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.
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.
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.