Palin, responsibility, and borrowing

Just what WERE her “responsibilities” as Mayor?

Sarah Palin is good at borrowing: as Mayor of her small town, she borrowed $20 million ($3000 per person) that the taxpayers will have to pay back, with interest.

Turns out she also borrows applause lines.

Tonight she is expected to read this line:

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.

That’s borrowed from National Review Online.

Of course, no one really believes that the words Palin will read are her own, so it’s really her speechwriters (or McCain’s speechwriters working on her speech) who were borrowing in this case.

But other than running up huge amounts of debt, just what are the “actual responsibilities” of a the Mayor Of Wasilla?

* Hiring a corrupt lobbyist to bring in $27 million worth of Federal tax dollars (your tax dollars and mine) for pork-barrel projects.

* Raising tax collections 33%, and expenditures by 38%, cutting property taxes (saving money for corporations) while raising sales taxes (hitting the poor hardest).

* Cutting the museum budget and freezing the library budget while building a new hockey rink.

* Redecorating her own office, twice.

Much more impressive than helping a bunch of laid-off workers, don’t you think?

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: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com