On her Facebook page, former Gov. Sarah Palin is making light of the potential for a government shutdown, a possibility that appears more and more possible by the hour. She posted a “funny” list of all the possible negative impacts of a shutdown. “If the government shuts down, who will, “block responsible resource development, spy on me, waste my money…” she posted. The list goes on. Sarah Palin has made millions since quitting her job as governor in 2010.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is running for the U.S. Senate, also appears to support a shutdown. He called those who were trying to do so “courageous,” and said that if he were a senator, he would “stand” with those who were advocating such a move. Joe Miller, the other candidate running in the Republican primary, also supports those who are advocating a shutdown.
Miller’s financial situation is hazy. Treadwell makes $135,000 as lieutenant governor. He makes as much as $200,000 a year in addition to his salary from investments and other income. In Anchorage, his assessed property values total more than $2 million.
In other words, both Treadwell and Palin can afford a government shutdown. They are doing fine and will continue to do so, regardless of whether the government stays open for business. Those who don’t have those resources that these two have will be the ones who are hurt: many of those “proud men and women” wearing our country’s uniform, the elderly, the disabled, those who are trying to build their retirement accounts. The stock market has already lost value in the last two days, and will likely continue to fall if the government shuts down. It will also likely push up interest rates.
Alaska’s congressional delegation, Sens. Mark Begich, Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, all are trying to avoid the shutdown and the mess that could result. Young for one, has lived through one and didn’t like the experience. Murkowski said a shutdown would put the government in “total disarray.”
Here’s just a few of some of the possible effects that it might have on Alaskans:
- It could delay paychecks for over 23,000 Alaska military personnel.
- It could delay disability and pension claims for Alaska’s 74,000 veterans.
- It could delay claims checks of those who are new to Social Security.
- About 9,000 federal workers could be furloughed.
- Federal contracts, which Alaska is awash in and many Alaskan business depend on, could be delayed.
Unlike Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell is not known as a true believer. But he does appear to believe that advocating for those who are supporting a shutdown will peel off Miller supporters. He can afford to gamble on such a position, financially at least. It’s likely a stupid political move, however. Those thousands of Alaskans who are going to feel the effects are likely going to make him pay at the voting booth. And Miller’s people are nothing if not good at spotting panderers and apostates.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org