Arnold Kling  

Sarah Palin's First Hundred Days*

Paging Hyman Minsky... Willingham, Flow, and Why Stud...

She comes to office in January of 2013 with three priorities in economic policy. These are restoring the health of the private nonfinancial sector, putting entitlements on a sustainable path, and reversing the trend toward centralization of power.

1. A tax bill eliminates the corporate income tax and the employer portion of the payroll tax. It eliminates the tax deductibility of mortgage interest and employer contributions for health insurance.

2. An entitlement reform bill limits Federal spending on health care and social security to 10 percent of GDP, using these proposals or some equivalent.

3. Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are repealed. In health care, a voucher system is designed to subsidize people who are very poor and/or very ill. FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae will have their maximum loan limits reduced to zero over a period of three years, phasing out those agencies. Financial reform will consist of requiring financial institutions above a certain size to have private partners with substantial personal equity in the institution. Banks operate more safely when they are partnerships than when they are public companies.

*Please keep in mind that I composed this post in my head while riding my bicycle on this very warm day. I am not responsible for any hallucinations that might be attributable to heat stroke.

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COMMENTS (40 to date)
Boonton writes:

And considering Palin's well documented ability to turn on a dime and adopt any talking point that seems to 'work' at the moment what makes you think she would push through such tough reforms?

david writes:

I'm betting on heat stroke. Go see your doctor :P

Matt C writes:

Yeah, I'll have some of whatever got slipped into your water bottle.

Hey, I get to agree with Boonton! My impression of Sarah Palin is she's about as power hungry and status obsessed as they come. If she manages to ride the wave all the way to Washington, she'll fit right in by the time she gets there. I admit I've not followed her closely, maybe I'm being unfair.

Is it just a ridiculous idea that all banks should be entirely privately held? I remember reading about J.P. Morgan putting down his own cold cash to quell a market panic. Sounds good to me.

greg writes:

January 20, 2013, can't come soon enough. It will be great to see 0lbermann, Matthews, Maddow, and a host of others going into total meltdown as Palin takes the oath of office.

Patrick L writes:

Palin would rage quit in the first hundred days.

Can we just say 'Unnamed Republican President', so we can still have hope.

OneEyedMan writes:

Hard to imagine a more complete repudiation of the values of the American elite electing her president.

If I'd get all these I'd vote for her despite her anti-intellectualism. However, I'm afraid I'd get only a repeal of Obama care an a bit of budgetary window dressing.

When I think about the circumstances under which she'd get elected, it would have to involve Republicans winning the house and senate too. We saw how quickly that emptied them of principle. I'd much rather keep Obama but have the Republicans gain large majorities in the house and senate. Then maybe we'd get some real reform.

Rebecca Burlingame writes:

Too bad there aren't more people with principled ideas like that, only with loads of personality too! At least in the present. Hey you could always run for president...

Van (William Henley) writes:

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James writes:

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Doc Merlin writes:

As much as I would love it to happen, I can't see Arnold as president, the only thing more absurd would be Bryan as president.

Heh, Bryan as president... an anarchocapitalist president can you imagine that, rofl.

Kris writes:

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Milo Minderbinder writes:

All of those initiatives are quite doable, with or without Ms. Palin, if the electorate reverses in the Fall of 2010 its overreaction in 2008. I'd hate to see the state of America in the summer of 2012 that would cause the electorate to vote Ms. Palin in as president.

Sally writes:

Let me see. The 'nationalized' auto companies have repaid the loans that kept them out of bankruptcy, with interest.Same with the banks. People in this country deserve health care, and were we not paying for Bush's unfunded tragedies abroad, there would have been no problem obtaining the health care bill Obama and progressives wanted, and this country needs. It is stunning that the right is SO very concerned about keeping troops everywhere at a million dollars a year per soldier, caring for them forever when they come back mentally and physically wounded for life, and continuing to produce outdated planes and ships for inflated contracts that even the military doesn't want, but just suggest helping one of their fellow citizens, and oh, my, we can't afford that! So, good Christians that you claim to be, why haven't you read the New Testament recently? You know the parts about not hoarding your God-given riches, and loving your neighbor? And Palin, the part about not lying would be good for you to recall. Daily.

Oakshott writes:

I'll sign on to the platform if she adds a fourth plank:

4) Passes legislation requiring all corporations to transform themselves into unlimited liability partnerships and eliminating 'personhood' as a legal category for anything other than actual persons.

