Palin's Speech of Lies

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Election 2008

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer

Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET

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

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."

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.

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.

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: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is
governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil
production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

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: While governors are in charge of their state guard units,
that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military
service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan,
for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which
means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

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

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's
election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of
1,525. 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.

"We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a
conservative Washington! We have a pre scri ption for every American who
wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and
elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. 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 have been in charge of the House and

Associated Press Writer Jim Drinkard in Washington contributed to this report.

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