Bonus program had a big impact

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, January 02, 2004

Perhaps most of you don't realize what happened to our economy when the governor vetoed the Senior Citizen Longevity Bonus. When looking at the total economic impact, one must conservatively consider the reverberation or recycling of money spent in this state. Each dollar spent is a dollar of revenue to another business. That dollar is used to pay employees, taxes or to buy other goods and services. Each dollar spent thus generates additional spending, which multiplies the economic effect and increases the total value of each city, community or village.

One could use a methodology analysis using a multiplier of three to seven times to measure the total overall impact as recommended by Economics 101. A dollar spent could turn over as many as seven times, since most of the senior citizens spend all their money each month for goods and services. Their check money is not put into a savings account, stocks or travel. By using a conservative multiplier of five to insure that the impact is not overstated, each qualified senior citizen receives $250 per month and spends it all on living expenses, for a total of $3,000 annually. Thus a mass group of approximately 15,000 senior citizens would spend a total of $45 million a year for living expenses. Using a multiplier of five, the total yearly economic impact on the economy to all the cities, communities and villages throughout Alaska amounts to well over $240 million loss each year. (This $240 million amount does not include approximately 2,000 senior citizens who received a smaller Longevity Bonus check of $50 to $200 a month.)

When will our legislators get their heads our of the sand, get off their blessed assurance, get angry and override this veto?

Edward E. Bass


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