The Alaska Permanent Fund and Dividend is under threat again from the politicians. Alaska only deposits 25% of their money from oil into the Permanent Fund. The balance 75% is the largest funding source for the budget. The commodity boom resulted in a large increase in the budget. Expenditure increased with a lag from less than $3 bn in 2005 to over $7 bn in 20013. With the commodity crash in 2012, the expenditure has to go below $2 bn. This volatility is caused by a flaw in government accounting (treating the sale of mineral assets as revenue) that is the subject of an online petition, “A simple accounting change that will save countless lives.”
Alaska is one of the few states in the US without an income tax. With the enormous budget deficit, Alaskan politicians are looking to loot the Permanent Fund, instead of the more painful option of imposing taxes. That’s where the Permanent Fund Defenders come in. A non-partisan group of grassroots activists, some of whom were part of an earlier defense of the Permanent Fund in the 1990s. They are insisting that any changes to the Permanent Fund or Dividend must be voted upon by the people.
Basic Income Earth Network recently reported on Permanent Fund Defenders. The article has a couple of nice explanatory videos, well worth a view.