I've been thinking a lot lately about my friend Mark Begich. I've been hoping to share my heart with him over what I see coming out of Washington, D.C.
It is not a stretch to say I am speaking for tens of thousands of Alaskans when I tell you the policies proposed by our current president terrify me. My fear is if Mr. Obama is successful in implementing all of his radically leftist policies, this country may never recover.
I am disappointed our senator went along with Mr. Obama's pork-filled, special interest-driven, stimulus package. The almost $1 trillion bill does very little to stimulate the job creators in our country but instead is designed to increase government dependency.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the stimulus bill guts most of the historic Welfare Reform Act of the mid '90s. Remember inner city America before this legislation? It was a cesspool of crime and drugs. The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 transformed inner city America and dramatically reduced welfare dependency and child poverty. Obama's stimulus package ends those reforms.
The Heritage Foundation also reports the Begich-supported stimulus law will add nearly $800 billion in new welfare spending over the next decade. If you divide this amount among each family paying income tax it would add $10,000 to their tax bill. It's classic transference of wealth. Classic socialism. Mr. Begich let us down on this one.
Another terrifying Obama proposal is the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. This piece of legislation will do more to take away personal freedom and liberty than any law I've ever seen. Mr. Begich not only supports the bill, he's a co-sponsor of it.
The bill, backed by big labor, would eliminate the secret ballot when workers are deciding if they want to organize. The worst part of it is if union bosses persuade 50 plus 1 percent of employees to sign cards to join a union, the business becomes a union shop. For example, Joe's Pizza shop with 20 employees could become a union business if union bosses persuade 11 of the workers to sign a card to join the union. This means a government-appointed arbitrator would tell Joe how much he pays his employees, the benefits he offers, and the work rules for his employees. In other words Joe will no longer run Joe's Pizza. Once again, it's classic socialism. Let's hope Mr. Begich changes his mind on sponsoring this one.
Remember when Mr. Begich was running he told us we should vote for him because, unlike Sen. Stevens, he would have a seat at the table. His team is in charge and being on the inside, he could stop some of the anti-development policies Democrats are so famous for. Well if ever Mr. Begich is going to live up to that promise, it would be when he votes on the president's $3.5 trillion budget.
Yes, it is true President Obama's budget will increase the deficit in his first 100 days more than Bush did in eight years, even though Bush paid for two wars that liberated 50 million people. What's Obama giving us for the trillions he's spending? More government dependents.
Yes, it is true there is a real danger Obama's unprecedented spending could weaken the dollar to the point our great country will be brought to its knees.
But the reason Mr. Begich should vote against the Obama budget is what it will do to his constituents that depend so heavily on the oil and gas industry.
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama's 2010 budget proposal would slap oil and gas companies with a new excise tax on production and repeal the industry's eligibility for a manufacturing tax credit. The industry says the final cost of Mr. Obama's proposals on petroleum production could top $400 billion, once his plan to put a price on greenhouse-gas emissions is factored in.
What would a $400 billion dollar tax on the oil industry do to Alaska's economy? Devastate it.
Sen. Begich, you are in a unique position to slow down our president's socialization of America and his all-out war on the oil industry. Please, please don't let us down.
Dan Fagan hosts a radio talk show on KFQD AM-750.