Monday, September 08, 2008

Palin Makes Her First Gaffe

Oh dear. Suddenly we see why the Republicans are so eager to keep the hockey mum away from those big bad bullies in the media with their intrusive questions.

Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs, the Republican vice presidential nominee claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The companies, as McClatchy reported, "aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization."
She's got that completely the wrong way around. Previously they cost the taxpayers nothing as they were private companies. Now, however, they could cost the taxpayer billions.

Economists and analysts pounced on the misstatement, which came before the government had spent funds bailing the two entities out, saying it demonstrated a lack of understanding about one of the key economic issues likely to face the next administration.

"You would like to think that someone who is going to be vice president and conceivable president would know what Fannie and Freddie do," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "These are huge institutions and they are absolutely central to our country's mortgage debt. To not have a clue what they do doesn't speak well for her, I'd say."

Added Andrew Jakabovics, an economic analysts for the progressive think tank, Center for American Progress: "It is somewhat nonsensical because up until yesterday there was sort of no public funding there. Even today they haven't drawn down any of the credit line they have given to Treasury. 'Gotten too big and too expensive' are two separate things. The too big has been a conservative mantra for a while and there is something to be said of that in that they hold about half of the mortgage guarantees that are out there. And in the last year they have been responsible for roughly 80 percent out there. The 'too expensive to tax payers,' I don't know where that comes from."

And she's ready to take over on day one is she?

As a reader wrote in today's Independent letters page, it's no surprise that she only recently got her first ever passport, with her creationist views she must have been too worried to travel the world in case she fell off the end of it.

It's bad enough that she can display such ignorance, but to get a round of applause whilst doing it means that your audience are reacting to buzzwords without really listening. And it's especially worrying that one of the people applauding this nonsense is John McCain himself.

Or maybe he's just too busy checking her ass to listen. (Watch where his eyes keep going in the last thirty seconds of this clip.)

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