Sarah Palin’s speech at Saturday’s Tea Party Nation rally in Iowa was notable for something other than her “strippers” quip. The half-term governor whose flirtation with running for president grows tiresome by the day said it wasn’t enough to just replace President Obama. “If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country,” she said. Then, she added this:
It’s not good enough for politicians to just be throwing our way some vague generalities, talking about some promises here and there. It’s time that we hold them accountable. It is amazing to me that even some good conservatives run away from being honest and straight up with us about what needs to be done. . . . They just talk vaguely about cuts and then they move on. They’re too busy saying what they think we want to hear, but instead they should be telling us what needs to be said and what needs to be done.
In presenting her own plan, Palin didn’t even meet the standard she set for others.
“My plan is a bona-fide pro-working man’s plan, and it deals in reality,” Palin declared. “It deals in the way that the world really works because we must talk about what really works in order to get America back to work.”
Palin wants to “enforce the 10th Amendment and devolve powers back locally where the Founders intended them to be.” This is an effort to “stop expanding an out-of-control and out-of-touch federal government.” But she doesn’t say which specific powers she would give back to the states or how that would work exactly.
Palin says, “We must repeal Obamacare!” But she doesn’t say what she would do to help Americans without health care get it or maintain what they have as a result of the health-care law. Palin’s plan includes the vague generality of “rein[ing] in burdensome regulations.” She wants government “out of the way” to “let the private sector breathe and grow.” But she gives no specifics.
Palin said, “[N]o more run away debt. We must prioritize and cut.” But she doesn’t say what needs to be cut. The one thing she said that no one would argue with is the need for entitlement reform. Palin sounded a lot like President Obama when she said, “[I]t must be done in a way that honors our commitment to our esteemed elders today, while keeping faith with future generations.” But, like the president, she doesn’t give any specifics on what that means.
Where Palin did make an interesting argument was on energy security.
The real stimulus that we’ve been waiting for is robust and responsible domestic energy production. We have the resources. Affordable and secure energy is the key to any thriving economy, and it must be our foundation. So, I would do the opposite of Obama’s manipulation of U.S. supplies of energy. Drill here, drill now. Let the refineries and the pipelines be built. Stop kowtowing to foreign countries and dictators, asking them to ramp up production and industry for us, promising them that we’ll be their greatest customer. No, not when we have the resources here. We need to move on tapping our own God-given natural resources.
We can argue over her belief in a “hardcore all-of-the-above energy policy that builds this indestructible link between made-in-America energy and our prosperity and our security,” but there’s no denying that this is the one policy area where Palin has deep knowledge.
The fifth pillar of Palin’s plan is where she makes no sense. To make America more attractive to business — “create millions of high-paying jobs” and “increase opportunity and prosperity for all” — she proposes to “eliminate all federal corporate income tax.” And Palin, calling this “the best part,” says, “To balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts.” Not sure how this qualifies as “the best part” or how this makes up for the trillions in lost revenue that fund the programs on which millions of Americans depend.
Palin has no expectations for Obama’s job speech on Thursday. “It will have more lofty goals and flowery rhetoric, more illogical economic fantasies and more continued blame and finger-pointing,” she said. She knows of what she speaks, I suppose. What she lacks in lofty goals and flowery rhetoric, she more than makes up for in far-right rhetoric and illogical economic fantasies.