Entitlement confusion

ENTITLEMENT CONFUSION…. The Bush Doctrine isn’t the only thing Sarah Palin doesn’t recognize. She’s not up to speed on entitlements, either.

ABC News edited the video a bit, but according to the official transcript released by the network, Gibson asked where a McCain/Palin administration would cut in the federal budget. Palin responded by explaining why “veterans’ programs” would be “off the table.”

Gibson pressed further, asking, “Do you talk about entitlement reform? Is there money you can save in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?” Palin responded, “I am sure that there are efficiencies that are going to be found in all of these agencies.”

Gibson had to break the bad news to Palin: “The agencies are not involved in entitlements. Basically, discretionary spending is 18 percent of the budget.” Palin responded, “We have certainly seen excess in agencies, though.”

Look, I realize Palin is new to this. She’s clearly in over her head, she hasn’t learned much about the federal government, and two weeks of cram sessions can only prepare her to talk about so much.

That said, Palin is the chief executive of a state, and she’s accepted a role that might put her one heartbeat from the presidency. And yet, she doesn’t have the foggiest idea what she’s talking about. She thinks the Bush Doctrine is the president’s “worldview.” She thinks entitlement spending can be curbed through “agency efficiencies.” She thinks the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stem from them becoming “too expensive to the taxpayers,” despite the fact that neither were receiving public funds.

These are fairly basic facts that a person who reads a newspaper every day would have some familiarity with. Put aside the notion of whether candidates for national office should be policy wonks or not, and consider the fact that Sarah Palin apparently doesn’t keep up on current events.

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