Letter to the Editor: Stay out of Alaskans’ finances

When Alaskans need advice on what to do with their money, they will seek out a financial counsellor.

Don’t tell Alaskans what to do with their money

I read where the Legislature is considering not giving Alaskans their lump sum payment of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. They are proposing breaking it down into quarterly payments. I find the reasons for this idea, at the very least, impact the rights of all Alaskans.

Example: I get my entire permanent fund credited to my checking account today. Tomorrow I die. My will states my family gets my assets upon my death, after my liabilities are satisfied. Will my family be authorized to draw the remaining three quarters afterwards? Or, will the state put that money back into the fund; therefore, leaving my family without that earned inheritance?

Sen. Peter Micciche suggests that quarterly payments “will reduce some of the more negative behavior that occurs from a very small subset of the residents of the state when they get a really big check in one place.” Any way you cut it, this rationale punishes the vast majority of Alaskans for the behavior of the very few.

The senator also is quoted as saying, “We believe the smaller quarterly payments will be much more likely to end up in the economy at a higher proportion.” To that I respond, when Alaskans need advice on what to do with their money and where to spend it, they will seek out a financial counsellor.

— Dean Hill, Sterling

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