Poor need dividends

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2004

I see things differently than Dr. Riederer described in his letter.

Gov. Murkowski gave tax cuts to the oil companies while raising the cost of business licenses to $200 per year. I drive taxi to supplement my school bus income. Because of the new price, I have to quit driving taxi. The state will not get $200 from me for a business license and my income will plummet. My rent will go down, and I will be back on food stamps, costing the state thousands of dollars.

The longevity bonus was cut to our seniors. Those with healthy retirements and nice homes may not miss it but many seniors are not so fortunate. Without that bonus, they will either hit the welfare rolls or starve to death rather than deal with the indignity of applying for public assistance. This is fiscal sanity?

Now the governor wants our PFDs. Some may be able to survive without a PFD and they are welcome to refuse to file but for many of the abject poor, it is the only way they can pay bills. I understand Dr. Riederer has probably never patronized a homeless shelter. For those of us living below poverty level, however, every little pittance we get is hungrily needed.

It is said that he who intends to cut the throats of many should begin with his own. Where are the pay and per diem cuts for the governor? This should be the first place for budget cuts. Not long ago the Legislature voted themselves a 100 percent pay increase. Where's the 50 percent decrease to counter that? When my family's income goes down, I starve before my child. The governor has done the opposite and shown himself for the oil company puppet he is. Oil money elected him and only the oil companies and the wealthy have benefited from his administration.

Rather than support an income tax, he has preferred to tap into the permanent fund and the pockets of the poor. Obviously a government of the money, by the money and for the money. Far too many poor fail to vote, for whatever reason. I urge the poor to get out and vote. There are more of us than we realize and only then will our voices be heard.

Rayda L. Renshaw

Juneau



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