Sarah Palin went on the economic offensive in a speech in Hong Kong, where she spoke to a group of executives and bankers about her take on the causes behind the economic turmoil across the globe, blaming the excesses of the government as the source of the problem.
The former Governor of Alaska asserted that “We got into this mess because of government interference in the first place. We’re not interested in government fixes, we’re interested in freedom.”
Palin specifically targeted the low interest rates offered by the Federal Reserve as the underlying cause of the financial crisis, which was the cause behind the housing bubble, getting people into homes they couldn’t afford to own.
She also reminded the audience that she opposed the Federal Reserve being appointed as the major agency looking out for the U.S. financial industry, saying, “The words ‘fox’ and ‘henhouse’ come to mind. The Fed’s decisions have created the bubble.”
As far as mentors and guides to work from, Palin cited Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as examples to follow concerning free-market strategies that worked, and how they were applied to bring the U.S. and global economy out of difficult circumstances during their years in office.
While I agree that the needed strong economic medicine applied at the time was necessary, unfortunately Reagan did increase spending, so in that regard wasn’t a good example, but as far as handling the crisis he inherited, the things that needed to be done to rein things in, especially high interest rates for borrowing, helped settle things down; although they were instituted by then Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
Other changes Palin called for were more deregulation and corporate tax cuts, along with getting rid of estate (death) and capital gains taxes. She said if these changes were implemented, the U.S. economy would “roar back to life.”
Palin also went after the liberal mentality that government can fix everything and wealth redistribution, where money is taken from the productive and given to the unproductive. She rightly said that history has proven it doesn’t work, and she’s correct on that point.
I would have liked to have heard her comment more on the Federal Reserve and what she would do in relationship to them and their role in the financial industry going forward. Would she agree to temporarily reining them in and auditing them for the short term, and eventually ridding the country of them in the long term? That’s becoming an increasingly important group of questions that politicians will need to answer.
As far as her comments on economics, there was a lot to like about Sarah Palin’s understanding and solutions. while they didn’t deal with the systemic side of the equation, she did acknowledge she didn’t support the Federal Reserve as the custodian of protecting it. Unfortunately she didn’t go into further detail on what she would do in place of it.
Deregulation and tax cuts are always something to be supported, and in that regard Palin said some good things.
From an economic standpoint this was a good first volley on the international stage by Sarah Palin. Now if she can hone in on the Federal Reserve and not only its short-term and misguided strategies, but understand that the Federal Reserve itself is most of the problem, she could help bring about some permanent change that would benefit the entire world economically.