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Right mix of cuts, tax reform needed to tackle deficit

Posted: October 17, 2012 - 2:21pm

Over the last two weeks, I have met with Alaskans from all over the state. Whether it’s at a town hall meeting or the grocery store, Alaskans often come around to the same two questions: How did we as a country get into this trillion-dollar deficit mess? How do we get out of it?

The first answer is easy. The second is difficult, but not impossible.

Both political parties are to blame. Beltway “group think” got us here and Democrats and Republicans alike played along. Turns out it’s not free to wage two wars halfway around the world, launch a massive new prescription drug plan and give major tax breaks to everyone millionaires. You just can’t balance a budget that way.

How we fix it starts with Congress My colleagues must recognize we are truly out of time and that this is the time to come together because the consequences of inaction are so dire.

We’re facing the so-called fiscal cliff because we’ve put off tough decisions for too long. It’s like crashing your mom’s car — telling her will be painful either way but the pain worsens the longer you wait.

It’s time to tackle the government’s bottom line with an understanding of your family’s bottom line. If Congress doesn’t pass a responsible plan after the elections, this country faces a grim forecast. Taxes will go up for everyone. And because last year’s deficit talks stalled out, the first round of $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts begins.

To some, that might sound good. But because this fallback plan involves no new tax revenue, the cuts will be deep and severe: Major reductions in defense spending, fisheries management, schools, oil and gas permitting, heating assistance – the list is long.

Resolving this will take sacrifice. Even a moderate deficit-reduction plan must include cuts to important services, and also some new taxes for those who can best afford them. We’ll still face a smaller cliff, but through bipartisan compromise we can make the landing smoother.

Along with budget cuts the package must include tax reform and smart investments to build the economy. All federal agencies will have to be part of the solution — no free passes.

Here are some of my ideas for budget cuts: A continued pay freeze for members of Congress; taking back unspent “orphaned” earmarks; ending a wasteful $400 million mobile missile-defense system the military doesn’t want; winding down the $700 million program that bailed out major banks. You can see more of my ideas at begich.senate.gov.

On tax reform, we need to protect the middle class while asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. I am working on a bipartisan bill with Senators Wyden and Coats to simplify the tax code, hold down rates for families and provide tax relief for businesses to invest and grow.

Our bill creates a single corporate tax rate, lowering it from 35 percent to 24 percent. For families and individuals, it lowers and replaces six tax brackets with just three.

It protects mortgage, retirement and other tax incentives to give families financial security, and also encourages investment by protecting capital gains. Under our bill, American families can file their taxes on a simple one-page form.

The final piece of deficit reduction involves smart investments to grow our economy — in education, infrastructure and energy. This will make us competitive worldwide, create new jobs, and bring back jobs from overseas.

We can do all of this because the economy is slowly coming back. When I came into office the economy was hemorrhaging over 700,000 jobs a month. Today, the stock market is above 13,000; unemployment is below 8 percent for first time since the recession; housing starts are up and consumer confidence is improving. If we’re smart about deficit-reduction we can keep building on these positive trends

A steadily strengthening American economy is the best answer of all. We can get out of this trillion-dollar mess by working together to build a responsible budget, a fair tax system and a platform of investments to spur continued economic growth.

Mark Begich represents Alaska in the U.S. Senate.

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KenaiKardinal88
396
Points
KenaiKardinal88 10/19/12 - 12:28 pm
1
2
Barf Alert

Begich voted for all of Obama's garbage which has killed the American Dream for at least one generation. Whoever gave Begich this forum to come off as a "fiscal conservative" is lying to the public.

Begich is a liberal Democrat, he's nasty and his friends the Union thugs in Anchorage have shilled for him forever.

Dump this idiot.

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 10/18/12 - 06:09 pm
1
2
ditto

You can tell when the big-itch is lying his lips move and sounds come forth

robert white
378
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robert white 10/19/12 - 05:28 am
1
1
Begich

Mark is part of the problem, here's a man who sold out the Anchorage tax payers in order to gain votes. Mark has no business in Washington and if he really cared about Alaska he wouldn't run for re election!!!!

