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.
Get your fax right: Bungling officials spark Japan nuclear scare
Bungling Japanese officials sparked a nuclear scare after a violent, late-night earthquake by ticking the wrong box on a fax form -- inadvertently alerting authorities to a potential accident.
Employees of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata -- where the 6.4-magnitude quake struck -- faxed a message to local authorities seeking to allay any fears of damage.
But TEPCO workers accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form, mistakenly indicating there was an abnormality at the plant rather than there was no problem.
Harvard psychiatrist stunned by Donald Trump’s lies and ‘comfortable shamelessness’
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump officially launched his re-election bid to crowds of supporters in Orlando, Florida. Notably, ahead of the kick-off of his campaign, he pledged to round up and deport migrants, a pledge widely seen as unrealistic but geared toward pleasing his base.
Raw Story spoke with Leonard L. Glass, M.D., M.P.H., about the Trump's re-election and whether he is fit for the office of President. Glass is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Newton, Massachusetts. He is an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a senior attending psychiatrist at McLean Hospital. Dr. Glass was President of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and was a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association until he resigned in protest of the Goldwater rule in April 2017. He contributed his scholarly background in ethics to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” edited by Bandy X. Lee (dangerouscase.org).
Who are the four men charged with downing of MH17?
International investigators have charged three Russians and one Ukrainian with murder over the 2014 shooting down of flight MH17 above rebel-held eastern Ukraine in which 298 people were killed.
Here are the four suspects named by the Dutch-led team on Wednesday.- Igor Girkin -
Igor Girkin -- also known by his pseudonym "Strelkov" -- is the most high-profile suspect.