The GOP press spin is that Sarah Palin is a fiscal conservative. How does this compare to the facts on the ground? Since taking office as Governor in late 2006, she has presented two state budgets.
* Palin asked for combined increases in state funding for the operating budget of 27 percent over two years.
* The fy 2009 Palin budget request, including all funding sources and the capital budget was $8.496 billion, for a state of 570 thousand persons. That's $12,680 per capita, or $51k for a family of four. No other state is close to this level of state government spending.
* The fy 2009 Palin budget request included $2.571 billion in federal funds. That's $4,510 per capita in money from Washington, DC.
Alaska is flush with cash these days, but it also needs to create a more sustainable fiscal environment, as oil prices fluctuate and production from the Alaska North Slope declines. Palin's leadership in reigning in spending is being hyped, but it does not jive with her budget requests. Big increases in the operating budget are the opposite of spending restraint.