Skip to comments.Palin Postings--The Phony "Per Capita" Argument and ANWR
Posted on 09/05/2011 9:32:08 PM PDT by Brices Crossroads
As Rick Perry's record is beginning to be scrutinized, the budget mess in Texas has started to receive national attention. Apparently, there is a $31 billion deficit in the current fiscal year that will necessitate drastic cuts. It has also come to light that Perry, rather than making the necessary cuts in 2009, took Obama stimulus funds and used over $6 billion of the stimulus to plug his deficit. The deficit has now exploded, as they tend to do when not addressed early, and the stimulus money has dried up and blown away like a tumbleweed, leaving the state awash in a sea of red ink. By contrast, in Alaska, Governor Palin in 2009 made a deep cuts cuts and refused most of Obama's stimulus money, accepting only 45%--that portion which did not grow the government, or have strings attached that would swell the budget in the out years. Perry, by contrast, took 95% of the stimulus funds he was offered, a cool $16.5 billion.
Consequently, Palin's Alaska currently sports a $3.4 billion surplus and $12 billion in reserves, while Perry's Texas has a yawning deficit and will likely have to raid its $9 billion "rainy day fund", in addition to instituting draconian cuts, to close it. It is no wonder, some of us have observed, that Perry has taken his traveling medicine show on the road. Things must be pretty hot in Austin right about now.
The comparison between Palin's record and Perry's is pretty damning by any objective standard. Palin left her state with a huge surplus and in the pink of fiscal health, even in the middle of a recession. Perry has doubled state spending and tripled state debt during his decade in Austin, and Texas currently faces a gigantic, unprecedented deficit. It is pretty hard to argue with the figures. So what has been the recourse of the Perry supporters? Well, as the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Let me explain.
Alaska, they observe, has the second highest federal tax allotment per capita in the nation. What this means is Alaska receives about $5,150 more per capita in federal spending than the US average. (DC is first in per capita spending, Virginia is third, Maryland is fourth). This statistic is meant to conjure up an image of the average Alaskan stuffing his mattress with all the federal largesse or getting in his Cadillac and driving over to the welfare office to pick up his check. It is intended to convey the image of a state that is "propped up" by federal government spending. These images are, however, false and the use of the "per capita" argument is a canard. This "per capita" figure does not mean that the federal spending goes to state government or even necessarily to the people. It just means that the federal government spends x amount of dollars (over and above what it collects in federal taxes) in the state, and when you divide that amount by the number of residents of the state, you arrive at the per capita figure.
D.C. is the federal city and produces nothing, so it surprises no one that it is number one, since its local government and most of its residents' salaries are publicly funded. Virginia and Maryland, which envelop the capital, have by far the most federal employees of any of the other states. Vast numbers of their citizens work for the federal government. Little wonder that their per capita federal spending is higher as well.
And what of Alaska? Well, two thirds of the state, an area considerably larger than the state of Texas, is actually owned by the federal government, and the owner has to take care of and manage its property, which costs money. 87 million acres--an area more than half the size of Texas--is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, which spends huge amounts of money to manage and superintend such vast tracts. Another 16 million acres comprise the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, the world's largest fish and wildlife refuge, which is managed by another federal agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Not surprisingly, the federal government spends a lot of money managing land it owns in Alaska.
Because of its strategic location, Alaska is home to nine large military bases and nearly 30,000 active duty troop, which is a number that is nearly 5% of its population. It has the largest number of bases per capita and the largest number of troops per capita of any state. The funds to maintain these bases and their operations, as well as the salaries and benefits for these troops, are part of the overall federal spending in the state. No doubt there is an indirect benefit for the state economy in this spending but it is far less direct than in Virginia and Maryland, which have state income taxes and tax the salaries of their federal employees (Alaska has no state income tax). The bottom line is that the federal government decided to put a lot of military bases in Alaska to protect the rest of us, not to help prop up Alaska. Yet these expenses, like the expenses to manage federal lands, are included in the phony "per capita" calculus.
And, on the other side of the equation, it is worth noting as well that the federal government doesn't just give money to Alaska. It costs Alaska money. A lot of it. Here's how. The Congress and the White House have taken unprecedented steps to impede Alaska's development of its natural resources, specifically its moratorium on exploration in the ANWR, and its many regulations and restrictions on exploration elsewhere in the state. Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope produces 400,000 barrels a day (8% of U.S. production), the largest field in the United States. It is suspected that ANWR has reserves comparable in size to the North Slope, but the federal government refuses to permit the exploration. It seems to me a bad bargain for Alaska to get a few measly federal dollars for military bases and federal land management, which benefit the entire country, only to have the same federal leviathan with its boot on the neck of Alaska's ability to develop its own God given natural wealth.
