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Alaska 1st in Earmarks Per Capita- McCain Earmark Hipocracy

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posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:05 PM

Originally posted by jsobecky
Earmarks should not be considered a failing of a governor.

They aren't. It's the fact that she was dishonest about it that should be considered. It's the fact that she's not being honest about who she is and how she governs that is a concern.

Palin Less Than Honest about Earmarks

PALIN: "And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes. I suspended the state fuel tax and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks, but no thanks,' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

FACT: 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. Earmarked funds went to sewage improvements and improving roads connecting the town to a local ski resort.

As for the Bridge to Nowhere, Palin initially supported using federal funds to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island, which has 50 residents and a small airport. It was not until the plan was ridiculed that she withdrew her support. Critics contend she still supports using federal money to build a 3.4 mile Road to Nowhere on the island for $26 million -- from the funds for the bridge.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:09 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

I don't see the dishonesty. She said she wants to stop the abuses of earmarks, not the actual earmarks themselves.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:20 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

I understand you don't see the dishonesty. Please read this story and maybe you'll at least understand why some are saying it's dishonest.

She claimed that her position was "'thanks but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere." in her speech.

In truth, she supported the bridge and the earmark for it.
She was insulted by the term "bridge to nowhere".
When it was to her advantage politically, she withdrew her support and started using the offensive term.
She still used tens of millions of dollars to build a road that would connect with the bridge.
The state never gave back the money.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:24 PM

Originally posted by jsobecky

McCain's opposition is not with the governors, it is with the Senators and reps that tack these earmarks onto otherwise unrelated bills. It is an indictment of the way Washington does business, not the states.

Proof of this is taking place in the rep. party.

Washington Republicans know he's their best shot at retaining the White House. Yet many remain ambivalent about him -- not because they question his conservatism, but out of resentment that he may get in the way of their earmarks.

This has resulted in a behind-the-scenes brawl, as spend-happy Republicans resist efforts by wiser heads to fall in behind Mr. McCain's anti-earmark message. At best, the spenders risk an embarrassing pummeling by their own nominee that could hurt them in their own re-election campaigns. At worst, they could undercut one of Mr. McCain's more persuasive messages.


posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:27 PM

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

The state never gave back the money.

The Federal government told Alaska to keep the money and use it elsewhere.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:31 PM
reply to post by mhc_70

That's one of the greatest failings of the Republicans over the last 10 years - in order to hold onto voters, they have resorted to Democrat tactics and have abandoned their fiscal responsibility.

Once people get a taste of "free money", they will become addicted to it.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:51 PM
reply to post by mhc_70

While I dont agree with McCain on many issues, I do agree that there needs to be some kind of reform for pork barrel spending. Using free money to lure senators to vote on issues they normally wouldnt vote on, does not make the situation as a whole better. Its like, what would you do for a Klondike bar, where as the Klondike bar is the earmark and acting like a monkey is voting for a bill that goes against your political stance.

Most politicians are guilty of taking earmarks and accepting money for projects that might from one point of view or another seem like a waste. Very few candidates or congresspersons will argue that they have never taken an earmark, (except McCain, who claims he has never accepted earmark money, noted in OP link) but those candidates are not running on a newly declared reform platform, displaying a higher ground stance of never having accepted or not admitting guilt for accepting earmarks in the past.

If you are going to stand up and say something is wrong with earmarks and how they are handled, you better, first off not have accepted earmarks and if you have, you best admit that your accepting of earmarks in the past was wrong. If you are unable to meet the criteria of the previous two statements, you have lost your credibility to run on a platform that claims that is what you stand for.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Here's a good article that explains about the bridge and other "achievements" of her time as gov.

Anchorage Daily News

She didn't change her mind about the bridge until the funding was shut down. Infact it was part of her campaign platform to build the bridge. I think she should have left "Thanks, but no thanks" line out of her speech. It completely untrue, she wanted the money, but just couldn't get it.

And it true, there are still building "a road to nowhere". A road to a bridge that will never exist.....staggering.

