Permanent fund an idea worth recreating

Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2000

Alaskan residents should consider themselves bankers, or at least voices in deciding exactly how to wed the permanent fund earnings and the daydream of a financially independent state government.

The initial investment of the permanent fund was less than $1 million, and today we have 28 billion reasons to be creative enough to insure the greatest possible benefit for today's and tomorrow's Alaskans.

Imagine if the Legislature were to borrow, say, $1 billion from the fund, (to be repaid long term, at a modest interest rate, of course), for the purpose of funding state services from their own earnings account. Potential terms of that loan could include the establishment of a new permanent fund earnings account for Alaskan's modeled after the existing program.

And how about the city of Juneau, or Anchorage, or Fairbanks, or any other town or village in Alaska. Local services could potentially be financed from earnings of their own funds sponsored by loans from Alaska's residents.

The possibility of many annual permanent fund checks could exist in this scenario.

State residents could accomplish enormous good for our communities and still retain complete control of the value of the permanent fund portfolio.

The future of Alaska would be one where no local or state taxes are necessary. No property tax to finance local services, no bond issues, no shortfalls, no cutbacks, and an annual barrage of dividend checks from the many Permanent Fund investment programs funded by low interest loans from Alaskans for Alaska.

We would be giving up nothing, yet gaining significant freedoms. Now I'd vote for that.

Michael Hoyle

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