Friday, September 23, 2011

Green Energy Jobs vs. An Energy Jobs Plan that Makes Opponents Green with Envy

Governor Palin recently highlighted the crony capitalism surrounding the Solyndra solar panel company. This solar panel company with ties to Obama fundraisers has received more than half a billion dollars in stimulus money devoted to green energy projects. In spite of this, the company declared bankruptcy in August and laid off more than a thousand employees. As Governor Palin noted on Hannity on Tuesday, Solyndra received more stimulus money than 35 states received for infrastructure and roads. Governor Palin has been at the forefront of the discussion of crony capitalism, such as that of Solyndra’s, on both sides of the aisle, especially in recent weeks. However, considering Solyndra went bankrupt despite receiving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and despite spending more than a million dollars on lobbying since 2008, it is important also to remember Governor Palin’s words of warning on the economic futility of green energy projects.

In her speech at the India Today Conclave in March, Governor Palin warned of the economic woes of countries who emphasized green energy, noting the effects such policies had on the United Kingdom and Spain, and also referred to such policies as “social engineering” :
This push for 'green' at the expense of 'conventional, reliable' sources is not a credible energy policy or economic policy. It's "Social Engineering" by Central Government Planners. And it leads to nothing but more debt & more job loss. And taxpayers will be stuck subsidizing the failure and paying more for energy.
Later, in her speech at the Madison Tea Party in April, Governor Palin noted solar panels specifically (emphasis added):
Less than 90 days after the election, in his State of the Union address, President Obama told us, nah, the era of big government is here to stay, and we’re going to pay for it whether we want to or not. Instead of reducing spending, they’re going to “Win The Future” by “investing” more of your hard-earned money in some cockamamie harebrained ideas like more solar shingles, more really fast trains – some things that venture capitalists will tell you are non-starters. We’re flat broke, but he thinks these solar shingles and really fast trains will magically save us. So now he’s shouting “all aboard” his bullet train to bankruptcy. “Win The Future”? W.T.F. is about right.
In both speeches, Governor Palin was right. Taxpayers have been stuck subsidizing failure, and companies like Solyndra have indeed been non-starters. That is part of the reason Governor Palin emphasized energy development as part of the plan she laid out in Iowa earlier this month:
Fourth, it is time for America to become the energy superpower. The real stimulus that we’ve been waiting for is robust and responsible domestic energy production. We have the resources. Affordable and secure energy is the key to any thriving economy, and it must be our foundation. So, I would do the opposite of Obama’s manipulation of U.S. supplies of energy. Drill here, drill now. Let the refineries and the pipelines be built. Stop kowtowing to foreign countries and dictators asking them to ramp up production and industry for us, promising them that we’ll be their greatest customer. No, not when we have the resources here. We need to move on tapping our own God-given natural resources. I promise you that this will bring real job growth, not the politicians’ phony “green jobs” fairy dust sprinkled with wishes and glitter… No, a hardcore all-of-the-above energy policy that builds this indestructible link between made-in-America energy and our prosperity and our security. You know, there are enough large conventional natural resource development projects waiting for government approval that could potentially create more than a million high-paying jobs all across the country. And this is true stimulus. It wouldn’t cost government a dime to allow the private sector to do these. In fact, these projects will generate billions of dollars in revenue. Can you imagine that: a stimulus project that actually helps dig us out of debt instead of digging us further into it! And these are good-paying jobs, and I know that from experience. For years my own family was supported (as Todd worked up on the North Slope) by a good energy sector job. America’s economic revival starts with America’s energy revival.
Rather than emphasizing green energy projects funded by taxpayer “stimulus” dollars, Governor Palin noted that America needs to become the energy power by developing God given resources. To be sure, energy has been one of Governor Palin’s signature issues for years, so this is not a new statement. However, Governor Palin’s record of fighting against crony capitalism and for domestic energy development uniquely positions her above other potential presidential rivals. A report released last week by the Department of Energy’s National Petroleum Council notes that America has more oil and gas resources than previously thought and has the potential to be the world’s largest producer of oil by 2017 if regulations were appropriately lifted. Also, as Governor Palin noted in her speech, more than a million jobs could be created if government got out of the way.

