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Friday, October 8, 2010

Joe Miller's Unbalanced Budget

Oct 8th, 2010

by F. Grey Parker

The hits keep coming for Alaskan senate candidate Joe Miller. He went from stating that federal unemployment compensation is unconstitutional to having to wriggle out of questions about his wife's receipt of unemployment after losing her job working for him. Next, he got himself into a spat with the Palins over his inability to answer with a flat out "yes" when asked by Chris Wallace whether he thought Mrs. Palin was "qualified" to be President. 

From the category of "Wait, there's more!,"  comes today's report that he has just filed the financial disclosure documents required of all candidates by law. They were due in April. From the Anchorage Daily News:

"Miller was supposed to turn his form in sometime in April, when he had more than $5,000 in campaign donations in his campaign account. He never turned one in, though – an omission that the campaign said was unintentional. However, both Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams filed their forms."

Within the disclosure, there are gems like this one: 

"He and his wife also own undeveloped farmland in Delta Junction valued between $250,001 and $500,000. The land appears to be the same farmland he borrowed from the state of Alaska's Agricultural Revolving Loan Fund."

His receipt of federal farm subsidies is a bit at odds with his statements on "entitlements."

The documents reveal a pretty shaky picture of someone who has gained so much traction with the "fiscal responsibility" crowd. Miller is riding a wave of born-again deficit-hawks. It would be worth their time to review the financial disclosure and see if it squares with the principles they believe he will bring to Washington. They should also ask themselves if it demonstrated responsible behavior to file this disclosure over 6 months late and only after being pressed to do so by the media.

What are his policy proposals? It is in his supporter's interests to actually read his 12 Point Plan to deal with the deficit. Some of his proposals are subtly comedic:

"Establish a Sunset Committee: This committee will scrutinize federal programs to determine if they are necessary and where they can be cut.  This committee will investigate duplication of services, waste, ineffectiveness, and will make sure programs are still necessary.  It will allow for greater accountability of tax dollars.  It will also determine what federal programs are best left for the states or local authorities, or are ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning.  On Capitol Hill, we have hundreds of committees devoted to spending our tax dollars. We need at least one committee looking at ways to cut spending consistent with efficiency and the U.S. Constitution."

It is a proposal to grow government in order to shrink it. Does this guy have any idea how many extra staffers every senator and congressman would hire to make sure their interests were protected from such a committee?

Other proposals are just silly, with names like "End Czar layer of government." As there is no Czar layer of government, one wonders how an educated man such as himself justified this obvious pander. Then, there are proposals that border on the offensive, such as "Repeal ObamaCare/No New Entitlements." Well, I guess he got his entitlements but that's different.

John Farrel of U.S. News and World Report doesn't pull any punches:

"I know a few wards and precincts in Boston and Chicago where the boys would nod their head in admiration at Miller's little patronage trifecta. But at least those bums and grafters are honest with their fellow Americans. They feed at the government trough and embrace nepotism and are darn proud of it. They don't--like Miller and Sharron and Christine et al--have one set of standards for themselves and another for the rest of us."

This Tea Party rocket is looking more and more like a Roman candle.

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