Friday, December 10, 2010

Policy Wonk Palin Lays Out Her Substantial Ideas

The woman who the left and even some GOP Establishment types called a lightweight and not substantive on policy is giving us some pretty good insight into specifics about her policy positions.

Forget the garbage you read in the mainstream media and look for yourself. Sarah Palin has been rolling out extremely insightful policy positions since leaving the governorship in Alaska. Watch how this prospective 2012 presidential candidate communicates her ideas through her own writing and in interviews she has been giving to non-Fox related outlets. You are seeing the unveiling of the plan for what she would do if elected president in 2012.

Palin is formulating, much in the way Reagan did, key policy issues that she would be focusing on as president. According to  TIME's Jay Newton-Small:
Asked via e-mail what she would do if elected, Palin carefully says the first priority "of the next Republican President" should be "to sign a bill for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare with true free-market, patient-centered reform." Obamacare's repeal, she adds, "would help to cut future deficits. It would also send a strong signal to America's workers and employers that government is back on their side and is no longer seeking to impose its one-size-fits-all 'solutions' from above." Palin says she would "also look for entitlement reform, as well as a systemwide audit of government spending with a goal to move us toward zero-based budgeting practices and, ultimately, a balanced budget. We need to start really living within our means. As any mother or father will tell you, don't spend what you don't have."
And Reagan isn't the only one spoke about reawakening America's industrial Giant. Palin has the plan for reviving our economy. We don't need to print money. It's in the ground in our untapped oil and gas reserves, in our mines and in the capitalistic ingenuity that non-government steered green technology may hold for our future. In her National Review Article "Drill" Palin wrote:
Building an energy-independent Amer­ica will mean a real economic stimulus. It will mean American jobs that can never be shipped overseas. Think about how much of our trade deficit is fueled by the oil we import — sometimes as much as half of the total. Through this massive transfer of wealth, we lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year that could be invested in our economy. Instead it goes to foreign countries, including some repressive regimes that use it to fund activities that threaten our security.
Palin continued unveiling more policy today in the Wall Street Journal where she addressed the tax code and entitlements in a pretty convincing way.
The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission's proposals). Beyond that, Rep. Ryan proposes fundamental reform of Medicare for those under 55 by turning the current benefit into a voucher with which people can purchase their own care.

On Social Security, as with Medicare, the Roadmap honors our commitments to those who are already receiving benefits by guaranteeing all existing rights to people over the age of 55. Those below that age are offered a choice: They can remain in the traditional government-run system or direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal accounts, owned by them, managed by the Social Security Administration and guaranteed by the federal government. Under the Roadmap's proposals, they can pass these savings onto their heirs. The current Medicaid system, the majority of which is paid for by the federal government but administered by the states, would be replaced by a block-grant system that would reward economizing states.

Together these reforms help to secure our entitlement programs for the 21st century. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Roadmap would lead to lower deficits and a much lower federal debt. The CBO estimates that under current spending plans, our federal debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2020, to 223% by 2040, and to 433% by 2060. Under Rep. Ryan's Roadmap, the CBO estimates that debt would rise much more slowly, peaking at 99% in 2040 and then dropping back to 77% by 2060.
She is planning trips overseas to build up her foreign policy credentials. She spoke in Hong Kong about a year ago. She will be going to Haiti this weekend. And, she has plans to visit the UK and Israel in the coming year. She is Reaganesque in her foreign policy. She believes in a strong military, not coddling adversaries ("we win, you lose") and working with allies toward crafting good international agreements. She has recently criticized the START Treaty.

Since 2008, Palin has been a naturally intelligent and evolving candidate who carefully studies the issues. These traits are not new to her. She has given her intellectual time to issues confronting Alaska while governor. Although criticized for being shaky on foreign policy issues when selected as McCain's running mate, the fact of the matter is Palin could have explained in mind numbing detail ACES or the TransContinental AGIA natural gas pipeline because that's what she was doing at the time. And because she was nose deep into those issues, it's understandable that she would not have been reading volumes on the Bush Doctrine on Alaska state time.

Because the media has created such a picture of Palin that is so out of touch with reality, it may sound funny when some see this writer describe her as a policy wonk. But she is; and therein lies their "misunderestimation" of her.

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