While Governor Romney and Governor Perry are quibbling over whose administration has a better job creation record, Governor Palin is noting that government cannot create jobs, but they can certainly do a lot to destroy them through overregulation. That isn’t to say that there isn’t job growth or destruction on a politician’s watch, but that Governor Palin’s small government rhetoric matches her ideology. At the same time, Governor Palin's removal of the cronyism of the Murkowski administration’s oil tax structure helped double the number of oil companies investing in drilling in Alaska and brought a record number of oil jobs in each year from 2007-2009. Natural resource and logging jobs increased 13.7% during her tenure according to Alaska Department of Labor and Resource Development data. During that same timeframe, Perry’s Texas, another energy rich state, had a 0.5% decrease in energy development jobs (from mining, logging, and oil and gas production) according to calculation of Texas Workforce Commission data. Governor Palin never has claimed that government can create jobs, noting in one of her State of the state speeches that government can only “provide the tools” for jobs to be created. Governor Perry tried to claim that his administration actually “created jobs” while sparring with Governor Romney earlier this month. Meanwhile, as with many policy issues, Governor Romney’s record likewise does not match his current rhetoric. As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney created a $15 billion Green Energy Fund that went to subsidize solar panel companies, yet his recently released jobs plan states that such initiatives make “little sense”.

Additionally, Governor Palin rightfully notes that energy development and subsequent job growth is more than just expanding drilling. It also involves taking forward-focused action such as encouraging the building of refineries. Governor Romney makes no mention of the need to build refineries even in the 16-page energy policy component of his 160-page economic plan, and Governor Perry has yet to lay out a plan of any specificity. However, if America has the potential to become the largest energy producer in the world, should not America be prepared to refine these resources? America has not built any new refineries since 1976. Over the last 35 years, oil refineries have become more modern and more efficient in their refining capacity enabling them to refine more oil, but they have also decreased in number. If energy development is going to increase, would not it behoove a president to promote increased refineries to keep pace with the increased production? Drilling in ANWR alone has the potential to increase production by 1.5 million barrels per day, which would require the work of about 12 refineries working at the current capacity of about 123,627.9 barrels per day (the rate of the current operating refineries per calendar day). If energy development is no longer handcuffed by over-regulation, expanding refining capabilities to meet the increased development would be needed.

Governor Palin is the only declared or potential candidate whose record truly matches their rhetoric. Investing in socially-engineered green energy projects is not good economics, especially when it is simply a trade of political favors. Instead, energy development that unshackles the private sector and provides forward-focused objectives is what America needs for her national, economic and energy security. She is uniquely positioned to address the issue of energy, leaving her political opponents green with envy.

Crossposted here and here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

There's More than Simply Keeping Your Powder Dry

With a Palin presidential announcement on the horizon (Lord willing), a lot of Palin supporters have grown understandably anxious. It seems that nearly everyone who is going to run for President has already announced. There are primary ballot deadlines in the not-so-distant future. Then, there are those things that the "smart" people tell you are needed for a "serious" campaign like spending months and months in the early primary states, hiring lots of intellectuals (because they say that's who they are) to comprise your staff, and the like. Governor Palin has not done these things. Nevermind that Governor Palin's Tea Party speech two weeks ago is still driving the debate--crony capitalism, anyone? Nevermind that Governor Palin has the strongest grassroots support of any declared or potential candidate. The punditocracy do not include this factors in their political calculus. Of course not, you cannot put intangibles into an algorithm.

To be sure, there are certain necessary steps that need to be taken in order to launch and run a solid campaign. There are campaign events to be planned. Policies to be more fully fleshed out. Strategy to be devised. When presidential campaign strategy is concerned, personally I try my best (sometimes unsuccessfully) to try to not play armchair campaign manager. My presidential campaign experience comes only from an unsuccessful bid for student council president my senior year of high school. I don't have the credibility to criticize.

