"Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off."
- Proverbs 24:14 ESV
My prediction is that the day Sarah Palin announces her candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America, the business community will respond to it positively.
Last August 15, Starbucks' Howard Schultz, the CEO of the world's largest coffee chain, urged his fellow business executives to sign a pledge to "withhold any further campaign contributions to the President and all members of Congress until a fair, bipartisan deal is reached that sets our nation on stronger long-term fiscal footing." This is yet the strongest and clearest rebuke of the leadership of Pres. Obama and ugly, hyper-partisan status quo in Washington. Not even two weeks after Schultz made the call, over 100 CEOs of companies like AOL, Intuit, Whole Foods have signed on.
Among the declared Republican presidential candidates, the former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney so far has a lock on donations from most of the Wall Street crowd, given his executive background as one of the founders of a consulting firm called Bain Capital. He is considered the frontrunner now but his healthcare law in Massachusetts centered on individual mandate requirement, which President Obama said was the model for Obamacare, does not sit well with the general electorate. Mr. Romney is also famous for his ever-changing stance on issues, from abortion to gay rights to immigration, gun rights and global warming. Some of his statements are also too insincere and too odd to be to be taken seriously, like claiming that he, too, is "unemployed" (he is worth $264 million), or when he said that his five sons are supporting the country by campaigning for him. So he might be a favorite among the Wall Street boys and the Washington elites but he has a long way to go to win over average voters.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, on the other, is currently the media's darling and is taking over Romney for the frontrunner status. There is truth that 40% of jobs created in the nation have been in Texas but critics and supporters alike are debating the nitty gritty of Gov. Perry's "Texas Miracle". As much as he lambasts government as the "problem not the solution", from December 2007 to June 2011, private-sector employment have declined by 0.6% while those in the public sector have increased by 6.4%. One out of every six workers in the Texas is employed by Uncle sam. Of the private sector jobs added, 40% pays just the minimum wage and 9.5% of its workforce are paid the minimum wage or lower. The state also benefited from the presence of several military installations (funded, again, by the government) and the $25 billion in federal stimulus money, third largest amount after California and New York.
On the other hand, Sarah Palin, in the course of her public service, has done everything that Howard Schultz has demanded from our lawmakers on his call to his fellow business leaders: a bipartisan, balanced long-term debt deal that addresses both entitlements and revenues and strong leadership to to accelerate job creation and growth. Her record speaks strong, loud and proud: (1) on the budget front: Her FY2010 budget of $10.57 billion is a billion less than her predecessor's. She vetoed half a billion dollars in spending, the biggest in state's history, and cut spending by 9.5% all while the state is flushed with surplus. Most politicians wouldn't have the stomach to cut spending even when their coffer is in the red fearing voters' backlash but Gov. Palin actually put away $5 billion in rainy day savings account!, (2) on entitlements: She reformed the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and the Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) by creating a tiered system for current employees that allots their pensions according to seniority. She also enacted a totally new system for those who are newly employed while honoring past commitments which she was legally bound to do. She did this by "swapping unsustainable defined benefits, which are more like glorified Ponzi schemes, for a more prudent defined contributions system" , and (3) on the job front: From Dec. 2006 - June 2009, Alaska was ranked 2nd in the nation in job growth. With her signature natural gas pipeline project 20,000 energy jobs were created, although work has been stalled because the Obama administration is witholding the permits. It is important to point out that these oil- and energy-related jobs are funded mainly by private investments, which means, little to no government money infusion (money that we have to borrow from China and other countries or print out of thin air).
Perhaps the biggest exclamation point to her prudent and forward-thinking policies is when Alaska was awarded a AAA credit rating while S & P downgraded America's to AA under the Obama watch. And all these she would not have been able to accomplish without reaching out to the Democrat Party.
Going back to Howard Schultz, when it comes to Sarah Palin's handling of the budget (by controlling both ends of debt and revenue sources), entitlement reforms and jobs creation, he can very well check off all the boxes. He may be a big Democrat Party supporter but if he compares the fiscal and economic records of Pres. Obama, the declared Republican candidates and Sarah Palin, lay them down on the table side-by-side, we could surmise that Schultz' brilliant business-mind and conscentious heart will beat "Palin 2012!".
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