Saturday, September 06, 2008

Springtime for Palin

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her six years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

I first came across this, written by Anne Kilkenny in The LA Progressive. Kilkenney is a real person and it's been verified that she actually wrote this and sent it to about forty people on her e-mail list, then it rose to national attention.

A long time ago I read about then-governor George W. Bush in The Bush Files put out by the wonderful Texas Observer. His character flaws, policy muffs. and total disregard for fiscal responsibility were things that I tried, in my own small way, to warn people about.

Now some of us are trying to issue warnings about Palin. Her story is an unsavory one. But then, modern American politics is divorced from reality, and Republicans are very good at spinning lies and fantasies into support for their new fascism.

I fear that the same folks who brought us Dubya will now give us McPalin. They will not be happy until they make all of America look like a poor neighborhood in Cuba or Bangladesh. But with flat-screen televisions everywhere touting Fox News.

Even then they will remain unsatisfied. Everything must be ruined. It's their religion, really. A crazy belief that after ultimate ruination, everything will get better.

It didn't, did it?

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