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Posted: Monday, October 29, 2012 11:29 pm | Updated: 11:51 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Oct. 27, 2012

To the editor:

This not an opinion on the oil tax structure in the state. Frankly, I do not understand the formulas.

With all of the concern about the oil company profits, it seems appropriate to take a sagacious look at how, with a little foresight, personal responsibility and minimal self-sacrifice, we as individuals could have negated the effects of these high heating bills and participated in the oil company profits.

One can Google the Exxon investment calculator and simply input $1,000 invested in 1982 to find the present value. For those without Internet access, a one-time investment of the original Permanent Fund dividend of $1,000 would be worth $24,233.19 today. The return on that initial investment would be 2,322 percent or approximately 80 percent per year; just imagine the possibilities of a more aggressive approach. I suspect that an 80 percent return is more than Exxon makes, and it takes the risk and does all of the work.

The total of all Permanent Fund checks each person has received to date is approximately $34,000, averaging approximately $1,100 per year. It was only $878 this year. A person who made that one-time investment would now have their own personal “permanent fund” with an annual dividend of $613.00 or 60 percent per year return on a cost basis. With most households consisting of more than one person, it’s not hard to see how that one-time investment would exceed short-term stipends for heat subsidies.

It appears that our legislators believe it is their responsibility to make sure that we have affordable heat by spending our “seed corn.” A better approach might be for our legislators to oversee a savings plan for us; sort of like social security. Yikes!

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