Palin: Record vs. Facebook

Sarah Palin’s record vs. Sarah Palin’s Facebook

Craig Medred


Maybe it was the spirit of Christmas Future that this week spurred half-term Gov. Sarah Palin to unload on potential “insolvent states.” Because those like California failed to heed her warnings that President Obama’s economic stimulus “was equivalent to a federal bribe with fat strings attached,” she posted on Facebook, there is now talk of failing states and bailouts from Washington, D.C. — something that hasn’t happened since the Great Depression.

If only the other states had followed Alaska’s lead, added Palin or her ghostwriter. There is really no way to know who exactly wrote what — Palin or her staff — on Palin’s Facebook page, which the half-term, ex-governor uses to push her public policy agenda to millions. Alaska, it was posted on Facebook, knew how to manage a budget back when Palin was governor and “ran a surplus because we incentivized (sic) businesses, I didn’t spend it on fun and glamorous pet projects for lawmakers — though that would have made me quite popular with the earmark crowd. In fact, I vetoed more excessive spending than any governor in our state’s history, and I used the state’s surplus to bring our financial house in order …”

Earmarks are government expenditures dictated by the legislative branch of government instead of the executive branch. Alaska’s Legislature doesn’t do earmarks, which left some legislators wondering about Palin’s earmarks comment. More baffling, though, was the reference to “incentivized businesses.” As governor, Palin did start in motion a reduction in the business license fee from $100 to $50, but the old $100 fee wasn’t exactly hampering commerce. And besides, everyone in Alaska knows precisely where Palin’s huge budgetary surplus came from.

It came from oil. The state has always imposed significant taxes and royalties on oil. Oil pays for about 85 percent of state government through taxes, royalties and fees. And the state’s cut is tied to the price of crude, which was going for about $130 a barrel when Palin was governor. Given those prices, Alaska was looking at a tax windfall even before Palin and state Democrats upped the ante.

Read former Gov. Frank Murkowski’s take on the oil tax law backed by Sarah Palin:

Alaska’s oil tax law must be rewritten to spur North Slope development

They went after big bucks the old-fashioned government way. They imposed hefty new taxes on the oil industry via a law known as “Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share,” or ACES, as Palin liked to call it. ACES increased Alaska’s take from the oil industry in fiscal year 2008 by more than $2.5 billion, according to a government analysis.

ACES was not a business incentive for the oil industry. It was, Palin once liked to boast, Alaskans taking their “fair share” of the black crude pumped up from deep beneath the state’s North Slope. The oil industry saw it more like a mob shakedown, which is neither here nor there. But it is worth noting the “equitable share” (or in the view of state conservatives, the big, fat tax) appears almost certain to be reduced by the Legislature this year because it appears to discourage the oil companies from drilling new wells. One might say ACES “disincentivized” the state’s biggest and most profitable business.

Palin was once proud of ACES for sticking it to Big Oil. Obviously, she has now decided that what the oil companies view as a Venezuelan approach to business taxation doesn’t fit with her present image as a “common-sense conservative.” A Hugo Chavez-style character would hardly qualify for that label, so Palin has created some gobbledygook about raising revenues in Alaska by “incentivizing businesses.”

The only Alaska business Sarah Palin really might be thought to have incentivized is the news business. Palin’s mushrooming celebrity in the wake of her failed bid for vice-president has created a great Alaska flood of “news” and television infotainment tens of miles wide and about an inch deep.

A key part of that news has revolved around her sometimes unique view of “facts,” as evidenced yet again in her most recent Facebook note.

“It’s one thing to veto spending and reduce the size of government when your state is broke,” she posted. “I did it when my state was flush with revenue from a surplus — though I had to fight politicians who wanted to spend like there was no tomorrow.”

There is one big problem there. Palin didn’t reduce the size of state government. When she was sworn in as governor, she inherited a fiscal year 2006 budget of $8.4 billion in operating and capital expenses.

On May 21, 2009, a little more than two months before resigning, then-Gov. Palin signed a fiscal year 2010 budget totaling $10.6 billion. It was the last budget she signed, and it did mark a reduction in state spending. It was less than the record $14.7 billion budget she’d approved the previous year.

By means of comparison, the budget for Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles, the state’s last big-spending governor, totaled $8.3 billion for fiscal year 2003, over $2 billion less than Palin’s last budget. The Republican who followed Knowles, Frank Murkowski, drastically cut state spending as oil prices dipped to $25 per barrel at mid-decade, but the budget had again crept back above $8 billion by the time Palin forced Murkowski out of office. By then, oil prices were climbing and the Legislature indeed wanted to start spending money.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nswfm
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 10:07:31

    Please take this lying fraud down already. With a 72-point type headline in the NY Times, WSJ, etc.


  2. AFM
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 10:27:15

    There she goes again “Making things up”.


  3. WakeUpAmerica
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 10:45:57

    She really is full of herself, isn’t she? What an arrogant, pompous, horse hiney!


