Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention – Yahoo! News

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

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, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes 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.”

When she was running for governor in 2006, Palin said she was insulted by the term “bridge to nowhere,” according to Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, a Democrat, and Mike Elerding, a Republican who was Palin’s campaign coordinator in the southeast Alaska city.

So she was for the bridge before she was against it.

And while she did cancel the bridge project after she was elected, $223 million in funds had already been allocated to Sarah Palin’s Alaska, were delivered and accepted by Sarah Palin’s Alaska, and have yet to be returned to the Federal Government by Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

And while Mayor of Wasilla, she hired the town’s first ever lobbyist, who secured over $27MM in Congressional earmarks for the town; earmarks which were specifically condemned by Senator McCain.

I guess she was for earmarks, before she was against them.

PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate.”

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

Gosh! Look at that! Major legislation co-sponsored in a bi-partisan manner!

That major ethics reform legistion? That’s the FEDERAL FUNDING ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2006, introduced on 4/6/2006 by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), with three initial co-sponsors: Barack Obama (D-IL), Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), and JOHN S MCCAIN (R-AZ).

I guess Governor Palin doesn’t consider ethics reform legislation co-sponsored by her running mate to be a major legislation … I guess because Senator Obama’s name is on the bill as well.

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 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.

A small business that makes more than $250,000 a year is doing pretty well, when you consider that “making money” means net profit … i.e., profit after all expenses and overhead, profit after payroll, profit after all of those expenses that can be written off, reducing the business’s tax burden.

And did you know that Palin supported RAISING the sales tax in Wasilla, in order to build a $14.7MM sports center in her hometown of 8000 people?

So she was for higher taxes before she was against them.

From CBS News:

PALIN: “To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.”

I wonder if this is a recent flip-flop on Gov. Palin’s part, since the birth of her own child with special-needs. Thus far, since she has been in office, Gov. Palin has actually slashed funding for schools for special-needs kids by 62%.

The Budget for Fiscal Year 2007 (pre-Palin) allocated nearly $8.265MM dollars for early development and special needs schools. In 2008 and 2009, that amount was cut to a mere $3.156MM dollars per year. Perhaps Gov. Palin will allocate some of that $223 million she accepted (and has yet to return) for the “Bridge to Nowhere” to education.

So she was against supporting special-needs children before she was for it.

PALIN: “America needs more energy … our opponent is against producing it.”

So, rather than attempting to drill our way out of the mess we’re currently in (a strategy that even noted REPUBLICAN oilman T. Boone Pickens says won’t work), Obama chooses to invest in renewable energy, creating more jobs and cleaner home-grown energy in the United States (because we’re not buying the wind and sun from China or the Middle East). Senator McCain and Gov. Palin prefer to drill off the coast of California, and in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve … a strategry which will add a mere 3% to the world’s oil supply when the United States currently uses 25% of the oil produced, and our needs are growing faster than we’ll be able to increase production.

PALIN: “Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.”

Apparently, it’s increasing spending and long-term debt. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the total government expenditures of Wasilla, excluding capital outlays, were $7.05MM dollars. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—the expenditures were only $4,317,947, an increase of 63 percent.

In addiiton, in fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the long-term debt was $18.64MM dollars. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—there was no general obligation debt … none … zip, zero, nada.

So she was against fiscal responsibility before she was for it …

Shall we go on?