Sally writes:

As far as Palin taking the oath of office, it won't happen.
#1 She'll never take the pay cut.
#2 She'd have to work for a living, all day every day for 4 years or until she became the first President to quit (and that could be soon when she realizes you didn't make her Queen Sarah.)
#3 She can't operate without Todd, and there's no way he'd be allowed in Cabinet meetings or to be copied on official emails.
#4She'd have to hold real live press conferences with real live journalists who don't take their marching orders from Murdoch.
#5Name one Republican man who would run as her second? Anyone?
#6Republicans are nowhere near ready to have a woman at the top of the ticket, and if she announces, watch the fur fly. It isn't only the left who has questions for Ms. Ethically Challenged.
#7She might have to sit down with a journalist and be interviewed without having the questions a week in advance. Horrors! Call Meg Stapleton quick...where did Reagan go to college again?

Hawkeye writes:

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Henry writes:

You're assuming she spends an entire hundred days in office.

Hawkeye writes:

It would seem to me that the Democrats are the ones who aren't ready for a woman to be President. Didn't they choose the man over the woman in that last election?

As for Todd, yeah, he was sure running Alaska. Especially since he was hundreds of miles away every other week working 12-hour shifts. Sure.

And didn't the Left play up the idea that Hillary was so involved with Bill's administration? Didn't Bill run on a "two-for-one" ticket? Now they've got a problem with Todd. Interesting. Maybe they're just bitter because in the Palin's case, the woman is actually on the top of the ticket, not hanging onto her husband's coattails.

As for whether or not she would stick it out, a year and a half more in Alaska would have been nothing but a year and a half in court battling stupid lawsuits. A waste of everybody's time and money. She did the right thing, not only for herself, but for the state. They can focus on actual business now without having to worry about the political machine that was out to destroy her because she was a threat to Barack Obama.

Pay cut? Um, I believe the majority of her money is from her book. And I also believe that Obama made somewhere around 9 million dollars in book royalties recently. Yeah, I don't think that'll be a factor.

Henry writes:
It would seem to me that the Democrats are the ones who aren't ready for a woman to be President. Didn't they choose the man over the woman in that last election?

I guess if Hillary had won, that would have made Democrats the anti-black party.

The fact that a female and a black candidate both ran so well is evidence that the Democrats are willing to nominate them. The Republicans have not seen any serious female or black Presidential candidates defeated because they have never had a serious female or black Presidential candidate. (To be fair, neither did the Democrats before 2008). The Republican sample size of 0 may be partially because potential female/black candidates didn't think the Republican electorate would be willing to nominate someone of their sex/race. (Indeed, this was a major reason that Colin Powell chose not to run in 1996).

Randall Thorpe writes:

A Palin Presidency would prove popular & prestigious, and provide peace, prosperity and unprecedented preponderance of power for USA. Sarah Palin is born to rule this nation.

Les writes:

Sarah Palin seems to draw either strong support or vicious criticism. She probably deserves neither.

What does stand out is how superior her abilities and achievements are, compared to an Obama, a Biden, a Pelosi, or a Harry Reid. So while Palin is not particularly outstanding as far as competence is concerned, she still towers over contemporary political leaders.

The obvious conclusion is how feeble our current political leaders are. While our challenges are enormous, our political leaders are extremely unimpressive.

David writes:

Interesting that 80+% of the comments concern the former governor and less than 20% on the policies that could actual save the country from financial ruin.

I would be more interested in comments on what policies the critics of the column would prefer, or do they defend the worst president since Buchanan?

Matt Brubeck writes:

You sound just like my most progressive friends did when they projected all their hopes and dreams onto Obama before the 2008 election. They are rather disappointed these days.

Boonton writes:

I would think its more likely, if she was faced with a Democratic Congress, she would negotiate some trivial reforms to Obamacare around abortion (instead of having to write two checks to get your abortion covered you may have to buy insurance outside of the exchanges). Then to get praise from seniors and the health industry she would eliminate some of the spending cuts and expand the entitlement and announce to the US that she had 'fixed the death panel' problem.*

This is more or less the playbook the last Republican President followed. Likewise during the campaign the top of the very ticket Palin ran on also did something similiar (what, Kling has forgotten McCain telling us that voting against TARP was a selfish vote against America?!)

* More problematically I'd also predict that right leaning bloggers like Arnold will be nowhere near as outraged at a result like this as the current bile they generate for Obama. I predict that if such a turn of events comes to pass, the 'intellectual right' will turn on their principles before turning on their mascots. Expect a revivial of various Dick Cheney type theories that 'deficits don't matter'. Likewise expect such an act by Palin to be excused by implying she was held hostage to evil, insane Democrats in Congress.

Boonton writes:

Hard to imagine a more complete repudiation of the values of the American elite electing her president.

The vast majority of Americans view her negatively, view her as an empty suit devoid of intelligence or original ideas. Who is it that keeps presenting her as a leader despite the fact that she was only able to win one relatively obscure major electorial office and wasn't even able to handle the job for the full term?

