Friday, September 5, 2008

Fact Checking the GOP Convention on Palin

I know it's mean (and probably somehow sexist, since she's a woman) of me to talk trash about John McCain's vice-presidential pick, but I cam across ann Associated Press article that ran a few fact checks on Palin - things said by her, things said about her. I thought I'd pass them on.

The truth about Palin...
  1. PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... 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."

    THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla (pop. 9780), not only did Palin hired
    Palin hire a lobbyist, she traveled to Washington herself each year in support of legislative (pork barrel?) earmarks for the town. She got $27 million Wasilla - about $2,761 in federal money per town resident. In Sarah Palin's two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special (pork barrel?) federal spending - about $1120 per Alaska resident and by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. NOTE: While Palin points out she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere." She was for it before she was against it (is that flip-flopping?)

  2. PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

    THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

    Obama, according tot he Associated Press article, would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

    He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

  3. MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.

    THE FACTS: Well, while Alaska is the biggest state measured in acres of land, it is the smaller than almost every other state when you measure size by population. Only Wyoming, Vermont, and North Dakota have fewer people than Alaska. Forth Worth, Tx., Memphis, Tn., and Charlotte, NC all have bigger populations than Alaska. And while Alaska might have a lot of oil underneath it, as governor, Sarah Palin's only real authority over that oil was her ability to tax it. She did this, crossing party lines and working with Democrats in Alaska to tax the oil companies there (much to the annoyance of Alaska's GOP).

  4. MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.

    THE FACTS: That's almost laughable. While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. Like any governor, Sarah Palin is in charge of the Alaska National Guard as long as it's not actually doing anything military. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska has one of the smallest of state guards in America.

  5. FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Huk said that Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

    THE FACTS: That's the biggest lie of the GOP convention (and from a preacher!). Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

  6. FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

    THE FACTS: Romney seems confused. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats been in charge of the House and Senate - and that, by a slim margin.

Oh, and by the way... Palin never actually sold that jet on eBay. It got taken off eBay and eventually sold by other means, for a loss...

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