The fact that lefty political blogs which excel in humor aren't totally ecstatic over the article is the best proof I've yet seen or read that Palin herself didn't write the piece. There's not a single sentence in the piece that gets me to ask the most typical Palin question there is when she speaks or writes - "What did she mean?"
I'll join others on the web who are going through this essay, written by, as my friend TBogg has put it, a person with a "journalism degree from Hawaii Pacific North Idaho University of Idaho Matanuska-Susitna of Idaho."
Here's Sarah Palin's Washington Post Op-ed, with my comments (in red or blue):
There is no shortage of threats to our economy. America's unemployment rate recently hit its highest mark in more than 25 years and is expected to continue climbing. Worries are widespread that even when the economy finally rebounds, the recovery won't bring jobs. Our nation's debt is unsustainable, and the federal government's reach into the private sector is unprecedented.
This is the result of decades of flight of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, through actions of Reagan, both Bushes, and Bill Clinton, abetted by the GOP and Democratic Party Blue Dogs.
Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges. So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:
Media like Runners World, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Vogue?
I am deeply concerned about President Obama's cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.
What might or might not pass Congress will be such a patchwork of give-ins and giveaways to lobbyists, it might actually be damaging, rather than good, but it will not be "an enormous threat."
American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president's cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.
I've met very few Alaskans competent to discuss cap-and-trade with any authority. Cap-and-trade itself is designed to be a compromise that makes a slow switch from a carbon-based economy less painful, more stable, than it will otherwise be. And, as originally proposed, the sale of permits for carbon offests would bring in significant Federal revenue. That has been "traded away," as Andrew Halcro has observed this week.
There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn't lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America's economy.
As in "Drill, baby, drill..."
Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.
Rational Federal long-range programs to move American industry toward sustainable energy output and use, have always created more jobs than they have eliminated. The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, better water treatment policies, green belt creation, he building of better power plants, the building of companies that produce windmills, photoelectric cells, control systems for these products - all these activities represent good, long-term, high-paying jobs.
In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.
American industrial farming practices are totally unsustainable. The chemical fertilizers, chemical herbicides, chemical pesticides, feedlots full of animals that need to have antibiotics injected almost daily, and the heavy, inefficient mechanization of these industries, are killing our land, endangering our people, and destroying family farms. Palin is even more far removed from understanding this than most American politicians.
The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.
The ironic beauty of that short paragraph is that the ghost writer probably is still attempting to explain to Palin what it means. Here's a piece of supply-side economics: America could have built the Prius, but secretive, unimaginative, short-sighted automotive executives killed any possibility. Not liberals.
The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will "necessarily skyrocket." So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.
Under eight years of Bush, our family's personal investments dwindled, our income failed to keep up with costs, and our true taxes increased. In just a few months of Obama, our investments have gained, our incomes increased, and our taxes, due to the burst of the GOP-induced real estate bubble, have actually gone down. Palin fails to acknowledge how much energy prices skyrocketed during the Bush administration.
Even Warren Buffett, an ardent Obama supporter, admitted that under the cap-and-tax scheme, "poor people are going to pay a lot more for electricity."
If we do nothing at all, Buffett's prediction will also come to pass.
We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.
Obviously, Palin's ghost writer didn't realize the snarky implications of "tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil." Some are having a field day on this.
In Alaska, we are progressing on the largest private-sector energy project in history. Our 3,000-mile natural gas pipeline will transport hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of our clean natural gas to hungry markets across America. We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.
Another example of a ghost writer. Palin would have (and has repeatedly) written "progressing" without a following pronoun. But this paragraph once again states Palin's "drill, baby,drill" mantra. Alaskans may see economic benefits from increased oil, natural gas and coal production, but the planet and the American economy need to grow out of this failing paradigm - the sooner, the better.
Of course, Alaska is not the sole source of American energy. Many states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source. Westerners literally sit on mountains of oil and gas, and every state can consider the possibility of nuclear energy.
Actually, this paragraph's sentence, "[m]any states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source," does look like something Palin may have written. She did forget to write "clean" nuclear energy. There is no existing proof that so-called "clean coal" technology works.
We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama's plan will result in the latter.
Under mostly GOP leadership (cue picture of generations of Bushes hugging Saudi princes and kings, not to mention going into business with the bin Ladens), and Bush economic policies allowing the Chinese to own the American bond market, we're 3/4 of the way there already, Sarah. I can see that much from my house, even if you can't.
For so many reasons, we can't afford to kill responsible domestic energy production or clobber every American consumer with higher prices.
During the Bush administration, Americans got clobbered again and again and again.
Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?
Certainly, but I'd trust many Republicans and Libertarians, let alone Democrats to find that solution, before thinking Sarah Palin has the key to an answer worth thinking about in this field. As Donald Craig Mitchell wrote so effectively last week in The Alaska Dispatch:
"Within weeks of her arrival at the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Sarah knew she was drowning. That she had no understanding of, and no interest in, the Commission's highly technical work. And not only that, but, like every state employee, she was expected to be at work five mornings a week. To get to the Commission's office in Anchorage required an hour commute from Wasilla that during the winter she had to make by driving in the pitch dark down an icy, moose-strewn highway.
"So according to people who knew her at the time, soon after she arrived at the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Sarah began searching for a face-saving excuse to quit a job she never should have been given."
Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama's energy cap-and-tax plan.
What it appears we are going to get is not "Barack Obama's" plan. It will be a typical clusterfuck product of the collaboration in Washington DC between lobbyists and the congressional figures who are in bed with them.
And - No I Can't! - believe that the Sarah Palin I've known for 18 years penned this op-ed.