Why its the 'American elite' my friend. It is their idea of what the typical 'regular American' will go for. Young, good looking, given to vapid remarks devoid of substance but sound good in 15 second increments (but not optimalized for anyone willing to spend 60 seconds examining them in more detail on Google).... To boot she comes packaged as some type of rebellion against the 'elite'! It's like kids who go to a US shopping mall and lay out $20 for t-shirts with Che or 'Fight the Power' on them!

Don't believe me? Who was the key force in choosing her to be the GOP VP candidate? McCain? No he wanted his friend Lieberman, who whatever you think of him has a long history of being in the same mindset as McCain and has worked with him closely. It was the GOP 'elite' that said no way. In fact, it was a New York Times Columnist, Bill Kristol!

Yea, a big snubbing of the 'American elite' indeed. If you send me $50 I'll get you one of those Che t-shirts too!

johnleemk writes:

Palin is trying to claim the mantle of Reagan and Thatcher. I don't buy into the cult of either conservative folk hero, but at least I could believe they would accomplish Arnold's 1 through 3. I think Palin is a fairly decent political operator, but I don't see her as having the credibility, knowhow or even the requisite intellectual curiosity to do 1 through 3. She is no Reagan or Thatcher -- just look at their biographies, and it's plain as daylight.

I second whoever suggested a Republican Congress with an Obama White House is probably the optimal arrangement at the moment. Reagan accomplished tax reform with a Democratic Congress; Clinton accomplished welfare reform with a Republican Congress. It's hard to think of many times when a one-party government in the US bore significant fruit.

berkeleyguy101 writes:

If Palin gets anywhere near the White House I will shoot myself.

Tom writes:

Sally, GM repaid a first smaller loan with funds from a second, much larger, government loan. The rest of you post has a similar disassociation with reality.

[Remainder of comment removed. --Econlib Ed.]

William Shipley writes:

I think that Palin's big focus in the first 100 days would be on energy. She says it's the key issue and I agree with her. She would be increasing investment in 'all of the above' with domestic production and jobs being the center.

I personally think we spend too much time talking about spending and taxing as the only tools. Actually encouraging business and industry, yes actually building things, can generate revenue. If some of the burdens on industry as well as the overt hostility toward manufacturing by the environmental movement could be modified we would see jobs, growth, and lowering of deficits. It's not enough to just lower taxes, you have to let people actually build facilities and hire people.

Susan writes:

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Steve Allison writes:

Two words, 'Paul Ryan'.

Carmelo Junior writes:

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checktothepower writes:

Exactly,Palin has the Backbone to do it.If there's one thing I know about Sarah Palin,she likes a good fight and the Democrats are going to try to block everything she tries to do to no avail.
I would vote for her,she walks the walk and talks the talk.

Boonton writes:

Talks the talk is fine but where exactly has she walked? Resigning when you're not even done with your first and only term as Gov. is walking the walk? Esp. when you didn't exactly do anything all that dramatic in that term?

MN writes:

I like your article. I think it is interesting how the Palin haters repeat their classic anti-Sarah lines. Few of them will admit that the Democrats in Alaska loved Sarah until she was picked by McCain. It's funny how that selection suddenly made her "stupid." I think perhaps the reverse is true--her selection made many liberal incapable of intellectual thought.

Gary writes:

Sarah Palin is the only one who CAN turn this country around.

She took on the corrupt machine in Alaska, which rivaled the sewer in Chicago Obama came from, and destroyed it.

As the Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, one of the most important jobs in the state she was TOUGH.

As Governor, she was even tougher. She put Big Oil in it's place, balanced the budget, and sent even more corrupt Republicans to prison, after teaming up with the FBI.

Sarah Plain is the only one who has the balls to do what needs to be done, and has the track record to prove it.

I agree with other commenters, BTW, ENERGY will be a top priority.

John writes:

Excellant insight.

I've been a contributor to Sarahpac since day one. I'm voting for her. Some of my friends and family have already made plans to work for her in Iowa. That is where the revolution will begin to become an unstoppable force. Make it down. You'll see the heads of the fat cat wing of the GOP explode. Party's over boys.

There are millions more like me who are tired of the ruling class inhabiting the Boston-NY-DC corridor.

Boonton writes:

Notice the previous post was devoid of any substance...except to tell us several times that Palin was tough. (I'm sorry, she was TOUGH!) No wonder she quit, she fixed everything there was to fix in Alaska.

ad nauseum writes:

Hahahaha, I'm picturing the look on the democrats' faces if the republicans put a Palin/Rice ticket on the ballot. Or it could be Rice/Palin since Condoleezza Rice has the "intellectual requirements" that so many speak of.

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