In the dizziness of constant political attacks against Governor Palin, many issues of great importance to every Alaskan and every American are lost.
Somehow, the truth needs to break free and be part of the conversation.
Here are some true facts that the liberals in Alaska and America do not want you to know.
Governor Murkowski’s last budget FY2007: $11,697,400,000
Governor Palin’s latest budget FY2010: $10,570,000,000
Total reduction in spending between 2007 and 2010: a whopping 9.5% or $1,127,400,000
A general rule of thumb for both liberal and conservative administrations is to claim that they may reasonably increase spending every year at a rate of 2% to 3% because of inflation and that should not count against them as increased spending. Even if we use the low end of inflation at 2%, Governor Palin’s budget could have been (without calling it a spending increase): $12,413,374,459.20
Of course, the budget is not $12.4 billion; it is actually $10.57 billion. In other words, she cut spending.
Still many in the Lower 48 complain about federal spending in Alaska. Alaska has, for a number of years, benefited greatly from earmarked dollars paid by ever single American.
This is a tall task for any governor. Governor Palin committed to requesting fewer federal dollars from the average American taxpayer, but how does one go about doing that?
Earmarks are requested from a number of different sources in each state. Governors, state legislators, lobbyists, local governments and federal legislators all make their own priority lists and send that list to a number of different federal agencies in an attempt to bring more money into their state. The elected representatives from each state then proceed to use their power of appropriations to insert each priority into different bills to get the money.
This has become a real point of contention among many Americans, both liberal and conservative. This process has created massive amounts of federal and state overspending. I included the states in the massive overspending because most of the earmarks require some sort of matching state funds before the federal government will send the money.
For example, if a state is looking to build a $1 billion highway project, the federal government may tell that state that they are willing to pay 80% or $800 million for the project, only if the state will front the remaining 20% or $200 million. What if the state cannot afford the $200 million? Normally the state will go out and bond (borrow) for the project. This is a common practice for receiving federal dollars. There are always strings attached. States end up borrowing and spending money they do not have, along with the federal government borrowing and spending money they do not have.
Earmarks have created a massive program that encourages borrowing and spending money at every level of government. All federal agencies, every state, and many local governments have all developed this habit which is difficult to break.
This is a massive challenge that Governor Palin undertook. How was it possible to begin to wean her own state off of the massive problem of borrowing and spending federal dollars?
It appears that Governor Palin has taken a very aggressive and offensive line of attack. She did the one thing that truly made sense, she decided to lead by example.
I will be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this. When Governor Palin set out to cut Alaska’s dependence on government funds, she was serious!
Check out these numbers:
FFY07– Murkowski’s federal requests total: 63 projects @ $349,497,000
FFY10– Governor Palin’s federal requests total: 8 projects @ $69,100,000
That was a gigantic 80% drop in federal requests by the Alaska governor’s office.
See what I mean about leading by example? Not only has Governor Palin dropped the federal requests for money by 80%, she has also been slowly chipping away at these numbers since the beginning of her administration.
FFY2007– Gov. Murkowski 63 projects at $349,497,000
FFY08– Gov. Palin 52 projects at $256,037,000
FFY09– Gov. Palin 31 projects at $195,094,900
FFY10– Gov. Palin: 8 projects @ $69,100,000
As you can clearly see, there has been a noticeable drop in federal requests year after year during Governor Palin’s administration.
Now, before anybody misunderstands me, remember that Governor Palin’s office is not the only office to request federal funds. Plenty of people do the best they can to work around her, and they do manage to create additional headaches for the state.
Also keep in mind that not all of these requests are approved by the federal government.
Governor Palin had to start somewhere, and she chose to get her own adminstration under control first.
Pretty impressive in my book.