Hypocrisy reigns over dividends

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2006

It has come to our attention recently that our U.S. representatives (Sens. Murkowski and Stevens and Rep. Young) will be exempted from the provisions of HB273. They will continue to receive their dividend payments no matter how many months and years spent living outside. It has also been reported in the Anchorage Daily News that Rep. Weyhrauch, the primary sponsor of HB273, has received an 800 percent increase in his interim per diem payment from 2004 to 2005. These payments are based on claims of hours worked by Rep. Weyhrauch. These payments are paid on the "honor system," (ie: no proof required, no audit conducted, we trust you).

I guess these days in Alaska only the common people (all Alaskans except politicians) can't be trusted, according to many of our legislators, and we must have our dividend payments taken from us if we have to leave the state for an extended period.

For all those Alaskans who do not care about the military, students, disabled vets or the seriously ill having their dividends effectively denied or delayed, just remember the old axiom "divide and conquer." When a sizable chunk of Alaska residents no longer receive their dividend, these same legislators, some of whom have been trying for years to dismantle the permanent fund dividend and access those funds for other purposes, will find a way to come after yours. Truant kids? DWI? Too many speeding tickets? Believe me, if you sit by and idly watch as others lose their dividends, eventually you'll be next.

James Dickson

Fort Richardson

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