  4. HudsonElizabeth
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 13:24:49

    Why won’t any of the main stream media do some investigating of her? It would be so easy. They should all have someone on staff check out every thing she says or posts. Until they do their, we will be stuck with her. Their laziness is one of the most frustrating things about all of this. They are letting the country down in a major way. Where is Bob Woodward when you need him?


    • Syrin
      Dec 09, 2010 @ 13:40:27

      Oh you are so right! Thanks for your comment… Laziness of the media has been what caused her to get famous and make millions. It sure wasn’t because she had some great ideas or had outstanding political gavitas! Same as Britney Spears (it wasn’t her music), same as Paris Hilton (it wasn’t her acting ability). Only thing different Britney and Paris arn’t involved in politics or want to be the president of the united states.. Palin is nothing more than a tabloid personality, but the media keeps treating her like a viable candidate. They should go ahead and start asking Paris about North and South Korea, Wikileaks, and guess if she’s going to run for president. Paris would offer as much as Palin to the office of President!

      Wasn’t it Woodword who wrote “Primary Colors”?
      How about “Primary Grade School Intellect”..


      • HudsonElizabeth
        Dec 09, 2010 @ 16:59:37

        Woodward and Bernstein (Carl) were young reporters when they investigated the Nixon Watergate scandal and then wrote “All the President’s Men” about what they uncovered. They probably played a major part in bringing down Nixon. (He was played by Robert Redford in the movie of the same name. If you haven’t seen it, you should try to get your hands on it. )

        He has written many other important books about other Presidents, and is considered one of the best investigative reporters and non-fiction writers in the country. He still works for the Washington Post, where they both worked when they uncovered the dirty deeds of Nixon and his men — and the famous Deep Throat.

        Primary Colors was “fiction” — based on the Clinton campaign — and was written by “anonymous” who later turned out to be Joe Klein.

        Anyway, WHERE ARE THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS???? It is so frustrating. I have a good friend who used to be one and is now an editor. She isn’t alarmed by Palin and has laughed at me for reading “blogs” —- she says she hasn’t read these stories in the NY Times of the Washington Post so she doesn’t trust what I tell her. This is the most dangerous attitude and why someone in some major paper has to look into all the allegations that are being uncovered — heck, all they have to do is listen to her and then do follow-up research on her claims. It should be easy for them to come up with the real facts. That is supposed to be their skill.

    • Syrin
      Dec 09, 2010 @ 17:17:40

      Thanks for the clairifiction on Woodward’s all coming back to me now. I post it often but there is a list of headlines from Palin’s mayor days.. that would ‘usually’ inspire reporters to investigate. The fact that this woman was actually under investigation when McCain called her is unbelieveable and then the campaign came up here and took over the dept of law while trying to have the investigation dismissed.

      “I’m very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing … any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.” –Sarah Palin, after an Alaska legislative report found she had broken the state’s ethics law and abused her power in the Troopergate scandal, conference call with Alaska reporters, Oct. 12, 2008


  5. laingirl
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 17:47:38

    You’re all right. Someone needs to do some real indepth research on her. She lies so much; always to make her self look either better or as a victim. Just recently after the Willow/Bristle nasty writings on Facebook, she got on Greta’s show and said Willow was defending the family as the young man had written awful things about the family and Trig. The young man only wrote that the Palin show was failing and never said anything about Trig. This is available several places on the internet. She successful in avoiding anyone who would hold her feet to the fire and seems to have a lot of enablers at Fox.


  6. Jenny
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 18:18:57

    I worked for a newspaper and the publisher was desperate for ad revenue. Never did we upset the apple cart or the powers that be. This country is bought and sold. No money is allocated to investigative journalism in small town newspapers. If we think it is just the large newspapers in the large cities that are responsible to keep democracy alive with their budgets for investigative reporting we are missing the point of a free press. Even in small towns the press must remain vigilant against corruption. Wikileaks is the result of a complacent press. Think about it. The other option is to read your “ad rag” every day and continue to imagine you live in a democracy.


    • Syrin
      Dec 09, 2010 @ 18:48:30

      Hi Jenny, Thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right!

      Wouldn’t it be nice if wikileaks type leaks would lead to a revolutionary reform in real investigative reporting? Especially when most of the complacent media of this country continue to turn the story for popular consumption and play into the governments hand and not report the details of the leaks and express outrage themselves at wikileaks.
      Some of them even continue to wish prosecution of Assange under the Espionage Act despite the fact the prosecution of him would set a dangerous precedent for journalism itself.

      The Anchorage newspaper ADN, while considered ‘liberal’ has always supported Palin and there is proof they helped cover up many Palin improprieties, maybe even unlawful. She couldn’t have done iot without them! A reporter was actually cut from the budget and not sent to Juneau during Palin’s reign of terror.
      Oh yeah, Ivy Frye was having a sexual relationship with Associated Press reporter Steve Quinn to get Palin national… The only ‘lames stream’ is that which reports on Palin’s crazy statements on Facebook and Twitter..


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