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 10/19/12 - 03:44 pm
2
1
Save this Phone #

Friday 10/19/12
All of You OBAMA BASHERS & HATERS

Save this Phone cuz You are going to need it :

Cottonwood Behavioral Health 260-3691

Better make a appt. now & beat the crowds.

You are going to be so very very up-set when

PRESIDENT OBAMA is RE-ELECTED next Month !

Now calm down, check your blood pressure cuz You are about to Give Yourself a STROKE w/ all of that Hate & Rage.

SPW"Airborne"

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/19/12 - 04:52 pm
1
2
SPW Don't loose that number, it's the only one you want.

Very Good SPW. I'm glad to see you still have that number that you have offered to many over the last 2 months. It must be your special little number for times like these.

Did you by chance see where the trial has started for the Ft. Hood american Patriot, soldier that shoot his fellow unarmed soldiers because he wanted to spread his forced democratic beliefs to others that did not vote for the same messiah he does?
What a mess this sanctioned politico-religious democracy is spreading globally as well as in America to the point of everyone has rights under OUR Constitution except true Americans that don't want to change our old hope & beliefs for this new hope thingy.

My point of the Ft. Hood shooter is that all things are not as they appear and we all had better be on guard and not be Duped in to a complacient attitude as we see that Blue on Green killing spree thats coming to America by those that we are supposed to trust as allies, or fellow Americans rushing on us like a Tsunami ment to cover over and drown us all.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 10/19/12 - 05:36 pm
2
1
WoW 10/19/12

Jerry Baty, You really do need some Help. call 260-3691

When you refer to USArmy Major NIDAL HASAN as a American Patriot.

This U S Army Officer planned, BETRAYED then MURDERED 13 Fellow SOLDIERS & WOUNDED 32 more SOLDIERS at Ft. Hood, Texas November 5th,2009.

Democratic beliefs had nothing to do with this Murder.

Extreme Religious Fanatic Nidal Hasan committed these Murders. Yes this was a Terrorist Attack.

If there was ever justification for DEATH by FIRING SQUAD This is It. He refuses to shave his beard for Religious reasons & that has delayed his Court Martial once again.

A Family Member died at the local V A Hospital near Ft. Hood
from Agent Orange. I have been there many times & I follow this Court Martial very closely. This is not some far off distant event, This is Close to Home.

SPW "Airborne"

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/19/12 - 06:50 pm
1
2
SPW I agree with you

Spw i agree with you my point was that this person is one that we all should have been able to trust and we could not as seen by his desire to remove and harm all that believed differant than he did.
Democratic beliefs do have to do with this mans actions, that is twisted Democratic beliefs which now say that he has the right to do what he did and the victims have no rights due to the revised laws thanks to liberals wanting everyone to have it their way.
My opinion is if he wants to go see allah, let him, why waste time and money and cause more pain and suffering to those families that have suffered from his actions as an American soldier against other American soldiers.
My point was that many that fain National Freedoms afforded us all under OUR Constitution have been highjacked, resulting in a sence of who can you trust when depending on other men. Politico-religious actions have always killed and tried to control humans and it will never change and what you think you know, is not really what is known or evident.

SPW i am sorry for your lose of Family from the Nam war, and i really don't hate you, i am only trying to get you to see that simple desire you have to restrict people from getting their PFD's because they don't vote can lead to other areas of control and eventually will and it's not a good idea.
Have a GR8 weekend Steve P Wright and what say we fight for Good of America and OUR Constitutional Rights afforded us under Gods protective hand, rather than Party.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 10/19/12 - 07:21 pm
1
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SPW you said

Spw i do have one more question for you in referance to Nadal Hasan being a religious terriorist which is not permitted by OUR leader as a politically correct thing to do any longer.
When OUR Leader says that this religion that Nadal espouses is a Good religion sent down from heaven and that there is no excuse for anyone to offend this peaceful religion or it's false prophet, then we have a problem Houston.
Steve this religion is not peaceful nor does it mean peace, but rather it means submit & obey, or else we will force you to or kill you all for not doing so.
Our Leader may have attended the very same Madrasa as Hasan and learned that Islam is the only true religion and all others are to be done away with and what we see from his actions against all other religions for the promotion of Islam over all others, there is a major problem for ALL AMERICANS.
Why do you think America is in many places doing nothing other that making these people mad, do you really think it's for democracy? It's not Democracy, it's ment to continually stir the pot and cause Obedient Muslims to act out what the Quran tells them to do which is kill everyone that rejects Islam and submit to Sharia Islamic law, all according to the Qurans commands whic Obama says is a Good thing.
All religions are not the same and many false ones have come to destroy and wipe out what God said was the acceptable way to him. Ever since Christ differant religions have killed everyone that refused thei New Way, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike and it goes back and forth to this day and will continue until God says ENOUGH, and judgment comes againsts all these ungodly false worshipers that wanted it their way.
Look at what OUR leader has said and is doing and see if what i speak is not correct with whats going down daily world wide and coming to America any day now.
Have a GR8 weekend Steve.

