by John Hawkins | September 8, 2008 2:44 pm
Over at the Huffington Post, they’re breathlessly reporting that Sarah Palin made her first gaffe. Here’s the spin,
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.”
Economists and analysts pounced on the misstatement, which came before the government had spent funds baling 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.”
The problem with this is that what Palin said is absolutely correct. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are too big and the bailout is going to be far too expensive to taxpayers. In fact, the plan (which I don’t agree with. I am opposed to bailing them out) is to pump up to $200 billion dollars into the companies and then have them shrink their portfolios 10% a year.
In other words, the HuffPo is desperately attempting to twist Palin’s 100% accurate and in fact, not even controversial statement, into a gaffe. That’s not going to fly although they do deserve credit for moving on from lying about her family to lying about actual issues and things she’s said. It is at least a step in a right direction.
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