Opinion: UBI is needed for all Alaskans

Biden should support a Universal Basic Income of $500 per month for each Alaskan adult.

  • Sunday, November 22, 2020 7:30am
  • Opinion

By Chris Bush

During the final presidential debate, Joe Biden said twice that he would transition the United States off of fossil fuels.

Such a transition will be disruptive to Alaskan residents, who rely on the Permanent Fund Dividend to help make ends meet in a beautiful but rugged state.

According to vox.com, “Alaska deposits at least 25 percent of mineral royalties — revenue the state generates from its mines, oil, and gas reserves — into the fund annually.”

Former Gov. and Sen. Frank Murkowski had this to say about what would happen to the Permanent Fund Dividend if oil revenues were cut off: “Less oil production means less state revenue. Less state revenue ultimately means no Permanent Fund dividend.”

Joe Biden needs to make the people of Alaska whole for a reduction in the Permanent Fund Dividend when the country transitions to renewables.

Biden should support a Universal Basic Income of $500 per month for each Alaskan adult. For a family of four with two kids under 18, the UBI would come to $12,000, more than 300% above heir share of the dividend.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski should demand that Biden back such a UBI. Furthermore, once that happens, Murkowski should join her allies in the Trinity — hat’s Lisa, Mitt Romney, and Susan Collins — to caucus with the Democrats to replace Mitch McConnell, since Mitch opposes a UBI.

Alaska’s UBI can be a test case for the rest of the country.

Nationally, a UBI can be paid for via tax multipliers of 81% and a microtax of four-hundredths of 1% on company and derivative assets.

• Chris Bush is treasurer for the Committee for a Much Better America.

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