Thursday, February 19, 2009

Look At Who Owes Back Taxes Now...

One of the cool things about being an independent thinker who isn't registered with any political party is that I get to call bullsh*t where I see it, without worrying about glaring contradictions. I pop sh*t about Obama on the regular here, not because I don't support him (I do), but because I don't support him blindly. The Democrats don't get a free pass. And not that I need to remind you, but neither does the GOP.

The problem with stans ideologues is that they put up such a facade that they can't admit when their own team is wrong. This issue exists on both sides of the political aisle, but it's especially true for Conservatives. They just generally have a problem with calling a spade a spade, which ultimately undermines any otherwise valid point they're trying to make.

Before anyone gets it twisted, this is by no means a jab at our resident Conservative, Spool32. I've had plenty of offline convos with the guy, and despite the front he puts on here daily, he's as transparent and forthcoming a guy as you'll ever converse with. He can call bullsh*t when he sees it, I just think he refuses to do so here because he's usually the only guy sharing his viewpoint and goes into Me Against The World mode. I'd tell you what he secretly admitted to me about Obama last week, but I'm not the kinda guy to share personal convos in a public forum. Perhaps he'll fill you in himself if he's in a chipper mood after reading this story.

Anyways, GOP Stans are chasing that 3 piece of crow and a biscuit with an ice cold can of STFU today. After weeks of ripping the Dems for their tax troubles, you could literally hear a rat pissing on cotton at this latest example of Arctic Caucasian Craziness, courtesy of the party's handpicked 2012 savior.
Gov. Sarah Palin must pay back taxes on nearly $18,000 in expenses she charged the state for living in her home outside Anchorage instead of at the state capital, officials said Wednesday.

A review of state policy and Internal Revenue Service tax laws determined the per diem payments should be treated as income, Department of Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer said.

The charges came to light after Palin was named John McCain's running mate on the Republican presidential ticket in August and became a campaign issue after she was presented to the nation as a fiscal conservative.

Palin had collected nearly $17,000 in per diem payments before she was named to the Republican ticket. The expenses were paid for more than 300 nights she slept at her home in the Anchorage suburb of Wasilla and commuted 40 miles to her Anchorage office instead of living in the governor's mansion in Juneau, the state capital. The practice started up again shortly after last fall's general election.

Palin's spokesman, Bill McAllister, said Wednesday he didn't know if Palin was still collecting per diem or if she would continue to do so.

McAllister said her taxes are a personal matter and wouldn't disclose how much she owes. However, he said Palin would pay the amount required.

Palin returned to work on Nov. 7 — three days after McCain's loss to Barack Obama in the general election. From then until Dec. 14 — the last date for which records were available — she continued to charge the state for meals and incidentals, amounting to $1,168, an Associated Press review of records show. The state released Palin's expenses for the first two weeks of December on Wednesday.

She requested the full $60 a day for all but three of the 19 per diem requests. For example, on Nov. 14 when she attended a formal dinner celebrating the state's 50th anniversary, she requested $28 that day, which covered breakfast and lunch only.

Per diem payments are intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business. State officials have said Palin's claims were permitted because her "duty station" is Juneau.
Soooo, The Alaska Disasta finds herself in yet more trouble. It's amazing to me that with the state facing a fiscal deficit, and the GOP decrying unnecessary spending, Palin still finds it necessary to collect her per diem. Sure, it's just $60/day, but isn't this about principle? That's what the GOP said when the issue was Tom Daschle's limo service that wasn't properly comped. The difference is that Daschle was a private citizen serving as a disgusting and vile lobbyist. Palin is the Governor of a state where you can see Russia from your front yard. One's clearly worse than the other. The fact that this issue arose (albeit quietly) during the election, yet she still chose to keep reaping the benefit once she returned home is disconcerting to say the least.

I mean, c'mon, the governor of Alaska makes $125,000 a year. Palin herself turned down a 20% pay hike in December, saying that doing so sent the wrong message to her fellow Alaskans. Of course this was just political maneuvering. The per diem alone (which is paid in cash) adds up to roughly the same amount as the raise. Shrewd? You betcha!

Seriously, just how much moose chilli is this chick cooking? I know the Palin household has a few extra mouths to feed nowadays, but asking taxpayers to foot the bill for her grandchild's Similac is just stoopid. She should just get on WIC like the rest of us.

And let me be clear: I'm not really all that upset about the taxes. I'm sure the Governor doesn't fill out her own expense reports, and some staff minion should have told her about the tax implications before they became public. The issue is why she's still abusing the privilege of the per diem when she clearly doesn't need it. Her daily commute doesn't warrant an overnight stay, and thus, no daily allotment for that double mooseburger with cheese combo. This is pure greed, and the folks of Alaska deserve better, especially in this economic climate. Continuing to take the money after it's already been publicized is a literal middle finger to the folks who pay her salary. You know, those Real Alaaaaaskans!!!

Anyways, this latest development has been met with the typical silence from Conservatives. Rush? Nothing. Hannity? Out to lunch. Steele? Gone. O'Reilly? Gagged and bound. Malkin? Absent. Even Negro GOP Apologist James T. Harris? Nothing smarmy to say. Even that bastion of Fairness and Balance, Fox News, doesn't even have a link to the story on its website.

Of course they don't. It's not wrong when it's your guy. Or gal.

Question: Do obvious contradictions like this one exist more so on one side of the aisle or are both the Dems and GOP equally spineless?

Alaska says Palin owes taxes on per diem expenses [AP]

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