Michael Kinsley has written a brilliant column on Sarah Palin which guts any argument about whether she is a fiscal conservative. Moreover, Kinsley has provided a roadmap by which Obama and Biden can attack her credentials as a reformer while avoiding bogus charges of sexism. I would strongly suggest you stop reading this post and read Kinsley's column in its entirety here. Some excerpts:
Sarah Palin thinks she is a better American than you because she comes from a small town, and a superior human being because she isn't a journalist and has never lived in Washington and likes to watch her kids play hockey. Although Palin praised John McCain in her acceptance speech as a man who puts the good of his country ahead of partisan politics, McCain pretty much proved the opposite with his selection of a running mate whose main asset is her ability to reignite the culture wars. So maybe Governor Palin does represent everything that is good and fine about America, as she herself maintains. But spare us, please, any talk about how she is a tough fiscal conservative.
Next up…Alaskans are doing pretty well:
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.
So Palin thinks it's Ok for the oil companies to gouge Americans in the lower 48 states, as long as she can return a windfall profits tax to Alaskans only. Now I know what she means by Alaska First. Furthermore:
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.
Here is a copy of the Tax Foundation Report. North Carolina is ranked 27th in the amount of federal funding we receive vs. federal taxes paid. Most of the key battleground states are in the lower half: Colorado (41), Michigan (37), Florida (34), Ohio (31), Pennsylvania (28). Do you think the residents of those states (even the ones who live in small towns!) know that they pay higher prices for Alaskan oil so Governor Palin can keep the residents of her welfare state on the dole?
Why is a windfall-profits tax good for Alaska but not for the U.S.? Well, it's obvious, isn't it? People in Alaska are better than people in the rest of the U.S. They're more American. Although there are small towns and farms and high school hockey teams in the lower 48, there are fewer down here, per capita, than in Alaska. And there are many more journalists and pollsters and city dwellers and other undesirables who might benefit if every American had the same right to leech off the government as do the good citizens of Sarah Palin's Alaska.
Sarah Palin is alot of things: Welfare Queen and Pork Queen come to mind. What she isn't is fiscally conservative, a reformer, mavericky, or truthful.
But she is from a small town and John McCain was a POW.