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Alaska's Delegation Comments on President's Proposed 2014 Budget


April 10, 2013
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.8 trillion spending blueprint on Wednesday that strives to address runaway deficits, raising taxes on the wealthy, raising taxes on smokers and trimming popular benefit programs including Social Security and Medicare.

Expressing disappointment with untenable cuts to Social Security and the elimination of incentives for energy development, Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) outlined his concerns today about President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget.  The President sent Congress his Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 Wednesday morning.

“I’m disappointed that this budget projects significant annual deficits,” said Begich.  “It doesn’t go after the real issues I hoped we would address like waste and fraud – issues I hear about from Alaskans about on a regular basis.”

Senator Begich said in a press release that he is particularly concerned with elimination of incentives for oil and gas exploration in Alaska - an industry that is critical for the Alaska economy.   “The proposed budget affects oil and gas in a negative way,” said Sen. Begich. “It takes away critical incentives that ensure we continue to grow oil and gas exploration.”

In addition creating obstacles to industry, Begich said the proposed budget jeopardizes already lean Social Security payments to seniors.  “I believe there are ways to streamline Social Security through efficiency - we don’t have to cut benefits to save money,” said Begich.  “This budget puts the burden on the backs of seniors.  Alaskans have paid into this system all their lives and they deserve our support in their golden years.  These kinds of cuts just don’t represent Alaska values and don’t fix the real problem.” 

Senator Begich intends to continue working from his position on the Appropriations Committee to bring smart investment to Alaska while ensuring taxpayer funds are being used efficiently. 

“Alaskans expect the government to deliver a balanced budget that funds programs that help ensure national security, stimulate our economy and support our most vulnerable,” Begich said.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) responded to the budget proposal submitted to Congress by President Obama, originally due for introduction on February 4th, saying: “The President once again is leading from behind, this time leading us deeper into debt.  65 days after his budget was due and two-plus weeks after we voted on the Senate budget, the President is now entering the budget conversation, after the smoke has cleared – with a plan for billions more in tax and spend policy."

 Murkowski said, “Everyone in the country realizes that the current financial path we are on is unsustainable, but the President’s budget would increase our spending by $170 trillion in the first year along. So while the administration claims to be laying out a 10-year plan to reduce spending in the long run, they’re passing the buck – trillions of bucks, actually – to whomever sits in the White House next." 

“It is true that the President has acknowledged the obvious step that I’ve advocated for – that mandatory spending programs must be reformed to make Medicare and Social Security sustainable for the future – but his solution is nip and tuck where we need more substantive reforms," said Murkowski.  "As for taxes, the President continues to push tax hikes on a small number of Americans and scapegoating certain industries when it is clear that we need comprehensive individual and corporate tax reform that is simpler and fairer.”

Alaskan Congressman Don Young (R- Alaska) in a prepared statement said, “Despite the fact that the President took two extra months to prepare a budget proposal, it appears to be more of the same tax and spend agenda we have seen from President Obama over the past four years. If it didn’t work the first four times, why would it work now?"

Young said, “With the presidential elections behind us, I hoped the President would work with Congress and meet us halfway, but instead, he chose to send us a budget that does little to create jobs, weakens our sputtering economy, and leaves us further in debt than when we started. This is not the leadership the American people deserve."

“As a nation, we cannot cut or spend our way to prosperity nor can we tax our way to budget surpluses," said Young. "Two weeks ago, I supported a real budget which eliminates wasteful spending, reforms our tax code, strengthens Medicare, provides for our military and veterans, and does all of this and more while reducing the deficit by $4.6 trillion."

“I’ve always said that the President’s budget proposal is simply that, a proposal," said Young. {It is up to Congress to implement the budget, and I believe that the Ryan budget, which passed the House last month, is a good starting point to putting the country on a sound fiscal path for many years to come."


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

On the Web:

Remarks by the President Announcing the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

Top 10 Things You Need to Know About President Obama's 2014 Budget


Source of News: 

Office of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Office of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich

Office of Congressman Don Young

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