Reality Check w/ John Tracy: Battle over our PFD – Will it be ice cream or gas?
Would you give up your PFD check if it was needed to balance the state’s budget?
Here’s what I want you to imagine: A car is 20 miles from home and almost out of gas. In the car are mom and dad, and three kids in the back seat.
They have two dollars. They can either spend it on gas and get home safely or they can buy the kids ice cream cones.
So they put it to a vote inside the car. One person, one vote. Democracy.
This democratic ideal may be put to the test this fall, if some lawmakers have their way.
We’re hearing the first suggestions from Juneau that any plan to change the Permanent Fund should be put to voters in the form of a Constitutional Amendment.
Plans that would likely reduce the amount of the Permanent Fund Dividend.
So how do you think that vote would go?
If it were held today, I imagine it might go the same as it did in 1999, when voters were last asked to weigh in on a similar plan.
This is from the State Division of Elections page: When Alaskans were asked if they supported a “Long Term Financial Plan,” 83% of us said “NO.”
We chose the ice cream.
As Americans, we elect citizens “whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country.”
Those words, by the way, were written by a fellow by the name of James Madison. He was in that group we call the Framers of our Constitution.
Tell me, when is the last time you voted on a national ballot initiative?
The fact is, you haven’t. Because the Framers did not believe the average citizen had the time to develop the wisdom necessary to decide on complex issues.
That’s why we elect our fellow citizens to do it for us. The ones we pay to understand the issues, see the big picture and make the hard decisions.
The House Majority of the Alaska Legislature this week announced they will focus only on issues related to the fiscal gap until it’s solved.
And minority Democrats are proposing to share responsibility for tough choices in exchange for a seat at the table.
These are positive signs that lawmakers won’t pass the buck.
Let’s trust them to do what they told us they were capable of in their job interview.
Because if you leave it to us in the back seat, we’ll choose ice cream every time.
It’s their job to get us all home safely.
John’s opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.
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