Trump takes aim at Denali Commission, cites Permanent Fund Dividend

President Donald Trump is trying again to stop federal funding for the Denali Commission and offering an argument that will become more common in the years ahead

The White House says, as it did a year ago, that any state that can afford to pay its residents an annual dividend doesn't need a "unique and additional federal subsidy" such as the commission.

The Trump budget cites the Alaska Department of Revenue in a footnote for its claim about the dividend, but it misquotes the amount of the 2017 dividend as $1,884. That was the amount in 2014, before the oil price collapse. The 2017 dividend, approved by the governor and the Legislature, was $1,100.

This argument—that Alaska gives money to people and has no taxes, so where does it get off going to the federal government seeking subsidies—has rarely been mentioned so directly as a reason to end a program. The Alaska Congressional delegation will likely object.

Trump wants to cut $10 million of $17 million, with the difference to allow an "orderly closure."

Trump proposed eliminating the Denali Commission last year as well, but it and 18 other agencies did not get cut. Many of these are on the hit list again, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


Dermot Cole1 Comment