Sarah Palin on Budget & Economy

Republican Governor (AK); ; nominee for Vice President

Vetoed $25M stimulus earmark; Alaskans don't desire "help"

My cabinet agreed that in challenging the stimulus package, we'd have to deal in reality. Conservative governors all over the country were getting hammered for questioning use of the stimulus funds. Some legislatures, through threats of litigation, made it impossible to refuse the money.

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.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.360-362 Nov 17, 2009

FactCheck: Praised Bush $700B bailout; opposed Obama's $787B

PALIN: Rails against taxpayer-financed bailouts, which she attributes to Obama. She recounts telling daughter Bristol that to succeed in business, "you'll have to be brave enough to fail."

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."

Source: AP Fact Check about "Going Rogue", in NY Times Nov 13, 2009

FactCheck: No, Alaska doesn't deny federal stimulus help

PALIN: Describing her resistance to federal stimulus money, Palin describes Alaska as a practical, libertarian haven of independent Americans who don't want "help" from government busybodies.

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.

Source: AP Fact Check about "Going Rogue", in NY Times Nov 13, 2009

Restraint of last two years should continue in tough times

Two years ago at this podium, I urged spending restraint. I asked that billions of surplus funds be deposited in state savings. This struck me as a simple precaution against, as I described it, massive single-year cuts down the road, if and when we faced tougher times. You legislators agreed, so we can now meet our challenge in a stronger position.

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.

Source: Alaska 2009 State of the State Address Jan 22, 2009

We suspended campaign to work on economic reform

Q: Was the bailout the worst of Washington or the best?

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.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden Oct 2, 2008

Predatory lenders got us into the housing crisis

Q: Who is to blame for the subprime lending meltdown?

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.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden Oct 2, 2008

We should not reward poor financial decisions

Q: Do you support a moratorium on home mortgage foreclosures?

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.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric Sep 24, 2008

McCain’s experience makes him best judge in economic crisis

Q: Do you support the $700 billion bailout?

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.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric Sep 24, 2008

Program of $1,200 to every Alaskan: spent on consumer goods

Q: Is Sarah Palin a fiscal conservative?

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.

Source: Phone interview with Anne Kilkenny, resident of Wasilla AK Sep 21, 2008

Workforce fundamentals are strong; economy needs oversight

Q: Sen. Obama attacked Sen. McCain for saying that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong.” Are the fundamentals strong?

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.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Taxpayers cannot be looked to as Wall Street bailout

Q: Both you and Senator McCain supported the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You both opposed the bailout of government intervention as it relates to Lehman or Merrill. But now we read this morning that AIG is going to get some type of government bailout. Was that the right call?

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.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Control spending by request if possible; by veto if needed

I got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet [for personal use by the governor] was over the top. I put it on eBay. I also drive myself to work.

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.

Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention Sep 3, 2008

$7 billion savings plan for education & transportation

Keeping her commitment to save for the future, Governor Sarah Palin today announced details of a two-year $7.1 billion savings plan. “We are celebrating a milestone in Alaska’s history--an opportunity to save for the future and work toward a more predictable budget,” said Governor Palin. The two-year savings plan calls for:
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release 07-233 , “Savings” Dec 5, 2007

Reduced general fund spending by $124 million

Governor Palin is committed to a budget that controls the growth of government, forces the state to live within its means, and encourages a healthy savings for the state’s future. The Governor’s budget includes funding to restore the longevity bonus program, a community revenue sharing program and fully funds the education foundation formula. From the moment Governor Palin took office, she directed all state agencies to look for efficiencies and savings. Through a collective effort, the Governor was able to reduce general fund spending in the operating budget alone by over $124 million. The capital budget maximizes federal funding and focuses on the Administration’s priorities. The Governor will continue to work with the Legislature to craft a final budget that meets the needs of Alaskans.
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: press release, “100th Day” Mar 13, 2007

Aim to reduce general fund spending by $150 million

I have established an aggressive goal of reducing general fund spending by $150 million dollars. This takes tremendous effort by staff as well as the cooperation of the Legislature. On the savings side, by depositing our one-time surplus of $1.8 billion dollars, we’ll build our savings account to nearly $4.3 billion dollars. It’s a necessary step to ensure that we can fund essential services tomorrow; and avoid massive “single year” cuts down the road, if and when, faced with tougher times.
Source: 2007 State of the State Address to 24th Alaska Legislature Jan 17, 2007

Firm believer in free market capitalism

I am a conservative Republican, a firm believer in free market capitalism. A free market system allows all parties to compete, which ensures the best and most competitive project emerges, and ensures a fair, democratic process.

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.

Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Coordinate state tourism marketing but no additional funding

The next governor also will help shape how the Legislature will spend the anticipated tens of millions in new cruise tax revenue.

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.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 30, 2006

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Sarah Palin on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010