When it comes to Governor Palin, my inside-the-box brain has to come to terms with the fact that Governor Palin rightfully acts as if there's no box at all. In retrospect, I can see how great her political strategy has been, even if I can't grasp it at first. She's an savvy retail politician who has become one of the first people to grasp the idea of being a new media retail politician. Who else lays out a brilliant critic of the Obama administration right along side new Facebook pictures of your grandkids or right in your twitterfeed next to your favorite musical artist or sports' team? She is policy wonk who has an uncanny ability to make the policy equivalent of the quantum physics of seem like elementary school science. This is why people underestimate her--she speaks plainly, but understands deeply. Her political instincts and timing are second-to-none. Many supporters have attempted to guess when she'll announce her bid for the presidency-- from Tax Day to the 4th of July to Constitution Day. At the beginning of 2011, I guessed she would announce on Tax Freedom Day before guessing sometime in August that she would announce perhaps on Constitution Day. Of course, I was wrong both times. With the declared candidates sparring and the potential for the media to shine a bright spotlight on the scurrilous books by men whom I won't name, perhaps Governor Palin has chosen to wait to announce a presidential bid. After all, in Going Rogue, Governor Palin noted a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte during one of her mayoral races, "never get in the way of your enemy when he is making a mistake". Also, she is hunter. Hunters are very patient. You have to wait for your prey, and you have to wait until they are in the optimum position for you to shoot. You also have to be quiet and still enough that the prey does not know that you are there. Only then do you go for the kill. I mean that in a non-violent, new tone kind of way, of course.

So, Palin supporters, let's keep our powder dry.However, it's more than that. The idea of keeping your powder dry as a mindset or an attitude comes from a quote from Oliver Cromwell where he said, " trust in God, but mind to keep your powder dry". The "trust in God" part is crucial. I'm one of those bitter clingers, so faith in God is of utmost importance. One thing that I've always looked to is a verse in Romans 13 in the Bible: " [e]veryone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God". This gets to the idea of providence. Authorities are set in place by God, even when we can't fully grasp what purpose God has in placing them there. To me, that means if Governor Palin is to one day be President Palin, it will happen. That's not to say that as supporters we should just twiddle our thumbs prior to or after her announcement. No matter what the political terrain looks like, supporters will have to do all that we are able to get out the vote, make phone calls, etc to help make a President Palin a reality. As my grandpa (one of the hardest working men of faith I've ever known) is fond of saying, "work as if everything depends on you; pray as if everything depends on God". All this means that there is something at work far greater than any one of us, greater than President Obama, greater than Governor Palin, and greater than anyone else. Besides, as much fun as politics are and as great a country as America is, faith in God and His grace extended to us transcends all of that.

Governor Palin will state her decision at one time or another. One of the things about such an announcement is that it is dichotomous. It's either "yes, I'm running for president" or "no, I'm not running". There's not a gray area. For Palin supporters, that means we don't have to worry about the announcement itself. Doing what we can to support her prior and, Lord willing, after an announcement is not contingent upon whether or not the announcement were to come on Independence Day, Constitution Day, or any other day. If the decision for some reason is to not run for the presidency in 2012, then we go forward, come what may.

Take heart. Trust in God. As Constitution Day comes to a close, we have opportunity to show support for a woman who, if elected and swears the oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution, won't perjure herself by taking that oath. With that oath, "so help me God" will not be empty words from a pandering politician, it will be the conviction of her heart. We don't have to worry about a decision because it's not ours to make. It's only ours to support.

So, "put your trust in God but mind to keep your powder dry".

Governor Palin's Free Market Populism Bests the Boys' Crony Capitalism

Under the false premise that the government can create jobs, the Obama administration is proposing yet another stimulus/jobs bill that would use nearly half a trillion in taxpayer dollars as another supposed attempt to help the American economy. This new jobs bill is considered by some, however, to primarily be a bailout for blue states. This comes on the heels of the Solyndra scandal where President Obama’s hybrid of crony capitalism and corporatism meant taxpayer dollars went to funding a failed solar panel company with strong ties to his campaign donors. Solyndra is not the only company to fall under the Obama administration’s “too green to fail” mentality when it comes to stimulus funding, as four other “green” companies who received stimulus funding also have gone bankrupt. This loan guarantee program for green companies that was a key component of the 2009 stimulus bill has cost American taxpayers $38.6 billion, but has yielded fewer than 4,000 of the promised 65,000 jobs from the loan program. The stimulus bill as a whole was supposed to prevent unemployment from going above 8%, but instead it has been above 8% since February of 2009.

