Save Anchorage started at square one to figure out how to do just that. They know how to do it, but corrupt voting still gets in the way. Changes are happening, but the usual 3% are carrying the load. Shamefully, I am in the 97%.

    6. I don’t understand why we have a problem understanding the permanent fund. The money first came in from the Alaska Pipeline and, thanks to Dick Randolf, was shared 50/50 between the Alaskan Legislature and Alaska Residents. If the Permanent Fund still exists; and I assume it does because the P.F. Office has money at the September deadline; said money should be shared 50/50. However, since the legislature has illegally extended it’s reach, the agreement between the legislature and the people is actually abolished. We should sue for the entire Permanent Fund, make certain we place it in reliable hands, have constant access to information throughout the year, receive an annual statement, and whatever other failsafe we have available to us.

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