September 9th, 2008
03:24 PM ET

Sarah Palin's Alaskonomics

Todd Palin holds the Bible for his wife, Sarah Palin, as she is sworn in as Alaska's governor in Fairbanks, Alaska, Dec. 4, 2006.

Todd Palin holds the Bible for his wife, Sarah Palin, as she is sworn in as Alaska's governor in Fairbanks, Alaska, Dec. 4, 2006.

Michael Kinsley
Time Magazine

Sarah Palin thinks she is a better American than you because she comes from a small town, and a superior human being because she isn't a journalist and never lived in Washington and likes to watch her kids play hockey. Although Palin praised John McCain in her acceptance speech as a man who puts the good of his country ahead of partisan politics, McCain pretty much proved the opposite with his selection of a running mate whose main asset is her ability to reignite the culture wars. So maybe Governor Palin does represent everything that is good and fine about America, as she herself maintains. But spare us, please, any talk about how she is a tough fiscal conservative.

Palin has continued to repeat the already exposed lie that she said, "No, thanks," to the famous "bridge to nowhere" (McCain's favorite example of wasteful federal spending). In fact, she said, "Yes, please," until this project became a symbol and political albatross.

Back to reality. Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 21/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska's government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it. Although Palin, like McCain, talks about liberating ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, there is no evidence that being dependent on Alaskan oil would be any more pleasant to the pocketbook.

Alaska is, in essence, an adjunct member of OPEC. It has four different taxes on oil, which produce more than 89% of the state's unrestricted revenue. On average, three-quarters of the value of a barrel of oil is taken by the state government before that oil is permitted to leave the state. Alaska residents each get a yearly check for about $2,000 from oil revenues, plus an additional $1,200 pushed through by Palin last year to take advantage of rising oil prices. Any sympathy the governor of Alaska expresses for folks in the lower 48 who are suffering from high gas prices or can't afford to heat their homes is strictly crocodile tears.

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Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Tanya Cluff

    Palin should be defined as ruthless, no morals, and willing to step on anyone that gets in her way. If you were in a desperate situation would you want her finger on the trigger????

    September 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  2. Omar

    As a parent of a special needs child I was very offended by the statement made by Sara Palin during her acceptance speech, that I "would now have an advocate in the White House."

    Two things make this woman a real fake. If she is traveling around the country trying to get herself elected vice president, then that must mean that she has a full time nanny to care for her disabled child, something I can't afford to do. So how is this woman like me? She is not your average parent. but someone who is out for personal gain.

    Second, as my "advocate" does that mean that she is willing to fight for better health care for children with special needs? Health care did not come up once during the republican convention, nor did it come up during her speech. Will she be willing to fight for more scienctific exploration to produce better treatments, more money for special educaiton? I don't need someone who will repeatedly tell people that she has a special needs child, I need someone who will make changes so that my son can have a better life after I'm gone.

    September 9, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    I looked to McCain to name a competent Vice President who would complement him on topics he is not as knowledgeable about – economics primarily. However, McCain, who I tend to admire most of the time, disappointed me by naming someone who will not complement him and help constructively with the nation's problems but someone who will give him the glitz and excitement he needs to win. Same old politics.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 9, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  4. Danny

    Doesn't it bother anyone that McCain stands over Sarah Palin like its his trophy. I wonder why the McCain has her so scripted that she can't give any other speech other than the one written for her. She is not allowed to do interviews either. Another words, She has NO VOICE!

    Is this the position women wanted! To be seens as TROPHIES !!!

    It only shows what was McCain's mindset on picking Palin. Use her for her beauty in order to get into the White House. That is sad!!

    September 9, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  5. New World Order

    Palin is lieing over and over on the "Bridge" issue, and is just a distraction from McSame, with his flip flopping on issues, and poor judgement and ethics.

    September 9, 2008 at 8:56 pm |
  6. James Dylan

    Now it's Palins fault for the price of oil? She is OPEC right? How is that the hardest thing for the left wing to understand about economics is supply and demand? I think 11th grade was the first time I read it in a text book and it seemed to me common sense, but I guess not. Of course I can't imagine a writer for Newsweek not knowing this so I wonder why this article was really written. And what comes to mind is panic because Obama is not doing so well.

