Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has saved her state over $913,000 in expenses compared to her predecessor Frank Murkowski (Comparison, 2009). Governor Palin’s travel expenses added up to $212,537 for the entire time she has been in office for an average of $70,845.67 per year (Travel Expenses, 2009). Governor Murkowski’s travel expenses averaged nearly $275,000 for each year he was in office and ballooned to well over $500,000 in his final year.
Complete details on gubernatorial expenses are available in the references.
Governor Palin’s travel expenses are less than 20% or one fifth of her predecessors! Yet, her enemies have the unmitigated gall and chutzpah to harass her daily about her per diem expenses – a pittance by any standard – and expenses she is entitled under Alaskan law to claim. Governor Palin has taken less money than she is entitled to take. She requested an investigation into the taxable nature of her own per diems, and it found that they are indeed taxable income. Governor Palin will pay any taxes owed. Her enemies seized upon the latter item conveniently omitting the first one. Governor Palin could have taken meal expenses for her family on numerous occasions – she was entitled – but rarely did.
Sarah earns $125,000/year for what she does, which includes managing a multi-billion dollar budget, a span of control encompassing tens of thousands of employees, and Commander-in-Chief responsibilities over the 49th Missile Defense Battalion and the Alaska Defense Force. I know department managers with a span of control of three people who make far more money than Governor Palin and have far, far less responsibility – and headaches to deal with. Such is the life of a public servant.
Padding expense reports and allowing some income to go undeclared are two practices that are so rampant – especially among our elected officials — they are nearly universal – almost expected. NY Congressman Charles Rangel — Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — was allegedly involved in numerous serious scandals involving taxes and expenses (Rangel Scandal, 2009). Governor Palin could have easily used gubernatorial expenses as a means to bolster her income, not just by claiming everything she was entitled to, but by crossing that ethical line – like so many others have done.
Governor Palin would never even think of doing such a thing, but her enemies slander her every hour of every day writing libelous material about her expenses. She has put the state’s checkbook online for the world to see. Governor Palin is not just a politician – she is a stateswoman, honest, and a financial genius – something very rare indeed in today’s world.
Comparison between Sarah Palin’s and Frank Murkowski’s expenses. (2009). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved February 24, 2009 from: http://gov.state.ak.us/pdf/Murkowski_Palin-Compare_Feb2009.pdf
Governors’ Travel Expense Report 1999 – 2008. (2009). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved February 24, 2009 from: http://gov.state.ak.us/pdf/GovernorTravelExpenseReport_Feb2009.pdf
Mills, T. (2009, October 21). Charlie Rangel scandal – House Ways and Means Chairman fights charges. Associated Content. Retrieved February 24, 2009 from: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1097915/charlie_rangel_scandal_house_ways_means.html