Additionally, although Governor Romney’s healthcare reform bill was not specifically intended to spur job creation, it's big government action has impacted jobs-- for the worse. A report published this week estimates that Romneycare has cost Massachusetts more than 18,000 jobs. Beyond their similar approaches to healthcare reform, Governor Romney’s policies and stances are similar to President Obama’s in that he feels that subsidies and corporatism are part of a “pro business/big government” mindset, as his administration offered special technology loans to lure business from other states. As a presidential candidate for 2008 and 2012, Romney has supported both energy subsidies and insurance subsidies, and he still supports TARP—all means of government funneling taxpayer dollars towards business.

Governor Perry, who is touted by many as the “jobs” candidate, may have had a lot of jobs come to Texas during his tenure, but he also implemented “pro business” loans like both President Obama and Governor Romney. Like President Obama, he scratched the back of his political donors at the expense of taxpayers. His Emerging Technology Fund also proved to be a mechanism of reciprocity to his political donors to the tune of 200 million in taxpayer dollars. The Wall Street Journal reports that one such donor invested more in Perry’s campaign than the company for which they were seeking a grant. Interestingly, the grant was initially denied by a regional committee, but was later approved by a Perry appointed committee:
In 2009, when Mr. Nance submitted his application for a $4.5 million Emerging Technology Fund grant for Convergen, he and his partners had invested only $1,000 of their own money into their new company, according to documentation prepared by the governor's office in February 2010. But over the years, Mr. Nance managed to invest a lot more than $1,000 in Mr. Perry. Texas Ethics Commission records show that Mr. Nance donated $75,000 to Mr. Perry's campaigns between 2001 and 2006.

The regional panel that reviewed Convergen's application turned down the company's $4.5 million request when it presented its proposal on Oct. 7, 2009. But Mr. Nance appealed that decision directly to a statewide advisory committee (of which Mr. Nance was once a member) appointed by Mr. Perry. Just eight days later, on Oct. 15, a subcommittee unanimously recommended approval by the full statewide committee. On Oct. 29, the full advisory committee unanimously recommended the approval of Convergen's application. When asked why the advisory committee felt comfortable recommending Convergen's grant, Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson for Mr. Perry, said that the committee "thoroughly vetted the company."

This was only one example of the reciprocity between Perry donors and grant recipients. The Dallas Morning News shares this graphic depicting hundreds of thousands of campaign donations from companies who would later receive grant funding from Governor Perry’s initiative:

Governor Palin, on the other hand, realizes that government neither creates jobs, nor is supposed to be a channel to funnel taxpayer dollars back to political donors. She recognizes that government’s role is not to be pro business, but pro market, where through billions of transactions the American public determines the success and failure of business by what they choose to buy, not by what government chooses to subsidize. In her Tea Party speech earlier this month, she spoke of the need for less federal government intervention, not only in less regulation and more federalism, but also in removing subsidies, loopholes, and bailouts—the very things her potential political opponents engage in-- from the economic equation (emphasis added):
But here’s the best part: To balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts. This is how we break the back of crony capitalism because it feeds off corporate welfare, which is just socialism for the very rich. We can change all of that. The message then to job-creating corporations is: We’ll unshackle you from the world’s highest federal corporate income tax rate, but you will stand or fall on your own, just like all the rest of us out on main street.

Governor Palin knows better than anyone else the need to remove crony capitalism from politics. As she noted on Greta van Susteren’s show earlier this week she has the “bumps and bruises to prove it”. ACES, her oil tax plan, reformed Governor Murkowski’s crony corruption tainted plan that was written to favor certain oil companies and ultimately also led to the arrest of oil company personnel, gubernatorial staff, and state legislators. ACES was not a behind closed doors deal. In fact, Governor Palin did not allow lobbyists in her office at all. Instead, it was a plan written and passed in a transparent manner, was presented to the people of Alaska more than two weeks before it was presented to the legislature, and did not involve undue influence from the oil companies. Following the passage of ACES, Alaska saw a record number of oil jobs during Governor Palin’s tenure. Not only were the number of jobs increasing, the legislation made development more attractive for other companies beyond the “Big Oil” companies favored by Governor Palin’s predecessor. Since the passage of ACES, the number of companies filing with the state of Alaska has doubled.