Imagine how devastating it would have been in the early part of the 20th Century, during the great Texas Oil boom, if the federal government had slapped a moratorium on drilling in East Texas, killing in their crib the great oil strikes at Spindletop, Humble, Goose Creek and Ranger. Texas would never have overtaken California and Oklahoma to become the largest oil producing state, and one of the richest, in the Union. Its booming economy would have been strangled and the cause of death would have been listed as federal regulation. I for one am thankful that Texas did not suffer this fate, and I am just as anxious that the boot of the Interior Department and the EPA be removed from Alaska's throat as well.
Incidentally, in spite of these large federal handcuffs Sarah Palin managed to do a remarkable job in spurring energy production, both oil and gas, in Alaska through ACES and AGIA. And these policies, coupled with her firm control of spending, have placed Alaska on a sound fiscal footing.
Context is everything. Statistics, particularly those as deceptive as per capita calculations, are generally a diversion tactic. But when one's record is as weak as Rick Perry's, it is preferable to divert attention from that record rather than than to try to defend it. As an old lawyer once said, if you have the facts on your side argue the facts. If you have the law on your side, argue the law. If you have neither the facts nor the law, confuse the issue.
Newsflash: Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska in July 2009, over 2 YEARS ago! Or are you confused and think that the current Alaska governor is running for president?
You didn't really explain how AK isn't a welfare state. Could you please expand on that point?
bump and ping
“The comparison between Palin’s record and Perry’s is pretty damning by any objective standard.”
It sure is. Perry has been elected 3 times as governor of Texas, is the longest serving governor in the US, Texas has created 40% of all the jobs in the US.
Palin didn’t even serve out one term as governor, she quit, when the Dems attacked her and now she is playing her supporters with her teasing of whether or not she will run. She had three years and still can’t make up her mind, or did she make up her mind a long time ago to not run, and is just milking her fame for everything she can. Either way, does that sound like presidential material?
Anyone remember the “Massachusetts Miracle?”
It certainly is!
And would you care to give us some sources to your statements about Texas and Alaska?
Aaaahhh Foggy when were the largest Alaskan Royalty checks handed out?? and how much does Ricardo get for every Texan? Oop's Nothing?? Figures, sounds like he made a huge RINO mess there!
Excellent work...the broadsides keep coming
Double Newsflash: Perry is the current governor of Texas and his budget is way in the hole!
Nice trick Clarity, even if Palin wasn’t responsible for the Alaska surplus (though she must deserve some credit), Texas has no one to blame but Perry for their fiscal black hole. But you had to ignore the obvious to prop up your candidate, so lame.
Way to thread hijack and be mega-dishonest at the same time. Pathetic.
How many people are leaving their established homes in other states to live in AK compares to TX?
Palin is running!!
WOW, I MISSED THE ANNOUNCEMENT!
710,000 vs. 25,000,000 people. You do the math.
Here’s an idea, let’s all jump on Clarity’s pro Perry threads like he did here and trash his beloved candidate. I’m sure that will be appreciated.
“The bottom line is that the federal government decided to put a lot of military bases in Alaska to protect the rest of us, not to help prop up Alaska. Yet these expenses, like the expenses to manage federal lands, are included in the phony “per capita” calculus.”
This is just a partial explanation from the piece. Hope it helps.
Then Ricardo has the place over ran with his Border Criminals,a nice touch and RINO’s just love Open borders.
This is someone’s unsourced opinion vanity. It should be pulled as it’s not news!
You are quoting INCORRECT numbers, claiming $31 B deficit for Texas, when the truth is the deficit is only $4.3 B, and Texas has a “rainy day fund”, of which Perry used $3.2B, leaving a small deficit, the balance covered by spending cuts.
Perry is untouchable on his record, so you have to MAKE UP LIES about him. (you as in you plural, all the Perry-bashers)
Perhaps if Texas got back as much for each dollar sent to the feds as Alaska does, there could be a check to every resident. In fact, Texas is a donor state and Alaska gets back almost $2 for every dollar they pay, that certainly helps support Alaska and their fund.
