Sarah Palin on Budget & Economy
Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President
There is a direct correlation between the Senate stubbornly refusing to pass a budget, and the Senate selfishlessly agreeing to go ahead and spend our children and our children's money. No budget is no leadership. It is time for America to get more outraged about this. Never before have our challenges been so big and our leaders so small.
"Her-against-us" [was a common theme] among protesters at a demonstration in Anchorage, this time decrying Sarah's rejection of the federal stimulus funds they felt Alaska needed. The protest took place outside the public library, as legislators met inside to hear from constituents who objected to Sarah's refusal to accept the nearly $300 million that the Obama administration was offering to the state.
One protestor held a sign that said simple, "MAMA GRIZZLY, YOU FORGOT YOUR CUBS." Inside the building, to raucous shouts and applause, an Anchorage special education teacher said, "Our governor has chosen to pander to her political pipe dream."
The debt-ridden, unsustainable stimulus scheme disrespected the Tenth Amendment by attempting to bribe the states with money in exchange for more Washington control. The money would have gone to fund government, not real jobs in the private sector. Embarrassingly, the Republican-controlled state legislature overrode my veto and Alaska accepted the funds. And now, to pay for them, Alaskans will have to put up with even more rule-making from Washington.
But in Washington, why is it just the opposite of that? This week, they unveiled a record busting, mind boggling $3.8 trillion federal budget and they keep borrowing and they keep printing these dollars and they keep making us more and more beholden to foreign countries and they keep making us take these steps towards insolvency. Now what they are doing in proposing these big new programs with giant price tags, they're sticking our kids with the bill. And that is immoral. That is generational theft. We are stealing the opportunities from our children.
A: We've got to rein in the spending, obviously, and not raise it extremely high budgets and then say, OK, we are going to freeze a couple programs here. That doesn't do us any good really. We've got to start reining in the spending. We have got to jump start these energy projects that, again, we have heard so much about because it is ridiculous that we have just sitting warehoused under God's green earth here in the United States of America, rich resources, oil, and gas, and our coil and all of the conventional resources. We have got to actually walk that walk, to allow them to come to development. And then allow America's spirit to rise again by not being afraid--not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God-fearing nation
I highlighted universal energy building codes that we'd have to adopt if we accepted a $25 million earmark for energy conservation. Universal building codes, in ALASKA! A practical, libertarian haven full of independent Americans who did not desire "help" from government busybodies. A state full of hardy pioneers who did not like taking orders from the feds telling us to change our laws. A state so geographically diverse that one-size-fits-all codes simply wouldn't work.
I vetoed those building code funds.
The Democrat-controlled legislature overrode my veto.
We got into this economic mess because of misplaced government interference in the first place. The mortgage crisis that triggered the collapse of our financial markets was rooted in a well-meaning but wrongheaded desire to increase home ownership among people who could not yet afford to own a home.
Politicians on the right AND left wanted to take credit for an increase in middle-class home ownership. But the rules of the marketplace are just as constraining as human nature. Government cannot force financial institutions to give loans to people who can't afford to pay them back and then expect that somehow things will all magically work out. Sooner or later, reality catches up with us.
THE FACTS: Palin is blurring the lines between Obama's stimulus plan--a $787 billion package of tax cuts & social programs--and the federal bailout that John McCain voted for and Pres. George W. Bush signed. Palin's views on bailouts appeared to evolve as McCain's vice presidential running mate. In Sept. 2008, she said "taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution, to the problems on Wall Street." A week later, she said "ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up ou economy."
During the vice presidential debate in October, Palin praised McCain for being "instrumental in bringing folks together" to pass the $700 billion bailout. After that, she said "it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in."
THE FACTS: Alaska is also one of the states most dependent on federal subsidies, receiving much more assistance from Washington than it pays in federal taxes. A study for the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that in 2005, the state received $1.84 for every dollar it sent to Washington.
And you understood the challenge is not just to think fast and change plans when the price of oil suddenly falls, affecting revenue by billions of dollars. The challenge is to follow a consistent plan despite inconsistent prices. With prudence, you built our reserves--that was good planning. This national economic downturn that's spread to the energy market--it found us prepared. And that's more than many states can say about their financial situation.
With the budget, the aim is to keep our economy on a steady, confident course. The aim is--with discipline--we protect our reserves and promote economic growth.
