Dignity for seniors

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

Some of the legislators have justified ending the Longevity Bonus because it is "senior welfare." The governor's "safety net" was explained to a room full of seniors April 16 at Mountain View Apartments. The "safety net" is welfare, for sure - quoted straight out of the public assistance literature! There has to be a special place in the afterlife for such creative language.

The difference: With the bonus, they can hold their heads up! This bill will devastate an Alaska treasure! They are worth more than gold to the state. They continue to work in volunteer positions, including acting as foster grandparents in our schools. They tell our children what it was like in the early days. They got Alaska to where it is today! They stayed through boom and bust and even an earthquake that in most places would have set things back a quarter of a century.

Here's the bottom line: Some are already saying they will have to leave. When they go, they will take the money they do have with them, and probably manage fairly well. The dollars sure won't be floating around Alaska, boosting the economy. If they stay, they will get the bonus money through public assistance! So, maybe a handful luck out and get a little more with the Longevity Bonus. Well, I say it is just pay for getting Alaska to this point. And if some of our higher ups would consult with them, we probably wouldn't be in the mess we are in today! Send them an "advice form" to complete, and pay them for their advice with the bonus. Consider it settling a debt. In addition, you would be keeping your word, you know, the promise legislators made for the final solution, which arranged phasing out the program in 1994. I believe the youngest person on the program is 72 years of age, so it won't take them long to die.

Doris Robbins


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