[edit on 6-9-2008 by Connector]

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

Maybe you should review these link before claiming that the Democrats are the party of spending. Can you point to a time in the recent past when Repulicans were fically conservative? The numbers do not support that claim.

US Debt

Year by Year



Govts own Excel Spreadsheet

[edit on 6-9-2008 by iamcamouflage]

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 02:06 PM
reply to post by iamcamouflage

You make some valid points and I share many of your sentiments. It just seems to me that earmarks are relatively new way to reach across the aisle for votes and there is still a large grey area concerning the morality of it. It does appear McCain is willing to lose the support of the spend-thrifts, regardless of political affiliation, in order to cut pork barrel spending. I hope it is because he has gained some experience, which often means making mistakes, and honestly making an attempt to return the rep. party to the fundementals of being fiscally conservative.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by iamcamouflage

There's a thread in the Bully Pulpit about it, too.

The Myth of Smaller Government

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 02:58 PM
I just wanted to put forth a toast to the posters on here for keeping it civil and sticking with the topic and presenting the respective positions forward in a way that encourages productive discussion.

I am still in a state of shock days after this speech. I can't believe it ever made it to the stage in it's form that we all heard. The amount of false and misleading statements coupled with utter disrespect and even insulting behavior towards her opponents was not at all becoming and I think did her and the party a real dis-service. She broke with the honor tradition in convention speeches of calling your competing candidate by his or her full name, and that was no accident either. Then after doing the dirty work, high tails it back to Alaska refusing to speak with reporters, answer questions, or go any talk shows...yeah, she goes and hides. What is that all about? Anyway, I just simply am amazed at this...I don't think I have ever seen someone running for high office behave this way. It's also wierd that in the face of so much evidence in fact that refutes much of her claims that so many of the party faithful continue to stand by her. If she was a Democrat and pulled these things, the party would have run her out on the plank with a sharp stick.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 03:54 PM
reply to post by skyshow

Originally posted by skyshow
Then after doing the dirty work, high tails it back to Alaska refusing to speak with reporters, answer questions, or go any talk shows...yeah, she goes and hides. What is that all about? Anyway, I just simply am amazed at this...I don't think I have ever seen someone running for high office behave this way.

Uh... she was pulled out of AK on very short notice and has been in the states nonstop ever since. I would bet that she has a lot of business and loose ends to attend to at home before she commits herself fully to the race.

Don't you think that is a much more plausible explanation than accusing her of "hiding"?

Don't worry. I'm sure she's not afraid of the media.

Originally posted by skyshow

It's also wierd that in the face of so much evidence in fact that refutes much of her claims that so many of the party faithful continue to stand by her. If she was a Democrat and pulled these things, the party would have run her out on the plank with a sharp stick.

What evidence? What claims?

Besides, we love her!

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 04:01 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

Well for starters, you might want to begin by reading some of the other threads. There is no shortage of evidence. You might also try googling and look around at all of the things and the evidence. It's really mind boggling because the list is really quite long...way too long for someone to be a VP.

You may be right about why she left so fast. Couldn't she have penciled in a trip to one of the tv stations in Anchorage to talk to the American people and answer questions by reporters? The other politicians don't seem to have any trouble with it? In fact they trip over one another trying to get air time...No this is just too strange...and yes, it's a perception that many have now that it's almost like she is hiding from us...or maybe she's ashamed, I don't know?

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by iamcamouflage

Originally posted by iamcamouflage
reply to post by jsobecky

Maybe you should review these link before claiming that the Democrats are the party of spending. Can you point to a time in the recent past when Repulicans were fically conservative? The numbers do not support that claim.

Your numbers prove very little. They talk about debt only, not taxation or spending.

The spike in the first graph that the author tries to play up is because of the Iraq war.

All one needs to do is to look at the taxes that Obama plans to raise, and you will see what I mean.
On individuals

Biggest Losers Under Obama's Plan to Remove the Current $102k Wage Ceiling for Social Security Taxes

On the Death Tax

Lahd: Obama wants to raise death tax

Sen. Barack Obama suggests that people who have worked hard during their lifetime, like successful farmers, and expect to pass on those gains to deserving relatives, will be disappointed if he becomes president.