PALIN: A good barometer is go to a kid’s soccer game and turn to a parent and ask, “How are you feeling about the economy?” You’re going to hear fear. Two years ago, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie & Freddie reform measures. There will be greater oversight, thanks to John McCain’s bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together, even suspending his own campaign to put politics aside.
BIDEN: It’s evidence that the policies of the last 8 years have been the worst policies we’ve had. Obama laid out criteria for a rescue plan. He, first of all, said there has to be oversight. Second, he said you have to focus on folks on Main Street. Third, he said that you have to treat the taxpayers like investors. And, lastly, you have to make sure CEOs don’t benefit from this. We’re going to focus on the middle class, because when the middle class is growing, the economy grows and everybody does well.
PALIN: It was predator lenders who tried to talk Americans into thinking that it was smart to buy a $300,000 house if we could only afford a $100,000 house. There was deception, and there was greed and there is corruption. Joe Six Pack, hockey moms across the nation, we need to band together and say never again. We need to demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings. Let’s do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don’t live outside of our means.
BIDEN: Barack warned about the sub prime mortgage crisis. We let Wall Street run wild. John McCain thought the answer is that tried and true Republican response, deregulate, deregulate. And guess what? The middle class needs tax relief. They need it now.
A: That’s something that John McCain and I have been discussing. Some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded. [Decisions by] consumers--and those who were predator lenders also. But again, it’s got to be a comprehensive, long-term solution found for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here.
A: We have to look at the [details of the] bailout. Unless there are amendments in [Treasury Secretary] Paulson’s proposal, I don’t believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this. The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. He’s got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that’s needed at a crisis time like this. I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and who’s actually done it.
A: She is not for smaller government. Aside from putting the city of Wasilla in debt for the ice rink/sports complex, as governor, she created a new entitlement program that promised $1,200 to EVERY Alaskan to help with the high cost of heating bills. The checks just arrived a few days ago, and I went to WalMart and the store is empty: there are no flat screens, no IPods, no electronics, etc. A better investment would have been in alternative energy projects.
Q: Do you think Sarah Palin is equipped to contribute to the handling of our economic crisis?
A: Sarah has zero clue about the economy and the bank crisis and the mortgage crisis.
A: Well, it was an unfair attack on the verbiage that Sen. McCain chose to use, because the fundamentals, as he explained afterwards, he means our workforce, he means the ingenuity of the American. And of course, that is strong and that is the foundation of our economy. Certainly, the economy is a mess. And there have been abuses on Wall Street and that adversely affects Main Street. We’ve got to cure this.
Q: Through reform?
A: Through reform, absolutely. Look at the oversight that has been lax--it’s a 1930s type of regulatory regime overseeing some of these corporations. And we’ve got to get a more coordinated and a much more stringent oversight regime. Not that government is going to be solely looked to for the answers in all of the problems in Wall Street, but government can play a very, very appropriate role in the oversight.
A: Well, first, Fannie and Freddie were different because they’re quasi-government agencies where government had to step in because of the adverse impacts all across our nation, especially with homeowners. It’s just too impacting, we had to step in there. I do not like the idea though of taxpayers being used to bailout these corporations. Today it was AIG, important call there, though, because of the construction bonds and the insurance carrier duties of AIG. But first and foremost, taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution to the problems on Wall Street.
And I thought we could muddle through without the governor’s personal chef--although I’ve got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending--by request if possible and by veto if necessary.
I will communicate progress on gasline negotiations to the public. My Administration will pursue the plan that is best for ALL Alaskans. All qualified and viable proposals and applicants will be considered.
Knowles said he would work with the Legislature to use a portion of the new cruise tax revenue to market the Alaska tourism. The candidate complains that the state’s funding for tourism marketing has plunged in the last decade. “When you compare that to other states, like Connecticut, Indiana or Tennessee, we’re out-marketed across the board,” Knowles said in a recent interview. Knowles said he supports doubling state funding for tourism marketing to $10 million.
Palin said the state should continue to match industry’s marketing funds, but a “huge overblown budget” isn’t necessary to entice more travelers to Alaska. “It doesn’t necessarily cost more money to market,” Palin said at the recent Wasilla gubernatorial debate. She advocated “better coordination” and “better ideas” as the way to improve tourism marketing.
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