Even though a third of Alaskan jobs are tied to the oil industry, Governor Palin’s stellar jobs record extends behind solely that industry. Critics may argue that in an energy rich state, jobs naturally increase during a time when oil prices are high (as was the case during Governor Palin’s tenure) as more energy industry jobs are created. When Governor Palin took office in December of 2006, Alaska was pulling up the rear when it came to jobs, ranking 49th out of the 50 states and Washington D.C. In her first year in office, Alaska was 6th best in improvement in unemployment. By the end of the final year of her tenure, Alaska was ranked 21st in the country. This kind of impressive record on jobs is how Alaska was 2nd best in job growth during her tenure. Data from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, showed that in addition to a 13.7% increase in resource development jobs, Alaska saw a nearly 5% increase in business service jobs and a 6.4% increase in education and health related jobs during Governor Palin's time in office.

Governor Palin’s record reinforces her rhetoric. Instead of giving companies millions or billions in taxpayer dollars in an attempt to create jobs or giving preferential treatment to favored companies or campaign donors, Governor Palin sought to remove the ties of cronyism and truly create a level playing field where businesses are neither too influential to fail, nor too small to succeed. This is what separates Governor Palin from all of her potential political opponents who have gained for themselves the moniker of crony capitalist or corporatist. Instead, she is, in the words Jim Pethokoukis of CNBC, a free market populist. This doesn’t make her William Jennings Bryan in skirt railing against big business, but instead a conservative warrior fighting against entangled web of business, political donors, and big government.

Crossposted here and here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If You Love President Obama, You'll Implement Governor Palin's Policy Ideas

Last week, President Obama gave a speech in an attempt to rally support for a nearly half trillion dollar jobs bill. In this speech he called on Congress numerous times to pass the bill:

However, at the time of the speech, there was no jobs bill proposal from the Obama administration, so, much in the same way that then Speaker Pelosi said that Obamacare needed to be passed so that we could find out what's in it, President Obama called for Congress to pass a jobs bill that had not yet been written. President Obama did eventually present proposed legislation to Congress on Monday-- the America Jobs Act. However, as the Heritage Foundation reports, although President Obama sent a bill to Congress, no Congressional Democrats proposed the legislation, prompting Texas Representative, Louie Gommert to present his own legislation under the name President Obama gave his proposal--the American Jobs Act:
The American Jobs Act introduced in the House of Representatives looks quite different from the version President Obama outlined in his speech to Congress. Instead of hiking taxes on working Americans to pay for another stimulus, Rep. Louie Gohmert’s (R-TX) legislation offers a tax cut.

Congressmen Gommert's bill is a simple two page bill calling for the elimination of the corporate tax, which is one of the policies that Governor Palin discussed in her Tea Party speech in Iowa earlier this month (emphasis added):
Fifth, we can and we will make America the most attractive country on earth to do business in. Here’s how we’re going to do this. Right now, we have the highest federal corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world. Did you know our rates are higher than China and communist Cuba? This doesn’t generate as much revenue as you would think, though, because many big corporations skirt federal taxes because they have the friends in D.C. who right the rules for the rest of us. This makes us less competitive and restrains our engine of prosperity. Heck, some businesses spend more time trying to figure out how to hide their profits than they do in generating more profits so that they can expand and hire more of us. So, to make America the most attractive and competitive place to do business, to set up shop here and hire people here, to attract capital from all over the globe that will lead to an explosion of growth, instead of chasing industry offshore, I propose to eliminate all federal corporate income tax. And hear me out on this. This is how we create millions of high-paying jobs. This is how we increase opportunity and prosperity for all.

But here’s the best part: To balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts. This is how we break the back of crony capitalism because it feeds off corporate welfare, which is just socialism for the very rich. We can change all of that. The message then to job-creating corporations is: We’ll unshackle you from the world’s highest federal corporate income tax rate, but you will stand or fall on your own, just like all the rest of us out on main street.

Today, President Obama spoke at a North Carolina company (which just so happens to be sending jobs to Costa Rica due to America's economic policies) encouraging people to support the American Jobs Bill:

Yep, you heard that right. If you love President Obama, you'll help him pass the bill. The Democrats in Congress did not take up the bill presented by President Obama on Monday, which allowed Representative Gommert to propose the American Jobs Act himself with different policies. Considering Gommert's bill is simply a proposal to do just what Governor Palin suggested it in her Tea Party speech, we can conclude that if America really loves President Obama, we'll support Congress in implementing Governor Palin's policy ideas.

