Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Government Waste

I know this is a blog about the housing bubble, but I'd like to take a moment to talk about government waste. In particular, I'd like to talk about Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere." John McCain's new running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, is patting herself on the back for opposing the Bridge to Nowhere. Here are a few tidbits that Sarah Palin (and the mainstream media) isn't telling you about the bridge.

First, Governor Palin was for it before she was against it.

Second, she changed her position on the bridge when it became a national issue and when it became apparent that Alaska would have to pay part of the cost itself.

Third, even though Alaska got rid of the bridge, THEY KEPT THE FEDERAL MONEY! All they did was decide to spend your federal tax dollars on other stuff. They got rid of the symbol of wasteful earmark spending, but they kept the actual wasteful earmark spending.

I have a McCain bumper sticker on my car, but I'm debating whether or not I should keep it.

On a housing-related note, looking up Governor Palin's public financial disclosure form and cross-referencing it with Zillow.com reveals her Wasilla, Alaska home had a 2006 tax assessor's value of $526,800.

Other bloggers comment on Governor Palin:
Update: Apparently now on Intrade, you can bet on the odds of Sarah Palin being withdrawn as the Republican VP candidate. The odds of her withdrawal have dropped in half since her convention speech.

15 comments:

  1. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. We will be learning a lot more about her in the days to come. Too soon to make a judgement on limited facts

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  3. Credit Advisor & Consulting said...
    "We will be learning a lot more about her in the days to come. Too soon to make a judgement on limited facts"

    Good point.

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  4. xxxThird, even though Alaska got rid of the bridge, THEY KEPT THE FEDERAL MONEY! All they did was decide to spend your federal tax dollars on other stuff. They got rid of the symbol of wasteful earmark spending, but they kept the actual wasteful earmark spending.xxx
    The Bridge to Nowhere was funded under the 2005 highway bill, which was two years in the making and had more than 6000 earmarks. The highway bill spends money raised by the federal gasoline tax. The reason it took two years to put together was that "donor" states wanted more of their money back, which would mean low population states like Alaska or Idaho would get less money for their highway projects. So yes Alaska kept the $400 million for the Bridge to Nowhere, but is obliged to spend it only on highway projects, which I guess could be termed "other stuff." The money is part of Alaska's share of the highway trust fund, and once public outrage forced the state to drop the bridge project, the money isn't returned to general funds. Alaskans pay federal gas taxes just like everyone else, and should get back the money it raises for their projects, just like every other state.
    Just another quibble, but I don't understand how the Bridge to Nowhere seems to have grabbed the public mind and discussion when, in the same highway bill, there are allocations for designer bridges (an Italian architect) in Dallas, funding for snowmobile trails in Vermont, and an array of other truly questionable projects.
    Finally, it's great to flay Palin for the Bridge to Nowhere flap, but please note the date of the bill was 2005, and Palin was elected governor of Alaska in 2006.

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  5. anonymous said...
    "Alaskans pay federal gas taxes just like everyone else, and should get back the money it raises for their projects, just like every other state."

    Alaska gets far more than its fair share. In 2005, they were getting $6.60 for every dollar they paid in gas taxes. The Gravina Island Bridge (Bridge to Nowhere) wasn't canceled until September 21, 2007.

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  6. Oooh, a McCain bumper sticker. Yuck.

    We might learn more about Palin in the coming days, but the information we already have doesn't make her look like a strong VP candidate. McCain is weak enough, but Palin makes him look kind of desperate to appeal to women. Desperation is so unbecoming.

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  7. Sarah Palin is the change that is needed in Washington. Partisan politicians on both sides of the aisle better watch out!

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  8. "I have a McCain bumper sticker on my car, but I'm debating whether or not I should keep it."

    You don't have a whole lot of choice. It's vote for McCain or help the Anti-Christ (oBaMa).

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  9. I had never heard of Palin until last week, but so far I like the choice. It's amusing to watch Obama supporters talk about her experience. Question: Name five significant accomplishes Barack has made as a Senator, and organizing a PAC two months after taking the oath of office and running for President doesn't count. Okay, how about 4 accomplishments. 3? 2?

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  10. Myrtle Beach CondosSeptember 01, 2008 9:22 PM

    To me it almost feels like McCain is trying to loose? There were so many good potential VP picks, why did all of those get passed over?

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  11. My suspicion is that we're in for a bait-and-switch. It's a long shot, but IMHO it's the only way the GOP can win.

    At the Republican convention, McCain will bow out, citing health reasons. They won't make Palin the actual nominee (too many OWM's would be against that) but they'll get a younger, healthier man to take his place, like Giuliani. Whether Palin stays in at all is a question that probably doesn't matter much.

    The fact that Palin was chosen actually makes me believe this unlikely scenario a bit more; it will give them the opportunity to say they had done it, but not actually take the risk of putting a woman in the White House, something the GOP won't do until this generation of the men in real power die off.

    All the Obama strategies for defeating McCain will have to be thrown out the window, and as a result the GOP will have a fighting chance.

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  12. I've heard of the bait and switch theory for VP candidates, but not for president. Interesting idea.

    The VP idea was to keep her in until right before the election, have her bow out for "family reasons" and then throw a new person in there with no time for negative press about them, and the shake up may get them some surge in the polls right beforehand.

    If Palin is the candidate though, I'm a bit insulted that a woman is being used as a hail mary pass instead of them finding a woman they truly believe in and think deserves it, regardless of wooing the ex-Hillary supporters.

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  13. SPECTRE of DeflationSeptember 03, 2008 11:11 AM

    Bread and circus for the citizens of Rome...er...I mean United States. Both groups are nothing more than organized crime units who demand tribute for protection. Look no further than the Banks to see this plain truth. We have $90 Trillion in unfunded liabilities, and the best we can do is talk personal issues? We are doomed as Mogumbo says.

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  14. I was able to find out a bit more on the Palin home and Wasilla: http://www.zillowblog.com/wasilla-alaska-real-estate-and-sarah-palins-house/2008/09/

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  15. Sara Palin makes me sick, she is pro Alaskan Aerial bear and wolf hunting, she is a cynic. Pro-life if your raped? If you cannot see her stabbing tactics covering her insecurity then I am baffled. She has no experience, she just jabs. She knows nothing about the loop holes that will stop tax breaks to big companies. She is not straight forward and I do not trust her. She calls herself a Pit Bull, an animal that attacks without thinking. What a joke and a disgrace to our country.

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