How Sarah Palin is the most iconic, capable and thoughtful campaigner in modern politics

Neil Craig on Sarah Palin's Indianola speech and how her vision is radical, principled and based on traditional American political theory but most importantly the best thought out programme on offer

Sarah Palin Indianola

Sarah Palin has just announced that she is not running for President. She still intends to express her opinions and to work actively to help the sort of Tea Party candidates who share her views. She also still has a lot of people who respect her views so her support will be eagerly sought by the remaining candidates. She has said favourable words of Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachman and Herman Cain. Its going to be an interesting ride.

The part of her Indianola speech which was most widely reported was the remark against “crony capitalism” seen as criticism of Perry, who had been doing well in the polls till then.

However what most impressed (I am already on record as being impressed by the intellectual content of her speeches) me was the reform programme she laid out at the end of the speech. Unsurprisingly for someone with real thought, but surprisingly for a politician the real meat of her speeches is usually at the end.In particular I have seen nobody suggesting idea number 5 before. When the most radical economic suggestion in Britain over the last decade is that we might reduce our business corporation tax to something closer to Ireland’s 12.5% and benefit from something on the order of the 7% growth it achieved Palin’s suggestion looks radical. That is because it is. But I do not think any economist could say it won’t work.

From the full speech:

First “let’s enforce the 10th Amendment and devolve powers back locally where the Founders intended them to be.Second, …repeal Obamacare! And rein in burdensome regulations that are a boot on our neck. Get government out of the way. …Third, no more run away debt.. … We either do it ourselves or the world’s capital markets are going to shove it down our throats, and we’ll have no choice but to reform our entitlement programs. The status quo is no longer an option. Entitlement reform is our duty now, and it must be done in a way that honors our commitment….It’s their money! They have paid into Social Security all of their working lives; and for the President to say, “ah, we may not be able to cut their checks,” ah, well, where did all their money go, politicians? It’s like the Commander-in-Chief being willing to throw our military under the bus by threatening that their paychecks may not arrive. But the politicians will still get their checks and their secure retirements, and he’ll still get his posh vacations. Aren’t you just sick to death of those skewed priorities? It’s all backwards. Our seniors and our brave men and women in uniform being used as pawns – I say it’s shameful, and enough is enough. No more.”

Sarah Palin Indianola

Fourth, it is time for America to become the energy superpower. …. Affordable and secure energy is the key to any thriving economy, and it must be our foundation. …, a hardcore all-of-the-above energy policy ….It wouldn’t cost government a dime to allow the private sector to do these. In fact, these projects will generate billions of dollars in revenue. Can you imagine that: a stimulus project that actually helps dig us out of debt.

Fifth, we can and we will make America the most attractive country on earth to do business in. Here’s how we’re going to do this. Right now, we have the highest federal corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world. Did you know our rates are higher than China and communist Cuba? This doesn’t generate as much revenue as you would think, …So, to make America the most attractive and competitive place to do business, to set up shop here and hire people here, to attract capital from all over the globe that will lead to an explosion of growth, instead of chasing industry offshore, I propose to eliminate all federal corporate income tax.

To balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts. This is how we break the back of crony capitalism because it feeds off corporate welfare, which is just socialism for the very rich”

No specific mention of nuclear though she has done so previously .I think inexpensive energy, of which nuclear is the poster child is essential to economic success. The non-specific “all of the above” clearly includes nuclear. Also with the technological breakthroughs on fracking shale gas and recovering tar oil – nuclear is not as vital as in 2009 – well not unless you actually believe anything we are told about CO2 in which case it is vital. Clearly nobody in the warming alarmist community does believe their scare story. No mention of X-Prizes or spacecraft another of my hobbyhorses and embraced by Newt Gingrich. So not 100%, but close. Is she looking to be kingmaker to another candidate, more certainly electable, who takes that programme and can be, nearly, as trusted to carry it through?A point I would particularly like to make:

She mentions cutting corporation tax to zero. I have long been keen on that but never went beyond cutting it to the 12.5% of Ireland, and have been thought radical for that. There are arguments against eliminating it entirely – an ethical one that limited companies get a bonus from being secured from bankruptcy which they ought to pay for – and a practical one that it might be worth keeping it in reserve for very large companies or those with an oligopolistic share of the market. It is also the case that cutting CT has been suggested as likely to increase CT takings (the Laffer curve). She is eschewing the Laffer argument and going straight for the fact that cutting this tax, whatever it does for government’s ‘share’ will improve the national GNP and is thus in the people’s interest.

Looking at them the non-ideological arguments for keeping some CT look weak. I am therefore in the position of saying that I think she is more correct than I. This is, as far as I can remember, only the 2nd time I have said this of an elected politician – the previous case being when John Redwood pointed out that train costs were as much increased by the fact that they are much more old fashioned heavy Victorian era technology compared to bus building, as by the fact that they still have drivers.

Sarah Palin

She is not only popular, iconic and the most capable campaigner in modern politics, she also knows what her vision is and it is the most radical, principled and based on traditional American political theory but also the best thought out programme on offer.

I don’t know if she is running or looking to be kingmaker to another candidate, who is certainly electable who takes that programme and can be nearly as trusted to carry it through? Possibly – she isn’t sure yet but when she is I am sure it will be a good decision. She is that smart.

But I still wish she had endorsed X-Prizes. As an “undue stimulus to competition” they are 33-100 times more effective than conventional funding.

What do you think of Sarah Palin and her most recent speech?

Neil Craig runs a Science fiction/comic shop Futureshock, in Glasgow and in his copious free time a technophile libertarian blog – on the imbecility of our political leaders without whose wise and benevolent regulation we could do very well. On Twitter, he’s known as @NeilCraig3