    September 9, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  7. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    I am so amazed that a publication like TIME would hire such a clueless individual. Like a President, a Governor can only propose legislation. That legislation has to be voted on and approved by its respective Congress in order to become law. Like the President, a Governor is responsible for overseeing the budget. They can propose cuts in spending or incentives, but again their respective members of Congress have to approve these.

    As a Vice President, Palin may be able to contribute her thoughts and ideas, but it would be up to McCain and Congress to approve any cuts in spending or expenditures.

    Remember, in 2006, we pushed to get a majority of Demcrats elected in Congress to end the war in Iraq, and cut off the funding of this war. How's that working for you, Michael?

    September 9, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  8. KendraK

    Sarah Palin is, without question, a serious political joke. And, if I were Hillary Clinton, I would be so offended by the fact that women across the U.S. are planning to vote for McCain now JUST BECAUSE he picked a female VP. This swift change in support implies that numerous folks supported Hillary strictly because of her sex and not because of her qualifications to command.

    I think everyone is stuck in a temporary phase of excitement because we still have the chance to elect a female into a high-power position. Once the hype goes down, people should stop and think and realize that if McCain suddenly falls ill and perhaps even dies (god forbid!), the LAST (and I mean LAST) person in the world we want as commander and chief is Sarah Palin.

    Give me a break, folks. McCain and Palin will do more damage than good.

    September 9, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  9. Damion Robinson - Tamarac, Florida

    Will the intelligent, articulate, sincere, well tinking, righteous Republicans out there PLEASE beseach your candidates for the highest and most noble office in this land to SHIFT the focus from themselves and their exploits and the criticism of their opponents to FOCUS on TO the ISSUES at hand that requires their dire attention. We the American pblic need to know what is going to be done to create jobs, reduce the fiscal deficit, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, improve my healthcare (make it affordable), ensure that my kids are not locked out of a first class quality education if they dont live in the more affluent vistas/communities in the country, enahnce my physical and economic safety and well being by being more responsible in sending our sons and daughters to war.
    PLEASE SHIFT FOCUS TO ISSUES ..... The circus needs to end.

    September 9, 2008 at 8:19 pm |
  10. Jody

    All of this Plain bashing–makes me laugh. Now you know how some of us feel about Obama. He can give a great speech–but what else? Does the phrase style over substance ring a bell??

    September 9, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  11. Kathy in Texas

    Oh, she'll take care of America all right! She'll fire or run off anyone who doesn't agree with her... just like Bush.

    She'll open the door for Big Oil to do whatever it wants, where ever it wants, and charge you out the wazoo for gas... just like Bush.

    She'll stop funding schools that choose to teach evolution and global warming, because she doesn't believe in them.

    She'll pop off to Russia or Iran or another country that doesn't like us and we'll end up in a needless war that we may not be able to win... just like Bush.

    If you vote for McCain/Palin, you're voting for Bush/Chaney.

    Obama/Biden 08!

    September 9, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  12. Sherry

    I am not very happy with the McCain/Palin ticket. This is not a rock concert. This is an important election with some very important issues that will impact our lives and the lives of our future generations.
    Games, gimmicks and lies – this is all I see from the Republican ticket. If this is how they run their campaign, then this is how they will run the white house. If McCain and Palin get the opportunity to run this country, Bush is going to look like a saint before everything is said and done.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  13. Cheta

    The McCan do nothing Mavericks.

    Palin is going to literally pale when all the unknown facts come out on how her agenda in Alaska. Her Agenda, her leadership, her, her, her, her. Shes a real player who plays the game of politics for personal attention, money, and revenge to anyone who comes against her in any way. Shes not as balanced as a politician should very well be. After all, the leadership of ones State, community etc., etc., is to represent the peoples voice.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  14. Marian

    If the American electorate vote in McCain/Palin they are going to get exactly what they deserve, which will most likely be worse than the last 8 years. Talk about dumbing down of American, it is beginning to look like the majority of the citizenry will buy into anything . They did in the last election and possibly will in the upcoming election. Palin comes off as no more than a Bible-toting fundamentalist who plans to force her religious views down our throats. I cannot find one thing to admire about Palin and shame on McCain for using this woman to get votes. He says he cares about the country, well his nose is growing longer every day. At least if he wants to be President so much he could try harder to give a decent speech.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  15. Marian