Not when you put it like that, but if stated honestly, and when you see what she accomplished, you’re damn straight she’s presidential material. FAR more than any of the pretenders.
You’re right, Brices Crossroads, except you’re quite wrong.
Rick Perry never refused the stimulus money, he refused the strings attached to it. He SUED, and he WON. And then he used the feds money to pay off the feds debt of unfunded mandates in Texas that had quadrupled in the last five years since the commiecrats took Congress in 2007 and expanded everyone of their commiecrat programs.
Texas didn’t need the fake shovel-ready jobs attached to that money. He needed the feds own debt paid off.
And he paid it off! It was a BRILLIANT move on his part. NOW, our budget is balanced, we’re not going to incur the debt from the feds unfunded mandates anymore, as we cut the feds programs back to bare bones.
What you need to do, Brices Crossroads is take your own advice. If you don’t have the FACTS, you don’t have an argument!
Clairity, rick perry is going to implode He is lord of the manor in Texas, and Texas knows him and can handle him. They are used to him. He isn’t going to be able to be lord of the manor across the entire US. He is abrasive, quick tempered, has contempt for women, panders to every group imaginable, believes he is infallible and nothing is his fault, is thinskinned when challenged, does business with questionable people, and he ain’t gonna make it.
This isn’t a “Palin thread” — I stay away from those. This is a Perry bashing thread — half the article bashed Perry, using FALSE numbers.
How many people are Ricky's Dears Murdering in Texas VS Alaska??
This helps nothing. As someone who has relatives living in AK, I have heard first hand that there is a large indigenous population that sits and lives off the funds that are taken from the oil companies to survive. I don’t see a problem with that since it is a states issue, but I don’t see it as ideal.
I don’t give a rip who you support but for crap sakes stop repeating the meme that she quit because she couldn’t take the heat. It’s been explained over and over again. And as to her not wanting to be attacked...who the heck has been taking the media flak while standing up for conservatives the past few years? Who campaigned tirelessly for Tea Party candidates in 2010? Who even campaigned for Perry because he was the lesser of 3 evils? When you keep repeating something that’s been explained over and over and over again (and when her own actions prove she hasn’t run from anything) it makes you sound ignorant. I can understand principled people are going to disagree on who to support in the primaries (and that’s a good thing) but for the sake of intelligent debate please find real things to criticize her about.
How many are Supposed to be there or Legally in America
If you read the article carefully, you’ll see that much of the fed money is spent on fed jurisdictions like military bases and BLM land, ANWR, and the like.
Could you throw in a few facts and figures so that dull people like myself can follow along? I was not aware that Perry was murdering anyone. If that was the case, I would think that far less people would move there.
This is not an article and is only a vanity using made-up junk to compare apples to oranges.
Not only are your FACTS WRONG....ALASKA DOESN’T HAVE A GOVERNOR AS A CANDIDATE IN THE 2012 RACE!
Even when deducting the illegals it’s still like well over 20,000,000 people. I’m not saying there are that many illegals but realisticly there are millions more citizens in Texas than Alaska.
You have it azz backwards these are Royalties from the Oil,Texas could do the same but with the mismanagement there the check would be for less than a penny!
Alaska only has 700K people, how much do they need to give everybody a check? BTW, Texas also has a whole bunch of military bases, probably more than Alaska. I would guess that a lot of the fed money Texas does get back goes there.
For one thing Alaska seems more Way more efficient and two your numbers are off!
What we should care about is if the candidate will be a real president, one who will take care that the laws be faithfully executed. That’s from the Constitution.
Anybody - - even you, even me - - would be better than our current teleprompter reader.
We’re getting lost in the minutia, and as you exhibited, the act of reducing to the ridiculous.
Why don’t you ask Christie of New Jersey how many of his are legal, or Brian Sandoval in Nevada, or Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, or Bobby Jindal of Louisiana??? Their ratio of legal/illegal population is just as great as Texas. Huh? Huh? Huh?
[This is someones unsourced opinion vanity. It should be pulled as its not news!]
I don’t know, I got a hell of a lot of insight out of it. But I guess when Perry’s flaws are pointed out, someone needs to censor them.
On the contrary, putting oil wells in East Texas only improved the view.
After the wells went in there was finally something interesting to look at.
[This is a Perry bashing thread half the article bashed Perry, using FALSE numbers.]
So you are saying Perry has Texas in the black? Or are you just here to partisan bash?
Learn to read ,Never said that,But his Border Criminal Pets Damn sure are.