What do you say, Americans? Shall we show our love for President Obama by supporting Governor Palin's economic policies?

Crossposted here and here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

VP Biden Was Right--We Are Barbarians!

In addition to Teamsters’ head, Jim Hoffa’s vile comments on Labor Day, which Governor Palin wrote about yesterday, there were Vice President Biden’s comments where he castigated those who oppose the views of the Leftist labor movement as “the barbarians at the gate”. However, much like the attempted maligning of the Tea Party by a Wall Street Journal columnist and Senator McCain in comparing the Tea Party to hobbits, this comparison really could be gleefully accepted. After all, the hobbits were among the protagonists of J.R. Tolkien’s trilogy. The term “barbarian” is generally used as a pejorative term for “uncivilized people”, but as Patrick S. Adams reminds us, Palin supporters embrace such a term, as Rebecca Mansour and Rob Harrison wrote about more than two years ago.

The term “barbarian” originated in ancient Greece to refer to a person who did not speak Greek and was first applied to the people of the Persian Empire and later the Turks. Considering we currently have a President whose economic philosophy is “it’s all Greek to me”, being called a “barbarian” is high praise! After all, we don’t speak the language of out-of-control debt, runaway entitlement programs, massive unemployment and credit downgrades. President Obama’s economic illiteracy and subsequent policies are leading us down a path similar to that of Greece (complete with the fake Greek columns). This comparison to Greece is something Governor Palin noted in her Tea Party speech in Iowa on Saturday:
Folks, the truth is Barack Obama is adrift with no plan because his “fundamental transformation” is at odds with everything that made this country great. It doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t make sense. Unbelievably our President declares that he “believes in American Exceptionalism… just as the Greeks believe in Greek Exceptionalism.” Well, the path he has us on will make us just as “exceptional” as Greece, alright – with the debt crisis and the stagnation and the unemployment and uprisings and all.
In her speech, she noted several ways to address these Greek-like problems by outlining five key points to help put America on the right track: (1) Enforce the 10th amendment (2) Repeal Obamacare (3)No more runaway debt—cancel unused stimulus funds and reform entitlements (4)Make America the energy superpower—increase drilling, build refineries and pipelines (5) Make America an attractive place to do business by eliminating the corporate tax while simultaneously eliminating corporate welfare, loopholes, and bailouts.

These points are not the empty rhetoric of a politician, but of a woman who has a proven record of implementing similar things as a Governor. As I noted last week, unlike Governors Perry and Romney, Governor Palin used the 10th amendment to protect against bad federal policy. Perry and Romney have pled the tenth by using it to defend poor state level policies. Governor Palin was a leading voice in opposition to Obamacare’s passage in the first place, but in addition to that, she strove to implement patient centered, market focused health care reform in Alaska that was to remove red tape, rather than add more. Governor Palin reformed Alaska’s pension program which led to a 34.6% reduction in state liabilities and paved the way for a credit upgrade for the state. This coupled with a nearly 10% reduction in state spending over her tenure means that she has a better record on state debt than the current governors running for President. She is also the only potential or declared Presidential candidate to embrace Congressman Ryan’s Roadmap which called for true entitlement reform. Her energy policies as Governor included a natural gas pipeline project that when completed will be the largest private sector infrastructure project in North American history and a oil tax re-structuring that led to record number of oil industry jobs every year of her tenure following its passage. She also has been a consistent advocate for drilling in ANWR and the National Petroleum Reserve as well as offshore in Alaska, Gulf Coast, and other coastal areas. Her oil tax restructuring helped move Alaska from the 4th best business tax state to the 2nd best business tax state in the country. It also led to the doubling of the number of oil companies filing tax returns with the state of Alaska in 2009 and provided independent and foreign oil companies the opportunity to invest in development in Alaska. This is because her legislation was devoid of the crony capitalism and favor trading of previous administrations and provided a level playing field for all companies with enough initiative and innovation, not connections, to be successful.

While Vice President may have intended to insult us as uncivilized, he really complimented us as Americans who are not fluent in the Obama administration’s language of massive debt and soaring unemployment. Thankfully, we can support someone who speaks the same language of economic sanity and freedom that we do—Governor Palin.