    If the American electorate vote in McCain/Palin they are going to get exactly what they deserve, which will most likely be worse than the last 8 years. Talk about dumbing down of American, it is beginning to look like the majority of the citizenry will buy into anything . They did in the last election and possibly will in the upcoming election. Palin comes off as no more than a Bible-toting fundamentalist who plans to force her religious views down our throats. I cannot find one thing to admire about Palin and shame on McCain for using this woman to get votes. He says he cares about the country, well his nose is growing longer every day. At least if he wants to be President so much he could try harder to give a descent speech.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  16. Linda

    If the republicans steal this election with their comedy act and habitual lies after what the Bush administration has done to this country already. I just can't fathom it................ It makes me nauseous to see McCain standing there like the cat who swolled the canary, while Palin goes on and on about how bullish she is.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  17. George

    I don't care if we put the taco bell dog in office as long as he or she is a Democrat the republicans had their chance control of congress and the veto and were doing great huh my grandkids will not be able to pay off this debt. Were lucky were not already being forced to speak Chinese!!!

    September 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  18. Stacy

    @Carol–I guess you missed Joe Biden on "Meet the Press." When is Sarah Palin going to meet the press?

    He has flipped on more things than Sarah ever thought of flipping over.

    Wow, Cindy, now you can read minds? Impressive.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  19. DOAN

    They are all crooks and liers. If you don't want that kind of crooks hang around for 4 more years, vote for Obama.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  20. Kristi in KC

    Nate –

    This "brain trust" that Sarah will surround herself with in the Presidency is exactly what scares the crap out of people!!! Its the same people who are driving this country into the ground now! I don't doubt that McCain means well and that he is a likeable guy, but with the economy in the toilet and our young men entrenched in two failing wars . . . we need the SMARTEST man for the job. Maybe even a Harvard Graduate. For goodness sakes, George Bush was a guy people felt they could have a beer with, but he couldn't even connect the dots when two memos came across his desk and we ended up with 9/11. Forget the 'brain trust'. Give me a genius at the helm!

    September 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  21. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Palin put the plane on Ebay and it DIDN'T sell. They tried twice and it didn't sell. They had to hire some company to sell it for them. Palin takes credit for things she did not do. Sounds like a true Republican. Lie some more will you? I love it when you lie. Same old politics. No wonder the GOP love you. They feel a real connection to your lies...........

    September 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  22. Sabrina,Texas

    Sarah Palin needs to take herself right back to Alaska with that bridge to no where.... Palin is not ready to be a VP for our country( neither is McCain) but dumb folks can't pick up on the lies they are saying.. So you have people that are voting for her because she is a female and men who think she is eye candy instead of FOCUSING ON THE TRUE FACTS.. Come on they made a action figure out of her, get real, well I guess her being a superhero will be the closest she comes to being a maverick. Palin talks about herself and nothing about what they are going to do for us, I can careless about her liking moose and knows how to push snow.. If you don't know much about politics get into it so you can see reality... McCain/Palin more the same of the last 8 yrs and I know you all can see that or your just plain stupid......

    September 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  23. Leo Cody

    Palin definetly has strong conservation opinions and has shown Alaska that she can execute governing on those conservative principles. Biden has also executed his liberal opinions using his current office.

    McCain's record has shown that he executes on his conservative (slightly liberal ) opinions using his current office. Obama is an empty suit.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  24. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    RJ..............I don't understand why the media doesn't jump on that very issue. The US IS paying people to not fight. After the election the money flow will stop and there will be terrible fighting. Do you people think it is just a coincidence that it is an election year and all this BS is happening? Bush "promises" troops will be brought home in February.........February people. He doesn't have to do anything before the election except lie to you again and again. Hasn't Bush lied to all of us enough? Kick me some more would you?.........Please? Fools!

    September 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  25. Yvonne Phoenix, AZ

    Sarah Palin would not know the truth if it smacked her in the face. Lies, lies and more lies. Get smart and do your own research and don't just vote for her because she is a woman. As a woman, I am disgusted by her stand-up comic acts.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  26. Chanel FOR OBAMA

    Thank god someone else feels the same way about this Palin character. Everyone else on TV acts like she is the best thing since pockets on jeans. I honestly think she is a " Flip-Flopper" and fake. I wonder why all these republican (Men) are so in love with her. I believe that Sarah Palin is just a political play on conservitive men who would'nt vote for Obama anyway, Palin is just a excuse thay the republicans call change.

