Vote for true public servants

Posted: Monday, August 18, 2008

I see that a presidential candidate is suggesting that taxes be lowered for the "middle class," that is, people who earn less than $250,000 a year. Let's see, that means people who earn up to $685 every day of the year are "middle class."

As I look around at my own income, the income of my friends and associates in Alaska, how many of us earn $100,000 to $250,000 a year? Sure there are those Alaskans who earn much more in salary and benefits. Some of them are elected government officials. Most of us earn much less.

The bill that the Legislature passed for helping those with high energy and fuel costs was not perfect, but at least it was a start. Should all of us, each individual, get an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend of perhaps $2,000 plus a "resource rebate," of $1,200? That was debated over many hours. We have to live with that decision.

Across the nation, we see individuals who enter public office with a moderate amount of savings, then leave their offices as millionaires. Is this what our founding fathers had in mind, that "public service" was to be the path to personal wealth?

Fortunately, in my opinion, we have many good elected public officials, who do indeed give up much of their time, efforts, family life and income to serve us. Then we have those individuals whose greed has led them to use their positions for personal gain.

I want to thank our Legislature for doing what most, that is, a majority, thought was best for all Alaskans. Not all legislators agreed with the decisions, but that is what representative government is all about.

In this major election year, I hope that each and every one of us goes to the polls, votes intelligently, being well-informed, and supports those who have proven over the years that they truly are willing to sacrifice for "public service," and throw out of office those who have used those positions for personal gain.

Now let's see - those of us whose income is well below $250,000 a year, who will represent us in the cities and rural areas? We may not be "middle class," but we are voters. Please, all of you who make less than $250,000 please raise your hands, and then go to the ballot booth and vote.

Wally Olson

Auke Bay

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