gfds98765
1013
Points
gfds98765 10/19/12 - 07:42 pm
1
1
spwright10/19/12 - 05:36

spwright10/19/12 - 05:36 pm
well said, a relief to hear a democrat deny this terrorist.
You compatriots called it "workplace violence" (Land of Goshen)

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 10/20/12 - 07:32 pm
0
0
SPW

Which country's service did you serve in. The one I served in in the 60's was fighting against people backed by a socialist country. Just something to think about

leewaytooo
1617
Points
leewaytooo 10/22/12 - 02:19 am
2
0
"the U.S. federal government

"the U.S. federal government will spend almost $100 billion on corporate welfare during fiscal year 2012."

"state and local governments provide $40–70 billion annually in economic development incentives."

"companies that benefit from these policies are just as dependent on the government as the guy who gets the earned-income tax credit. And, when Romney concentrates his fire on the latter rather than on the former, it makes you wonder if his problem isn’t with government assistance per se, but only with government assistance to poor and working people. Romney may say that he wants small government, but what he’s pushing for is a government that’s small when it comes to helping people and big when it comes to helping business."

repukes the party of lies, liars and hypocrites

leewaytooo
1617
Points
leewaytooo 10/22/12 - 02:42 am
2
0
"Vetoes don’t scream

"Vetoes don’t scream bipartisanship, and Romney had so many of them that it’s obvious he was on bad terms with the legislators from both parties as Governor. All told, Romney issued 800 vetoes in his one term as Governor. 800. Nearly all of them were overridden – 707 to be exact. Romney doesn’t mention that part in his “I like vetoes” ad"

"In fact, Romney didn’t like having to work with Democrats so much that he spent his first two years trying to change the party makeup of the legislature and when those efforts failed, he pulled a Palin. That is to say, he gave up. He was gone – out of state – for 212 days of his last year. "

"Romney told the Boston Globe that he was giving up on party building, “From now on, it’s me-me-me.”

repukes the party of lies, liars and hypocrites.

and the misting myth that will never tell the truth....

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 10/22/12 - 04:08 am
2
2
lieway

Why should he work with the dumbocrats? Then they would both be wrong.
The dumbocrats are the party of traitors and cowards

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/22/12 - 07:15 am
0
2
Surely you don't actually think either one has a Good plan do U?

I am still amazed at how most actually think there is a Major differance between END GAME IDEALS from either party.
THERE ARE NO DIFFERANCES BETWEEN PARTIES END GAME DESIRES.
There is no solution to this Economic fiscal cliff we have gone over, NONE, neither party will rescue us from the desired crumbling of America as a Soverign nation into a World UNION.
If any of you would just look at 1948, the yr Israel became a Nation again after almost 2000 yrs of dispersion around the world and also look at all the formations of differant Societies aimed at the formation of a World Order to be ruled by 1 ruler and 1 religion leading to Revelation 13;
1948 was the Hinge of History as well as the count down, or up to the final world government of men and satan at the End of the Age, or Era, dispensation of Time we are now seeing come to a close at the end of 2012.
Gods is in total control and is allowing the affairs of men to play out for his Glory, not mankinds or satans.