Potential president Obama has promised to raise the "death tax" to 55 percent. That would insure illegal immigrants aren't shortchanged on the benefits he has promised them.

On small businesses

An argument against Obama's tax plan
What type of tax rate are we talking about? Currently, S corporations face a top tax rate of 35 percent, while sole proprietors and general partners face a tax rate of 37.9 percent (since they’re responsible for paying both income tax and the Medicare component of the payroll tax).

Under Obama’s plan to let the scheduled 2011 tax rate hikes occur, and his plan to raise the self-employment tax on those making more than $250,000, the S corporation rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. The sole proprietor and partner rate would rise from 37.9 percent all the way up to a staggering 50.3 percent. Many Democrats in Congress have proposed making all small businesses (including S corporations) pay this 50-plus percent rate. A small business tax rate that high would be the highest marginal rate faced by them in nearly a quarter-century.

The effects on small business would be devastating:

What would a world look like where two-thirds of all small-business income would be taxed at a 50 percent rate? The economic law that “taxing something more and getting less of it” would apply. Fewer Americans would be interested in opening or expanding small businesses. Tax evasion and legal tax avoidance would spike, as tax shelters would once again become a booming industry. Since small businesses create a majority of jobs in America, Main Street closing up shop will have a direct impact on the family budget, as well. Plants and equipment will go unused. Despite the misguided opinions of static scorers in Washington, federal tax revenues will likely decline as the economy staggers into a full-on recession.

He has not learned from history:

Barron's: 'It's Almost as if Obama Wants to Repeat the Mistakes of Herbert Hoover

An economic plan floated out by Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., would raise taxes on incomes above $250,000 - with the highest rate at 39.6 percent - and redistribute the wealth to the poor and middle-class. But that would be a big mistake, according to an article by Jim McTague in the August 25 issue of Barron's.

"It's almost as if Obama wants to repeat the mistakes of Herbert Hoover," McTague wrote. "During the Great Depression, Hoover raised the top marginal rate to 63% from 25% and hiked corporate taxes, too, says Michael Aronstein, chief investment strategist at Oscar Gruss & Son in New York. The moves siphoned needed investment capital out of the markets and into the hands of bureaucrats, delaying the turnaround."

Wealth redistribution. Socialism at it's finest.:shk:

[edit on 6-9-2008 by jsobecky]

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 04:26 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

What evidence? What claims?

Did you visit the link I provided about the bridge to nowhere? She did not turn the money down(thanks, but no thanks comment in her speech), she couldn't get it from the feds. It was part of her campaign platform for governor.

[edit on 6-9-2008 by Connector]

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 04:29 PM
reply to post by Connector

Did you see the rebuttal to your post? The feds told her to keep the money.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by iamcamouflage

This is a pretty weak case for McCain hypocrisy. Even Palin, for that matter.

How do the articles you cite support your assertion of McCain's hypocrisy? In fact, the first article confirms:

McCain...refuse[s] to ask for any federal money for local projects.

So where is his hypocrisy? If it's because he picked Palin as a running mate, that's a pretty strong conclusion for such a weak connection.

In another article you cite, it explicitly states:

The state has requested 31 earmarks in fiscal year 2009. Of those, 22 represent continuing appropriations from previous years, four have been funded intermittently in the past and only five requests are new.

The state’s funding requests are in line with the governor’s call in December to reduce the number of earmarks to no more than 10 or 12, excluding ongoing appropriations and earmarks for the Alaska National Guard, said John Katz, the governor’s Washington spokesman.

“We have reduced the total number of earmark requests from 54 last year to 31,” Katz said. “The total amount of money requested has gone down from $550 million to less than $200 million.”


So Palin has done as Governor what she said she would do. (And prior to her selection as VP, I might add.)

In another link of yours, it states:

In 1996, when Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla, a city of about 8,000 some 40 miles north of Anchorage, she did not take part in the earmark process.