Crossposted here and here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Palin, Perry, Romney, and Pleading the Tenth

Federalism is a constitutional principle based in the 10th amendment that notes powers not given to the United States nor denied to the individual states are given to the states and their people. It seems, though, some governors in the presidential race use this as a justification for implementing bad, government expanding policy in their individual states. Of course, states do have the right to implement their own laws and policies, but just as Governor Palin has said in response to President Obama’s policies, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.

Governor Romney often uses the federalism justification to defend his government mandated healthcare reform, arguing that states are supposed to be “laboratories of democracy”, while at the same time, criticizing President Obama’s federal mandate. It should be noted that while he now defends hi s policies on the basis of federalism, he did not have a problem receiving massive amounts of federal dollars to pay for his plan. A report published in June by Suffolk University in Massachusetts notes:
The federal government continues to absorb a significant cost of health care reform through enhanced Medicaid payments and the Medicare program. Health care reform has also increased the rate for Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts, which has contributed to an increase in Medicare health care expenditures through prices for medical service delivery.

The study also noted that federal government spent an additional $2.418 billion in Medicaid payments and nearly $1.5 billion in Medicare expenditures, which account for 45% of the costs in its first five years of implementation. Why was someone who defends their policies on the basis of federalism so dependent upon federal funding (and the attached federal requirements) to implement their policies?

Governor Perry is another governor who defends his government expanding state policies, but wouldn’t support a similar federal law. Governor Perry passed a law which allow illegal immigrants to receive in state tuition at Texas universities if they lived in Texas for 3 years, graduated from a Texas high school, an were on a path to citizen ship. On the Mark Levin show on Thursday, Perry said that he is “absolutely against the DREAM act”. The DREAM Act, which Governor Palin also opposes, is a federal program that grants eventually citizenship to illegal immigrants who complete some level of post-secondary education or military service. After a certain length of time, such students would be eligible for Pell grants and student loans. Perry also goes on to say that children “shouldn’t be punished for a decision their parents made” and that such decisions should be a “state by state issue”. Perry says that no one should be punished for someone else’s mistake, but that same principle should be applied to legal immigrants who are abiding by the rules (and paying out-of-state tuition). Are not legal immigrants, who are abiding by the rules, being “punished” when illegal immigrants are receiving preferable treatment? Is it fair to Texas taxpayers who are essentially subsidizing education for illegal immigrants to the tune of more than $30 million in financial aid between 2004 and 2008? Legal immigration is one of the most beautiful things about America. Our melting pot of cultures is what makes America the greatest country in the world, but so does the fact that we are a nation of laws.

Governor Palin, on the other hand, used her gubernatorial tenure to reduce the state's dependency on federal dollars, rather than increase dependency under the pretzel logic federalism justification like Governor Romney. She reduced federal earmarks by 86% during her tenure by also drastically reducing the number of projects that were federally funded. In addition to this, she used federalism properly. Rather than use it as an argument to defend bad state policy, she used it to protect her state from bad federal policy. Governor Palin twice sued the federal government of their use of the Endangered Species Act to protect areas against oil development. In 2008, Governor Palin sued the federal government over the listing of the polar bear as “threatened” which would require a more stringent review process before resource development would be allowed. In 2009, she sued again—this time over the endangered status of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, which also stood as a road block to development. Governor Palin also used federalism to defend Alaska’s right to establish education standards that were best for Alaska, rather than accept the “one-size-fits-all” federal standards of the Obama administration. Governor Palin noted in a March 2009 press release:
“Alaska’s decision not to participate until after we monitor this is based on our desire to spend our time and public resources to improve instruction in the classroom and to form productive relationships between schools and the communities they serve,” Governor Palin said. “If this initiative produces useful results, Alaska will remain free to incorporate them in our own standards.”


“The State of Alaska fully believes that schools must have high expectations of students,” Governor Palin said. “But high expectations are not always created by new, mandated federal standards written on paper. They are created in the home, the community and the classroom.”

To his credit, Governor Perry also rejected the federal education standards as well as Race to the Top funding, as Governor Palin did. However, some other federally funded and mandatory coursework in Texas has been questioned.

When it comes to be people seeking to serve in an office which requires you to swear an oath to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States”, it would behoove such individuals to understand the proper application of the principles of the Constitution and its amendments. The Constitution should not be used for a defense of bad policy; it should be used as a blueprint for proper governance and the implementation of good policy.

Crossposted here and here.