The Contrarian

Jason Snyder

Jason Snyder
New York, New York,
October 31
Jason Snyder is a graduate of Queens College-CUNY (B.A. Political Science) and Harvard Law School and has practiced corporate, securities and finance law on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and in London, representing investment banks, commercial banks, and startup technology companies. He currently works as a commercial/securities litigator for a firm in Manhattan.


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SEPTEMBER 20, 2008 1:31AM

We'll Trade You Hannity for Our Money Back

Rate: 8 Flag

Update Below

 How does Sarah Palin get away with saying that she is against earmarks when Alaska gets more earmarks than any other state in the union?  Alaska gets something like $500 per capita from the federal government.  By comparison, Arizona, which gets the least amount of federal money, gets $18.70.

 Then there are the statements about how Alaska is giving money back to every citizen of the state.  The following is an exchange from Palin's "interview" with Sean Hannity:

HANNITY: Let’s go in to that. The people of Alaska get — for example, there’s no income tax, there’s no sales tax in Alaska.

PALIN: There are in individual communities.

HANNITY: But no state sales tax.

PALIN: Correct.

HANNITY: The average citizen — if I was a resident of Alaska, you would write me a check every year for $2,069?

PALIN: Well, depending on how the stock market is doing. Over the last five years — an average.

HANNITY: And then you also gave recently an extra check for $1,200?

PALIN: I did. Because the price of a barrel of oil is so high right now that state coffers are growing, but the family’s checkbook is being decimated because of the high cost of energy.

HANNITY: I have to move to Alaska. New York taxes are killing me.

Why are the American taxpayers sending so much money to Alaska, when Alaska has such a big surplus it can send more than $2,000 cash to its citizens ($3,269 this year)?  Does this make sense to you?

Maybe if she actually took questions from the press, we would have a chance to find out.


I may have actually understated the magnitude of the issue.  Andrew Sullivan points to this Time article by Michael Kinsley in which Kinsley writes that

Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 2 1/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska's government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it.


In 2005 (the most recent figures), according to the Tax Foundation, Alaska ranked 18th in federal taxes paid per resident ($5,434) but first in federal spending received per resident ($13,950). Its ratio of federal spending received to federal taxes paid ranks third among the 50 states, and in the absolute amount it receives from Washington over and above the amount it sends to Washington, Alaska ranks No. 1.

Author tags:

mccain, earmarks, taxes, palin, politics

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Forget Hannity. He's not worth the paper he's printed on.

And Sarah is big, fat liar.
Q: How do you know Sarah Palin is lying?

A: Her mouth is moving.
hee hee Excellent joke. Sadly, it's true.
Thanks for posting Jason. I live in Arizona, so these facts piss me off. Our electric bill for the month of July was over $600.00! I could use a little cash back right now.
$600? Wow am I glad I live in NorCal. No airconditioning necessary.
good point. great headline. Olberman did a great job of breaking it down..."reform, reform, reform...reform, reform..."

but you raise a good point about earmarks and sharing the wealth.
Thanks for posting this and, with luck, Sean will move to Alaska and just be an unpleasant, fading memory!
The issue of how much Alaskans pay in taxes or how much money they receive from the federal government is interesting, but it also gives us some insight into Palin's much-touted "executive experience."

Many governors and state legislatures around the country are struggling to keep the lights on. They have to make very difficult choices about what to fund -- prisons, universities, social service programs, highway maintenance, public safety, etc. A small economic downturn can play havoc with the budget.

In Alaska it's much different. Around 89 percent of state unrestricted funds come from oil taxes. Alaska is literally awash in oil money. The "tough decision" there is how much to kick back to the residents. Palin doesn't exactly spend sleepless nights trying to figure out whether to close university programs or raise tuition. Her executive experience in Alaska is quite a bit different from that of most other governors.