Sarah Palin has long sold herself as a fiscal conservative, arguing against the Democrats’ health overhaul on the grounds that the nation simply can’t afford it.
But when the former vice presidential candidate resigned as governor of Alaska in the summer of 2009, she left the state with a 70 percent debt-to-GDP ratio — the highest state debt burden in the United States.
That’s according to data compiled by the Washington Independent’s Megan Carpentier, who notes that Alaska has a debt burden similar to “that of Jordan and PalinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s favorite health care resource, Canada, and a higher ratio than Ghana, Cote dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ivoire, India, the Philippines or Uruguay.”
By comparison, crisis-stricken California has a debt ratio of less than 40 percent. All the more confounding about Alaska’s debt is the fact that it is an oil-producing region with a small population to share in that wealth. Oil-rich Alberta, Canada, for example, collects no sales tax and still managed to retire its debt entirely in 2004.
While Alaska’s massive debt burden can’t be blamed entirely on Palin’s two-and-a-half-year stint as governor, she did face similar debt problems while mayor of Wasilla, and those appear to be of her own making.
Wasilla’s municipal debt went from around $1 million when she came in to office, to around $22 million when she left, mostly as a result of the construction of a sports arena and public works projects championed by Palin.
While Alaska’s debt load is high by the standards of US states, it’s worth noting some nations have considerably higher debt loads. Japan, for example, is carrying a debt load of more than 190 percent of GDP; Greece, recently hit by a debt crisis, has a 108 percent debt-to-GDP ratio.
The debt load for the US federal government clocked in at around 53 percent in 2009; the debt is expected to increase to 68.5 percent by 2014.
Former FBI agent explains why Trump just opened himself to more legal problems
Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained that the recent revelations that President Donald Trump made a promise to a foreign leader that made an intelligence official uncomfortable enough to declare themselves a whistleblower.
Rangapp explained that the President has a fairly wide latitude to conduct foreign affairs as he sees fit. But "when it comes to the 'outside world,' the President represents the sovereign: He is basically the voice of the United States and can negotiate with world leaders on its behalf."
Canada’s Trudeau admits to racist ‘brownface’ makeup in high school Halloween costume
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago, as he scrambled to get on top of a fresh blow to a re-election campaign dogged by controversy.
Time magazine published the photograph one week into a federal election campaign with Trudeau's Liberal Party in a tight contest against the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer.
Trudeau, 47, whose party won a landslide victory in 2015, has already been under attack for an ethics lapse and other controversies.
The black-and-white photograph shows Trudeau, then 29, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened at a gala party in 2001.
New York cop who became El Chapo’s security guard arrested for selling cocaine and taking bribes
A New York cop is being prosecuted after he was outed for selling cocaine and taking bribes after he went to work for drug kingpin El Chapo.
The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Officer Ishmael Bailey had his bail set at $50,000 after he was arrested and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court. He was charged with possession and sale of narcotics, conspiracy, bribe receiving as a public servant and failing to perform duties as a public servant.
Lawyer Jeff Cohen argued that Bailey had two children and had to pay child support. The lawyer explained that Bailey “does understand the severity of his charges.”