Now that the tax fight is over, Sarah Palin has quickly zoomed to the next huge issue: The possible bailout of insolvent states.
In a post on her Facebook titled Bailouts Reward Bad Behavior, she slams the idea of helping fiscally reckless states (like California, whose finances have deteriorated under the stewardship of her enemy Arnold Schwarzenegger), while talking up the finances of Alaska (not mentioning, of course, the incredible oil bounty it sits on).
Anyway, she's shrewd. This is an issue that will probably grow, and she recognize that. Here's her post.
Love the mantra of, "Sure Alaska's doing great, but they're sitting on oil!"
Uh-huh. And California isn't? What, California just can't develop its own resources and cut some of their ridiculous spending to help balance the budget? Spare me.
California's too busy shutting off water to farmers to save a minnow. They don't have time to fix their sinking economy. Should be really fun under Jerry Brown.
My home state made the switch from defined benefits to a defined contribution system, and as governor, I introduced a number of measures to build on that successful transition, while also addressing the issue of the remaining funding shortfall by prioritizing budgets to wrap our financial arms around this too-long ignored debt problem.
When my state ran a surplus because we incentivized 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 by paying down our unfunded pension plans that some other governors wanted to ignore. This fiscal prudence didn’t make me popular with the state legislature.
In addition to vetoing hundreds of millions of dollars in wasteful spending, I put billions of dollars into savings accounts for future rainy days, much like most American families do in responsibly planning for the future. I also enacted a hiring freeze and brought the education budget under control through a commitment to forward-funding.
I returned much of the surplus back to the people (it was their money to start with!) through tax relief and energy rebates. I had proven as the mayor of the fastest growing city in the state that tax cuts incentivize business growth, and though the state legislature overrode some of my veto cuts and thwarted an additional tax relief request of mine, the public was supportive of efforts to rein in its government.
It’s one thing to veto spending and reduce the size of government when your state is broke. 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. It’s not easy to tell people no and make them act fiscally responsible and cut spending when the money is rolling in and your state is only 50 years shy of being a territory and everyone is yelling at you to spend while the money is there to build.
My point is, if I could fight this fight in Alaska at a time of surplus, then other governors can and should be able to do the same at a time when their states are facing bankruptcy and postponing this fight is no longer an option.
"I returned much of the surplus back to the people (it was their money to start with!) through tax relief and energy rebates."
Silly Sarah, breaking with centuries of tradition.