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The people are the government

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To the editor: I am writing to urge all Alaskans to take a strong stand against putting the PFD into Alaska’s state Constitution. I remember the late Judge Tom Stewart emphasizing that the Constitution was different from the by-laws of a garden club. To modify the Constitution is a big deal, it certainly should not be done to improve the political fortunes of some individuals.

Joe Paskvan wrote an excellent article about why the PFD does not belong in Alaska’s Constitution. It was published in Fairbanks (Aug. 22, 2021) and Anchorage (Aug. 25, 2021).

With the PFD in Alaska’s Constitution, the U.S. would have one state that sends money out to all residents, provides free services, collects no taxes, gives away its resources, and wonders why it can’t balance its budget.

The recent 50/50 idea of giving half of the earnings of the Permanent Fund to the people and half to the government is foolish; the people are the government, and the government exists to serve the people. Our Legislature appropriates funds through the legislative process. If the Constitution required mailing out a specific amount of money it would interfere with the basic function of the Legislature.

In 1863 our 16th president said we have “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” That statement makes the 50/50 plan absurd.

Let’s remember Lincoln’s priceless description of our government; it is not “the problem,” it is a rare gem on this planet, and we are privileged to have it.


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