Sarah Palin, Tea Partier in Name Only, Defends Big Oil Subsidies Sarah Palin, Tea Partier in Name Only, Defends Big Oil Subsidies
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Sarah Palin, Tea Partier in Name Only, Defends Big Oil Subsidies

by Ben Jervey

May 5, 2011

Buried in the odd poetry of Sarah Palin's live commentary on oil subsidies is this bombshell:

We’re only talking about four billion dollars...Compare that to the $14 trillion debt that our President has certainly contributed to, and four billion dollars is a drop in the bucket.

Of course, the national debt was already at $10.6 trillion when President Obama took office, and he didn't sign the 2009 budget that added to that total. We're also talking about $4 billion per year for the next ten years, so the savings would total $40 billion.

But more importantly, do rank-and-file members of the Tea Party know that their favorite Alaskan is calling $4 billion a "drop in the bucket?"

As Zaid Jilani notes, that $4 billion dollars may be a small part of the federal budget, but it's "1,200 times the amount of money that House Republicans were demanding would be saved from cutting off money to NPR." It's also more than 13 times as much as Planned Parenthood got last year.

Palin goes on to say,

He shouldn't assume that the $4 billion is going to affect Bil Oil. No it's the independent explorers that we want out their with their entrepreneurial spirit and their manpower and job creating ability to be out there exploring and then responsibly exploiting and extracting our God-given resources.

Why then, just last week, did Exxon-Mobil publicly whine about the possibility of the subsidies getting cut?

By the way, there are plenty of more efficient ways to create jobs with $4 billion. Like, say, hiring 100,000 teachers at $40,000 per year.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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Sarah Palin, Tea Partier in Name Only, Defends Big Oil Subsidies