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A Warning to Alaskans
by Representative Vic Kohring


April 24, 2006

After watching Congress and the Legislature over the last dozen years, it has been interesting to observe their perilous similarities.

Both bodies are spending vast amounts of money. The Feds are pouring hundreds of billions into two ongoing wars, and have racked up the largest deficits in U.S. history. Our Legislature is proposing the biggest operating budget since statehood. They are also planning on taking huge tax sums (one to three billion dollars) from the oil industry.

Supporters define these taxes as "adjustments," which will have the effect of creating a growing chain of taxing and spending, fueling even more government. Congress and the Legislature are close to violating basic principles found in the Republican Party Platform: Limited government from minimal spending, restrict funding to constitutionally mandated programs, and low taxes.

Currently in Juneau, the debate isn't whether or not to tax. Instead, it's to decide how many billions more should be taken from Alaska oil companies. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any serious, organized opposition in the Legislature. It's as if history is destined to repeat itself in the rush to give government more money.

In the past, on both the state and federal levels, there were often diametrically opposed political philosophies. There was a time when you saw a clear distinction between anti-tax proponents versus the pro-tax side. That has changed. Now nearly everyone is pro-tax. We have the acute pro-taxers (1 billion) and the extreme pro-taxers (3 billion).

Do we see a dramatic battle between Jeffersonian advocates who are keenly aware of how dangerous big government can be...versus Hamiltonian, pro-big government, tax advocates in the halls of Congress and the Legislature? Seldom. The battle has now evolved into two groups who both wish to take big bites out the private sector.

Who is defending the taxpayer?

Each year, the situation inexorably worsens. With the best of intentions, politicians are jeopardizing your individual liberty and economic security. The idea of a nation where government promotes freedom and stays out of people's lives instead of dictating business and cultural decisions is a dwindling theory.

America became a wealthy and powerful country because for many years it maintained little government. Gradually this legacy has been voted away by well-meaning men in suits and ties.

My sense of history and economics calls out to warn you. Don't let this happen. I don't intend to be a part of it.

About: Representative Vic Kohring is a member of the 24th Alaska State Legislature representing District 14 - Wasilla.



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Ketchikan, Alaska