Thanks, but no thanks, Sen. Mackie

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2000

I am 80 years old and experience has taught me that a free cup of coffee often costs a steak dinner.

Sen. Mackie's plan to give all qualified Alaskans a $25,000 gift from the permanent fund is not 100 percent approved by all as he candidly states. I circulate among many people every day and not one, with whom I have discussed this gift, approves of his plan.

Many see it as a bribe to approve turning over to the Legislature the permanent fund to use for the benefit of the ``elite state bureaucracy.'' Others see it as a plan that would deprive future generations of a chance to improve themselves through education or investment. We could take away the dividend from the high wage-earners by initiating a state income tax which would leave the low wage-earners with something to depend on. This would be more equitable and fair.

I was 6 years old before I had a pair of shoes and by the time I was 12, I had no molars left on my lower jaw. Money in the depression was so scarce that one had to choose between paying $1 to pull a tooth or $2 dollars to have it filled. Like my missing teeth, the Mackie Plan will take from the future the benefits this generation has enjoyed.

John J. Schnabel

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