But by 2000, into her second term, the city had hired a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Steven Silver, a former aide to Stevens, then the ultimate rainmaker as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"She was hungry for earmarks just like everybody else," said Larry Persily, who worked at the Alaska state office in Washington, D.C., until earlier this year. "Everyone was feeding at the trough."


That's Mr. Persily's characterization. But I wonder why he fails to mention the federal surplus everyone was working with. Remember that? Moreover, can it be demonstrated any of the Wasilla earmarks were abusive? Can Mr. Persily?

BH provides similar links and concludes with McCain's and Palin's "blatant dishonesty".

Yet, I still don't see it.

FACT: Ten years ago, during a federal surplus, the 36 year old Mayor Palin of Wasilla sought earmarks for the town.

FACT: No one has demonstrated how these were in fact abusive.

FACT: As Governor, ten years later, she called for the reduction of earmarks...and followed through.

FACT: At best, McCain has only EVER sought a single earmark (this link) during his 24 year Congressional career.

You people's sense of scale is a little off, don't you think?

Incidently, Obama made a similar pledge:

Last year Sen. Barack Obama, submitted a laundry list of federal funding requests, known as earmarks, to the Senate Appropriations Committee: 112 earmarks totaling more than $330 million in taxpayer funds.

But that was last year.

This year, as the Senate funding request deadline approaches and the final primaries of the Democratic nomination process draw near, Obama's staff told CNN the junior senator from Illinois will request no earmarks for fiscal year 2009.

So Obama feeds at the public trough during his limited time in Congress, and now as a Presidential candidate, pledges otherwise. And that doesn't look like pandering?

Too odd.

[edit on 6-9-2008 by loam]

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:08 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

Individual Taxes
There is still no denying that the Obama tax plan will give more tax breaks to the largest number of people. Top 2% will be taxed higher, below $250K(98% of the population) will have lower taxes.

Death/Estate Tax
The estate tax currently only affects estates with values over $2 Million. This represents a very small portion of the estates nationwide. Every estate under $2 million is exempt from an estate tax. Source

Small Businesses
Yes taxes will raise for sole proprietor and partnerships but these types of small business rarely get to the point of making over $250K. Most businesses will be given advice by almost any attorney to convert to an S corp or an LLC in order to protect their personal assets. LLCs have the ability to choose how they want to be taxed, Scorp, sole, partner. You will be hard pressed to find a sole P that is not a LLC or S-Corp, especially one that is making any kind of real money.
Sole Proprietorship

Effect on Small Businesses
Your article that states that 2/3s of business will be getting taxed 50% is misleading. While 2/3s of small businesses are owned by an individual, most states allow for individuals to start LLCs. Again if you are making over $250K and you are still a Sole P, you are a fool and any attorney will tell you as such. And none the less most Sole Ps and straight up partnerships make less than $250K.
Census Source

I think your last source states that Hoover made his changes during the great depression. Are we currently in a depression? And keep in mind Hoover raised taxes on the top marginal rate who had just lost their collective asses in a stock crash. Also I have yet to see evidence that trickle down economics works in any fashion. Regan tried it and it created the same problems we are facing today.

Not to get to personal and you dont have to answer but are you in these high income brackets? Do you earn over $250k per year? Is your estate valued at over $2 million? Do you own a Sole P or partnership that makes over $250K? If not why are you arguing against policies that will benefit you?

Rich get richer, poor get poorer.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:11 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

I'm not talking about the money Alaska kept.

In Palin's nomination speech, she claimed that SHE told congress that she didn't want to have anything to do with the bridge to nowhere. "Thanks, but no thanks". She stressed in her speech that is was a waste of money. The reality is congress had already made their decision in 2005, a year before she was even in office. No one had to be told anything. But the most frightening part is, she campaigned using the bridge building as a platform. She thought the phase "the bridge to nowhere" was an insult. Now she uses that insult as a badge of honor for something she didn't even do.

Do you understand the point I'm trying to make. She lied in her speech and also did a direct 180degree on something she campaigned on and promised her constituents she was for. If you did read the link, you;d also know many Alaskans are very upset with this.

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