First, it was Senate President Cathy Giessel and her merry band of Permanent Fund dividend pirates on the hunt for ways to put government spending ahead of Alaskans’ receiving their annual piece of Alaska’s oil riches.

Now, it is Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz looking for a piece of the dividend pie at Alaskans’ expense.

As Anchorage pushes hard for a sales tax of some sort to prop up spending, Berkowitz is suggesting a “community dividend” that would go directly from the dividend pool to communities as a way to replace waning state revenue-sharing.

He says such a dividend would allow the state to shift more services to local governments. The split as he sees it? Berkowitz suggests 45 percent of the structured draw from the Alaska Permanent Fund should go to dividends, with another 45 percent going to state government, and 10 percent — or about $300 million — going to his proposed “community dividend.”

The 1982 statute laying out how the dividend is to be calculated is clear. It gives half the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve for dividends. Former Gov. Bill Walker ignored the law and the calculation, as have legislatures in the past few years. The result? Alaskans have gotten about the half the dividend amount they should have.

Now, here is another government gambit to put local spending ahead of Alaskans when it comes to the dividends. Enough. The dividend was not designed to pump money into government coffers. It was meant for Alaskans as a way of building a constituency to protect the Permanent Fund corpus from greedy politicians.

Its purpose was clear from Day One, even if Giessel, Berkowitz, et al., do not seem to get it.

3 Responses to Really?

  1. Dave January 8, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Ok Berky time for you and yours to lead by example
    Sign your name and your friends and families name on a document to be displayed for the public to see that you are giving your pfd up forever to be used by the overtaxed people of Anchorage and support the homeless dregs of society.
    You won’t do it Leading by example is never an acceptable proposition by thieves
    Oh and congratulations are in order Berky The grade you are given as Mayor is an F
    Wow an F in a district that has earned the worst education system in all of America
    You da man

  2. John London January 8, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Is this not the typical Wrong Think Full lib socialist playbook scenario?

    The minority (government workers) are more important than the general majority population.

    We see this mentally deranged – what they refer to as “democracy” across the spectrum of leftist thought and action.

    Extreme minority identity politics are more important than the majority.

    Rights of extreme minorities are more important -again- than the majority, although no one has earned any rights, except to say that they have earned them.

    Same goes for the PFD – no one has earned the PFD (in theory) because they are a rebate for the huge high cost of living here for the average Alaskan. Not a guarantee gravy train for overpaid and protected in every way government workers who tend to vote left.

  3. Fred Flintstone January 9, 2020 at 9:06 am

    One of the headlines this morning talks about Alaska’s population decline. We have fewer people than a year ago.

    So when is the size of government going to shrink to match?

    If our politicians were honest they’d already be hard at work doing exactly this. Instead they’re looking for more ways to squeeze the ones that actually work and pay taxes.


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