Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Michael Kinsley at Time magazine has written the definitive explanation on "Alaskanomics." Sarah Palin's Alaskonomics
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 the 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 2 1/2 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.
As if it couldn't support itself, Alaska also ranks No. 1, year after year, in money it sucks in from Washington. In 2005 (the most recent figures), according to the Tax Foundation, Alaska ranked 18th in federal taxes paid per resident ($5,434) but first in federal spending received per resident ($13,950). Its ratio of federal spending received to federal taxes paid ranks third among the 50 states, and in the absolute amount it receives from Washington over and above the amount it sends to Washington, Alaska ranks No. 1.
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At the Republican National Convention, Palin bragged that she had vetoed "nearly $500 million" in state spending during her two years as governor. This amounts to less than 2% of the proposed budget. That's how much this warrior for you (the people) against it (the government) could find in wasteful spending under her control.
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Her major legislative accomplishment has been to revamp Alaska's windfall-profits tax in order to increase the state's take. Alaska calls it a "clear and equitable share" tax. The state assumes that extracting oil from the tundra costs about $25 per bbl. and takes as much as 75% of the difference between that and the sale price.
Governor Palin apparently does not have any problem dipping into per diem pay to bolster her family income. Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business."
"The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife."
Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 as her per diem allowance, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post.
"The governor's daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show."
Remember this anecdote Governor Palin told the Republican convention:
While I was at it, 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 was over the top. I put it on eBay.
In fact, the jet was not sold on eBay. It was sold to a businessman from Valdez named Larry Reynolds, who paid $2.1 million for the jet, shy of the original $2.7 million purchase price, according to contemporaneous news reports, including a story in the New York Times. She lost $600,000 for the state of Alaska on the sale. Plane Not Sold on eBay | The Trail | washingtonpost.com
Remember this other anecdote Governor Palin told the Republican convention:
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.
In fact, the long-time executive chef who lost her job at the Mansion when Governor Palin decided to live mostly in Wasilla instead of Juneau, Stefani Marnon, was first reassigned as a "constituent relations assistant" in the governor's office and later to the state museum. She finally landed where they really appreciate a good chef: the Legislative Lounge. Alaska Ear: Alaska News | adn.com
And Governor Palin charged Alaska $16,951 to eat at her own place.