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America’s healthcare system needs reform but Obamacare is not the reform we need. I will work to repeal Obamacare. Already businesses across the country are dropping coverage for spouses, cutting back hours for their employees and insurance premiums are up. Their idea: more government dependence. This is unacceptable. Obamacare is making it harder for Alaskans to support their families and it is a dangerous program that we cannot afford.
Real healthcare reform must be bipartisan and encourage innovation and competition in the healthcare system. We need to empower individuals with choices, not burden them with more government mandates and more government dependence.
The President has a pipeline problem and it is not just called Keystone. Misguided federal energy and environmental policies have been devastating to Alaska and our country. The Trans-Alaska oil pipeline is running less than one-third full. Under President Obama, exploration in the Arctic has slowed to a crawl and the acreage for exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska has been cut in half. I know Alaska can be the engine that drives America. I will fight to give Alaskans the opportunity to explore Alaska and develop the natural resources that are crucial to our country. We have the ability to create good jobs across our state and protect the environment — we need Washington DC to get out of the way and bring decision-making back to Alaska.
The Second Amendment protects our right to self-defense. Law-abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, plain and simple. I will defend the right for Alaskans to defend their families and their homes. The U.S. Senate Majority today is working to erode our Second Amendment rights and Mark Begich supports their leadership. I will oppose all efforts to water down the Second Amendment.
Sanctity of Life
Government exists to protect our rights and liberties - not to take them away. I believe that this protection extends to all lives, including the unborn. Every person has a purpose and path in the world and I firmly believe life begins at conception. Three years ago, I worked with pro-life groups to pass the parental notification initiative and I have fought to make it work. I do not believe government money should support abortion.
We have a responsibility to support homes and organizations that help unprepared mothers. We should support the adoption process so that parents who are desperate to love and care for a baby can help women who aren’t ready for one.
As your Lieutenant Governor I have sworn an oath to defend our state’s constitution and our constitution clearly states marriage is between one man and one woman. Marriage is a sacrament of the church and I will defend traditional marriage as it is defined by our state’s constitution.
I am the son of a veteran, and after the death of my father as a teenager, I am proud to say two veterans stepped in to help my mom raise me. I was honored to serve as the Honorary Commander of the 611th Air Support Group at JBER, to travel in support of the Army Reserves, and to visit troops on the frontline of the border with North Korea.
It is very clear to me that our Constitution’s first mandated responsibility for our government is to provide for the common defense. I believe the Obama Administration has weakened our nation's military over the last six years. I will fight to reverse the Obama Administration’s reductions to the size and readiness of our armed forces. I will work to rebuild a total force that will be a credible deterrence. That means providing our men and women with cutting edge resources, equipment, improved pay and benefits and training. To keep our freedom we must keep our promises to our service men and women, including retirement pay for veterans and solid – accessible healthcare.
Alaska must return to the leading role it played in our national defense. Our state’s strategic location has made it the cornerstone of America’s missile defense and a power projection platform for our forces committed to the Pacific. It must now be developed as the base for defense operations in the Arctic as well as a training center for joint operations and search and rescue. My support for our armed forces has taken me to Japan, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and throughout the U.S. I am also very proud of my work to bring missile defense to Alaska and the U.S. Military back to the Arctic. I will be deeply committed to our men and women in service, and I will be a friend to all of them when I am in the U.S. Senate.
The National Debt
The federal government is like a river that has overrun its banks. By 2024, it is estimated that our national debt will be nearly $22 trillion and be close to 80% of our GDP. If those numbers don’t scare you, they should. A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called our debt a major national security threat. As Senator, I would insist Congress vote on a balanced budget amendment any time the debt limit is considered. A constitutional convention called by the states could also do the job. We cannot continue to borrow money for today’s lunch. New debt should be tied to spending on capital assets – infrastructure – or not be incurred at all. We have to live within our means, adapt policies which promote growth, and address the out-of-control budgetary items that will bankrupt our country.
Federal Spending and Tax Reform
Mead favors a simpler tax structure that incentivizes savings, investment, and self-reliance. Our current tax code is 70,000 pages long, contains 4 million words, and takes Americans over 7 billion hours to comply with. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a rogue agency that has moved beyond collecting taxes to intimidating freedom.
That’s why Mead supports principles found in the FairTax. It would abolish the IRS and the income tax, moving to a single tax on consumption – effectively a sales tax – that would apply to goods and services. The FairTax is a bold proposal to fix a pervasive problem in the life of every American. Mead supports advancing debate on the FairTax because it would be a firm step toward needed reform.
Furthermore, Mead has signed a pledge not to raise taxes. It’s time to pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution and cut the burdensome federal regulation that stifles Alaskan economic potential. In the Senate, he will work tirelessly to ensure that hard-working Alaskans receive much-needed relief from the oppressive overreach of our current tax code.
Balanced Budget Amendment
Washington, D.C. clearly cannot produce a balanced budget. Numerous states are required by law to produce a balanced budget. It is time for the federal government to live by the same standard. I support a balanced budget amendment that will also allow exceptions during national emergencies.
A quality education is the best way for anyone to improve his or her life. I strongly believe a quality education should not be determined by an individual’s zip code. As a citizen, and as Lieutenant Governor, I have worked to expand Alaska’s educational opportunities. A fund that was established in my late wife’s memory sent 10,000 students to visit the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward. I have helped STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs nationwide as Chair of the Aerospace States Association. I have worked with home school groups. I support school choice, charter schools, and expanded vocational training. Unlike Mark Begich, I support bringing a Constitutional Amendment allowing greater school choice to a vote. I also do not believe Washington, D.C. should be dictating education in Alaska or any state for that matter. Each state is unique and faces unique challenges. Alaska should have control of those types of decisions.
Alaska’s energy production opportunities are immense, but Uncle Sam is holding us back. I have pushed hard as Lieutenant Governor to help us be competitive in attracting investment on state lands. We need access and permitting certainty for federal lands. Governor Wally Hickel was fond of saying, “there’s no wealth without production.” I couldn’t agree more. Over the last five years we’ve seen access to the NPR-A halved, seismic testing in ANWR and the Cook Inlet blocked, and an overzealous EPA holding up OCS exploration. This has to stop. Alaskans can responsibly create good jobs for Alaskans. We can be the engine that drives America if we could bring decision-making home. As your Senator I will fight to get access to our lands.
America is a beacon to people all over the world. Some came for love and unifying their families. Some came for money and economic opportunity not found at home. Some came for refuge from despotic regimes abroad. Others earn a spot here by serving in our Armed Forces. Most who came, came legally and strengthen our country. America has always been a nation of immigrants, but we must also always be a nation of laws. We must enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books. We need to simplify the visa process to allow for highly skilled workers to come to America. Much needed federal funding has gone into securing our borders and there is more to be done, both at our Northern and Southern border. That also means keeping highly trained and educated individuals in America. I don’t believe in amnesty for violations of the law, but Republicans and Democrats agree on many improvements to our immigration system. On these we should move forward, soon.
Alaska’s fishing industry supports thousands of jobs and produces billions for our economy. It thrives with good science and management that supports sustaining the fish and catch allocations that foster jobs and investment in Alaska. For 40 years, I have been a foot-soldier for our fisheries-- in the fight for the Magnuson-Stevens Act, securing the 200-mile limit, bringing better science to Alaska, increasing value-added opportunities, and establishing Community Development Quotas. I am deeply committed to continuing that fight as your Senator. Our fishing is a resource that must be carefully managed to ensure its sustainability. Decisions regarding fish catch numbers should be based on sound science. That’s why decision-making regarding fishing belongs in Alaska, where it’s valued and understood.
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