Why not trust voters?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Listening to the news and watching the legislators work over the winter, and now in a special session, I really have to wonder; what are they are afraid of? From what I understand the governor is simply asking the legislators to put the percent of maket value plan on the ballot this November. Why not? It gives us time to investigate the possibilities and then make an informed decision, and seems a simple thing to ask. We either vote for or against; so why all the whining from our elected officials when asked to put forth a little effort? We need to keep track of those lawmakers who wish to do nothing while here in Juneau and remember them at voting time. Seems the POMV should at least be looked at by the people; after all, would you rather be taxed? Not me.

The permanent fund is for Alaskans; so let's use it responsibly by continuing to invest properly and make it work for us. For instance, why can't we use some of it and set up a similar fund that is dedicated to schools? I understand there is $26 billion in the fund; can you imagine if we take just one-26th of that and manage it with the same success? We could then divide the proceeds (and only the proceeds) for each school district in the state. Who knows, maybe one day the legislators would not be faced with financing our schools. But then perhaps that is the problem; the legislators would feel they were not needed. Hmmm. Not a bad idea.

Why stop there? Wouldn't it also be nice to fund public safety, transportation and public projects etc. in the same manner? All it takes is leaders who are interested in doing good things for Alaskans - not for personal gain or political parties. Sure, our dividend checks may be a bit smaller for a while, but in the end they will grow. What an opportunity. Let's not miss it.

Shane Stephenson


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