Debunking the Palin Mythology http://www.republicansforobama.org/?q=node/2194 Today I want to talk about Palin's fiscal record. McCain, in accepting his nomination, described his running-mate: "She's balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests." I have to admit that sounds nice; unfortunately the facts tell a different story. 1. "Balanced a budget" McCain isn't specific enough for us to know what he means by that, but look at the town of Wasilla's budget during Palin's tenure: In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—there was no general obligation debt. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the bonded long-term debt was $18,635,000. The long term debt was estimated at $3,000 per capita, with 6% of the municipal budget now tied up with paying down the recently-acquired debt. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 10] 2. "Cut taxes" a. as Mayor of Wasilla Palin did cut property taxes significantly [Anchorage Daily News 10/23/2006], but she pushed for a controversial 25% sales tax increase to support city building projects. The tax increase barely passed the referendum [CBSNews 9/9/2008]. The end result was a decrease in revenue and an increase in expenditures, leading to unprecedented debt, as noted above. In this respect Palin perfectly embodies the modern Republican mode of operation: cut taxes and increase spending; pass the bill onto the next guy. b. as Governor of Alaska Other than a hiatus on gas and tire taxes this year, Palin no record of cutting citizens' taxes as governor. And she actually raised taxes on the state's most lucrative industry when she signed into law a 1.5 billion dollar increase on the oil companies. The result? Well, according to Alaska's Tax Notes [1/7/2008]: After ACES was passed, ConocoPhillips, Alaska’s most active oil exploration company and one of the top three producers, announced it was canceling plans to build a diesel fuel refinery at the Kuparuk oil field. ConocoPhillips blamed the cancellation [of a new refinery] on passage of ACES [the new tax]. The refinery would have allowed the company to produce low-sulfur diesel fuel onsite for its vehicles and other uses on the North Slope, rather than haul the fuel there from existing refineries. 3. "Taken on special interests" McCain likes to make it sound like Palin cuts earmarks and tackles special interests, but when you look at the record it becomes clear Palin *is* a special interest: According to ABCNews, while serving as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin hired Steven Silver, a former chief of staff for Sen. Ted Stevens, to lobby Congress for earmarks. Wasilla received around $27 million in federal money, about as much as Boise, Idaho. Boise has a population of 200,000 people, compared with Wasilla's 10,000. And in June, the Alaskan legislature, with Palin's prodding, agreed to pay Canadian energy company TransCanada $500 million as an incentive to build a natural gas pipeline. Palin pushed for the highly publicized "Bridge to Nowhere." As reported by the AP: Palin did abandon plans to build the nearly $400 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport. But she made her decision only after the project had become an embarrassment to the state, after federal dollars for the project were pulled back and diverted to other uses in Alaska, and after she had appeared to support the bridge during her campaign for governor. And finally, in Palin's two years in office, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. Sarah Palin, fiscal conservative? Hardly. She looks an awful lot like just another spend-happy Republican. McCain says Palin represents the future of our party. Wow. I certainly hope he's mistaken.