Frank McQueary, former co-chair of the Alaska Republican Party posted this brilliant essay on his Facebook page on Thursday. It is reposted with permission.
"It is pretty easy to become schizophrenic when discussing the Permanent Fund Dividend. There is a certain element that wants to look down on those who are clamoring for a full dividend calculated according to the formula which is in statute. The mantra from this group is that the needs of government supercede whatever "shareholder" agreement you might have thought existed.
One of the multitude of reasons listed by those who supported the original concept of the PFD was thatit would increase citizen interest in and involvement in government. Ironically, now that the shareholders are doing exactly that, paying attention, the board of directors (read Legislature) is accusing them of being greedy and endangering the very backbone of government.
As we can see by the split in the Legislature this is not a Republican vs Democrat battle. It is a battle between those who think Government drives the economy and those who think that the private sector, with rational oversight from a rational government, is what creates wealth and ultimately prosperity.
After years of watching Government do stupid things with overflowing budgets, subsidizing all manner of bad behaviors both corporate and individual, the shareholders are getting ready to rein in the profligate spending and self-dealing in the bureaucracy. Call them greedy and stupid if you wish, but their votes will determine who is on the next board of directors.
The Governor's popularity is on the rise, the coalition of both R's and D's who oppose him are going down in popularity....
The University is exposed as top heavy with almost 100
% redundancy between Statewide operation and UA and UF administrations. Do away with the $60 million a year spend on Statewide administration...no one in a class room would know they were gone other than by the fact that the quality of education would probably go up...
In general those who followed the law and went to Wasilla are looking pretty good, while those who wasted time and money with their ill advised retreat to their "safe space" in Juneau don't look nearly as good.
There are a lot of threats going around...I understand Diane Kaplan has been assuring those who voted against funding her collection of non-profits that they will not be getting re-elected. And of course Vince Beltrami, in the vanguard of all the state employee unions is fulminating against the Governor while my friend Tom Begich is licking his chops and trying advance his strategy for a Democratic take over of the Senate.
So guess what guys, that original objective of having the permanent fund dividend increase civic participation is really working. The shareholders are marching and they will vote. I might suggest that those of you who are calling them stupid and greedy: that's not a great way to win votes or arguments."