    September 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  27. Linda Petzold

    I am tired of the news depicting the slams that the candidates
    are throwing at each other but cut out as soon as they start to
    talk about issues. I have watched Obama being cut off several times
    when he was talking about education or the economy, only to see
    the same snide remarks being aired by the Palin/McCain ticket.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  28. tony hartman

    If what Mr. Kinsley sais is true, then why do Alaskans give her an 80%+ approval rating? Make you wonder what they know that Mr. Kinsley isn't telling us.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  29. john

    I can't imagine voting for a pistol carrying mom.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  30. Marydth, Utah

    Conservative Right is so predictable. Put a gun in a women's hand and spout anti-abortion rhetoric and they all come flocking home!

    September 9, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  31. Kristin, Texas City Texas

    Kudos Michael, excellent piece. I too am sick of hearing the exact same stump speech at every stop, to echo Obama "Enough!!" SHe was shiny and new when they rolled her out, something that we had not seen yet, she and her policies as Alaska's governor will(hopefully) not withstand the scrutiny and she can go back to the tundra she crawled out of.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  32. Kevin

    It's funny how Sarah Palins records is being discredited. One thing about a liar is they start to believe their own lies. Everyone is getting excited about someone who decided to keep a child. Yippee. No wonder bush was in office so long, you follow a dumb person home, you'll find his dumb followers. GO OBAMA. Don't worry, you don't have to lie about what you did. The proof is in the pudding.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  33. Tamera

    If sarah palin is not yet ready to face the press needing the protection of her big brother (McCain) to keep her from getting beat up.. Then how is it she is ready to be vice pres? Oh i know on the job training

    September 9, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  34. mladen

    Mc Cain should start to worry because she is going to put airforce1 on e bay and sale it.
    For them wining the war in Irak is a big deal, but no big deal that economy is in coma, jobs, etc.
    I don't understand how average americans can vote for republican party knowing that republican party is a party of rich people, and they look only after themselves.
    Probably us non americans have a different point of views.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  35. FRAN

    She did say NO to the bridge; spin it any way you want.
    She took care of the residents of Alaska–That was her job: Spin it any way you want.
    She will take care of the residents of America–That will be her new job.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  36. Rose, Portland OR

    I found Anne Kilkenny's letter on the web today. What a clear depiction of what Sarah Palin did in her so-called "executive experience" when she was the Mayor of Wasilla. Why are we not hearing more about those facts in the news, but only the propaganda that the GOP is making us believe is true? CNN, you should bring the Anne Kilkenny's laundry list to your viewers!!!

    September 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  37. Blanche Jackson

    I am urging all of the reporters, print and television to begin to insist that this woman who may become vice president needs close scrutiny. I believe she is a red neck, who is totally unaware of diversity, civil rights, the Iraq war and has no idea of how and where we should be going in this country. Both she and John McCain show total disrespect for the truth. She may have decided not to build the bridge to nowhere, but Alaska kept the money. That little piece of information is omitted during this discussion. She is also a religious fanatic, who probably has a pretty bad relationship with her daughter. And demanding a shot gun wedding is not my idea of being a supportive parent. Please pray for our country. With McCain and Palin possibly at the helm, the whole world will hate us.

    September 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  38. Margaret M.

    Is America so desperate for a women to be in a leadership position that they will look at someone who is being used by the republican party to win the election? The American people don't know anthing about this women except what the republican party has put out there...If you asked where she stands on the issues we don't know;she has been reading a canned speech for the last week. Come on American surely we are more intelligent than this...... As for me and the many other Hillary Clinton supporters we will wait...I refused to be exploited by any party and cast a vote for a shallow candidate that is afraid to meet the public and does not know her own mind......She is no Hillary Clinton!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  39. Bebe

    I get a feeling of "de ja vu" every time I hear Palin speak. It's the same and it's a shame! There is never any real substance and she comes across as being arrogant, rather than just confident. I'm not impressed at all.

    And now the "Mavericks" are talking about CHANGE?!?!? Wait, isn't that Obama's theme? The real change here is that McCain is putting his running mate first instead of his country. Stop hiding behind the big hair, McCain! You need to step up and clearly spell out your plan, as we've seen Obama do for months, and continues to do very well everyday.

    We can't afford to have "McBush" running our country!

    September 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
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