We know times are tough. We know many of you saw your savings and home values hurt by Wall Street recklessness. We also know that, with official unemployment above 9 percent, it is tough to find a job, and many have been forced to choose part-time employment that lacks benefits. But as a result of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the budget deficit has grown.
So, despite your problems, you are going to be “asked” to sacrifice. Your president is planning to cut $2.6 billion from Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps people afford keeping their homes warm during our long, cold winter in Alaska, despite the fact that due to the economic downturn the number of poor people needing help has increased significantly.*
As a result of your going without heat next winter, we will be able to afford almost one whole week of fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost about $468 million a day. Although when you add in the many hidden costs like increased long-term veteran’s health care due to the conflicts, your sacrifice is probably only really going to cover maybe half a week.
We hope you understand that when we had to choose between providing basic necessities to our Alaska constituents or fighting about five more days in Iraq and Afghanistan because of whatever we here in D.C. make up to justify it, and the Alaska media prints as we send it to them without changing a word, we clearly just had to choose the wars over you.
Your Alaska Congressional Delegation
* Update: Julie Hasquet from Sen. Begich's office has asked that I specifically mention that Mark does not support cutting LIHEAP funds. How effective Sen. Begich will be in this matter remains to be seen.
As for cutting funding for our grossly expensive, wasteful, illegal and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which might pay for more amenities in the USA, she and the good Senator have nothing whatsoever to say.
Yesterday, Sen. Begich voted against renewing provisions of the Patriot Act, siding with Rep. Don Young. Sen. Murkowski, typically, voted to continue erosions of your freedoms, as she always does.
[s/ - hat tip to Jon Walker]