NO MAN MADE GOVERNMENTS WILL RESCUE ANYONE, NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL.

leewaytooo
1617
Points
leewaytooo 10/23/12 - 02:33 am
1
1
"You missed the worst of the

"You missed the worst of the Romney plan. When Romney addressed the Brockton students, the state tuition was about $1,500 while fees and room and board accounted for the rest of the $15,000 annual cost. When you cite the current costs “$1,700 per year….(not including) fees, which can be several thousand dollars more in Massachusetts, or room and board.” it doesn’t touch the scope of the problem. A 10 percent off coupon is not a good financial aid package. Mass. state schools had already been offering “needs based” packages. The Adams scholarship would be deducted from the “need” shown by the student’s family. In effect, the 10 percent coupon didn’t exist for less affluent students while wealthier families who wouldn’t qualify for financial aid got a $1500 “gift” at taxpayers expense. At the same time, Romney approved a plan to reneg on multi year scholarships already granted to students studying to be teachers. After getting that scholarship for just one year, my daughter was informed that the money wasn’t available any longer. Don’t you just hate it when politicians “redistribute the wealth”?"

repukes the party of lies, liars and hypocrites

leewaytooo
1617
Points
leewaytooo 10/23/12 - 02:58 am
1
1
Obama was right

"Asked about the effectiveness of his administration's Iran nuclear sanctions, Obama took a swipe directly at the former Massachusetts governor, saying "The fact is, while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, [Romney was] still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector."

Obama was right, but according to a recent tally by Mother Jones, the president actually underestimated the scale of investment by Romney's trusts in the country the former Massachusetts governor has pledged to label "a currency manipulator" on his first day in office.

While Obama cited only one oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the Romneys' 2010 and 2011 tax returns show investments in at least 10 Chinese companies, a total investment of at least $391,800.

Among them were New Oriental Education and Technology, a company in which the Romneys' blind trusts invested nearly $60,000. New Oriental is famous for stealing copyrighted U.S. academic tests, and was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by a Chinese court for it.

In what could prove an awkward point for Romney post-debate, the issue of intellectual property theft came up repeatedly on Monday, and Romney railed against the Chinese, who, he said "are stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods."

Other Chinese companies the Romneys' trusts have invested in include Youku.com and Tencent Holdings -- two huge Internet companies -- and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, an Asian stock exchange holding company that the Romneys nearly doubled their money on."

repukes the party of lies, liars and hypocrites

the misting myth is a flim flam used junk car liar.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/23/12 - 07:39 am
1
2
Leewaytoo, sounds like we see the same things

Amazing how we both see the exact same things coming from BOTH candidates kind of, only trouble is i see it from both and you see it from the Repub only.
I would give the lead to Romney as far as lies are concerned as he showed Obama could not remember any of his past and when it was rehearsed to him Obama called Romney a lier every time.
But when one does search out the transcripts as Obama said to do, then we ALL can see that Romney was correct and that Obama was in fact the Lier in Chief.
Our community organizer has no idea of how to command a nation or anything else and the last 4 yrs shows that.
Will Romney do better? I don't know, but we sure can't take 4 more yrs of this shoving us off that cliff economically, nor the stripping of our freedoms as a Soverign people, the ONLY ONES LEFT.
The lesser of TWO EVILS is how we must vote and Romney fits that bill for me.

About this article, i look at Begich like i do many other candidates, if his lips are moving or not and there is sound coming out then you had better be weary & search out what you hear because it will probably be BS.

Norseman
2962
Points
Norseman 10/24/12 - 12:03 pm
0
0
Trying to bring about

Trying to bring about compromise in our government is what we expect our politicans to do. Thank you Mr Begich for trying to achieve that.

When we have the Republican leaders declare on national TV that they will do everything necessary to make President Obama a one term president, we ALL suffer. When they state, "We hope he fails" what does that say about their attitudes toward our country? That is what we expect from North Korea or Iran, not from fellow Americans. Ignorant and disgusting is what it is and we all suffer because of it.

They did EVERYTHING to BLOCK EVERY SINGLE item on every agenda. Instead of doing what we elected them to do, which is work together as a TEAM and keep our country moving forward, we instead have such viscious divisiness that nothing gets done.

Look at the approval rating of congress....7% approval, which stands as the worst rating since we became a country! Do nothing congress.

We as a country need leaders like Mr Begich who are WILLING to come together across party lines and work together to solve the problems we a nation face. The countries that hate our guts must love the fact that we have reached a level of complete and total refusal to work together. I am ashamed of those politicans who refuse to work across party lines. Both demo's and repub's.

Keep up the good work Senator Begich!

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