Sarah Palin sought welfare for her town by campaigning in Washington for earmarks when she was mayor. Now she is governor of the biggest welfare state in the nation. A true fiscal conservative would figure out how to have the town and state pay their own way rather than relying on federal charity to cover their expenses.
The campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is presenting his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), as a reformer, fiscal conservative, and “tough minded budget cutter.” Other conservatives have latched onto this image - Phyllis Schlafly calls Palin “the total package” with “fiscal conservative credentials.”
Palin embraces the title, labeling herself a “hard-core fiscal conservative,” whose “agenda was to stop wasteful spending.
However, as mayor of Wasilla, AK, Palin “was not always the fiscal watchdog she has since boasted of being.”
During her term in office, Palin cut property taxes and other small taxes on business. But as the Anchorage Daily News points out, “She wasn’t doing this by shrinking government.” During her tenure, the budget of Wasilla (population 5,469 in 2000) “apart from capital projects and debt, rose from $3.9 million in fiscal 1996 to $5.8 million.”
Palin also successfully pushed through a sales tax increase in Wasilla, which went to fund a $15 million sports complex. However, a land dispute over the sight of the complex led to “years of legal wrangling” and cost Wasilla almost $1.7 million, “a lot more than the roughly $125,000 the city would have paid in 1998 if it had closed a deal to buy the property outright.” Wasilla is still facing budget shortfalls from the case today.
When Palin left office in 2002, Wasilla had “racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt,” or roughly $3,000 of debt per resident.
But Palin’s approach actually brings her in line with McCain, whose own “massive tax cuts” “would recklessly exacerbate the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration” and cause the largest deficit in 25 years.
Sarah Palin and Taxes
SARAH PALIN AND TAXES....Let's talk policy! And to make it even more interesting, let's talk tax policy!
So here's an interesting thing about Alaska governor Sarah Palin: she's a tax raiser. Last September she proposed a new state tax plan called ACES, and by November she had successfully pushed it through the Alaska legislature in a special session. ACES had two goals. First, it replaced a year-old plan called PPT that was mired in corruption and was widely distrusted. No problem there. Second, it was designed to increase revenue. PPT had raised revenues by $1 billion, but that was still less than everyone expected. So Palin's plan increased that by another $700 million.
But it gets even more interesting. ACES, of course, is a tax on the oil industry, since that's how the rugged individualists up north fund themselves. (In addition to massive infusions of federal cash, that is.) And it had three basic provisions:
* An increase in the basic tax rate on oil company profits from 22.5% to 25%.
* A windfall profits provision. When oil prices went over $50/barrel or so, the tax rate would rise 0.2% for each dollar.
*A tax floor. If oil prices fell below about $40/barrel, oil companies would still have to pay 10% of the gross price of the crude they produce.
Etc. If Palin were a Democrat, this is the kind of jeremiad you'd be hearing from Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist, but instead of talk about looting American businesses and destroying incentives to invest, we get crickets. Norquist doesn't even mention taxes here and Limbaugh, who's been talking up Palin for a while, doesn't either. "Babies, guns, Jesus. Hot damn!" was his reaction yesterday.
So: one of the first things Palin did after she took office was to propose a big tax increase that included a windfall profits tax on the oil industry.
There's a contradiction; how come non-radicals support radicals? That's the 64-thousand dollar q.
Obama zeros in on Palin's early earmark acceptance
In Palin's case, Saturday marked the first time Obama has gone after her record directly. He cast her as a reformer only after she had embraced earmarks earlier in her political career.
"She's a skillful politician," Obama said of Palin, "but when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly, you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on. Words mean something. You can't just make stuff up."
Records have shown that Palin secured millions of dollars worth of earmarks for Wasilla, Alaska, as mayor.
Forget the very simple fact that Palin has no national or international experience, and she'll become one step from becoming commander in chief.