Is that what you call *compassionate* conservatism?

Sarah Palin added $20 million in long-term debt in the six years she was mayor of a town with 6000 residents.

I can’t find confirmation for this claim published by Glenn Thrush of Politico:

Palin, who portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla — that amounts to $3,000 per resident. She argues that the debt was needed to fund improvements.

Assume for the moment it’s true; seems as if someone checked with Palin. Those must be some honking big improvements.

Lemmesee … $3000 per resident x 300,000,000 residents of the United States = $900 billion.

That’s additional debt, added over six years, in a state that doesn’t have any state-level taxation instead, each resident gets a check every year for his or her share of the oil revenues.

Now, of course adding the national-level equivalent of $900 billion over six years makes Palin a piker compared to GWB, who added has added $4 trillion over eight years. But as far as I know Wasilla didn’t fight any wars during Palin’s tenure in office.

So now we know how you get to be a hero of the Club for Growth. No need to cut spending while you’re cutting taxes. Just put it all on the kids’ credit card.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: