Sarah Palin’s ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ Went Somewhere Better
Let’s recap what really happened with this situation to dissolve false rumors:
Here is a good summary of the details of the Bridge to Nowhere fight.
- At some level Governor Palin showed support for the bridge project while she was running in the race for Governor of Alaska.
- Congress made the money for the Gravina Island Bridge available to Alaska, although it didn’t have to be used for that bridge.
- The State of Alaska already had the federal funds in hand when Gov. Palin took office.
- Governor Palin put a stop to the bridge project and appropriated the funds for more reasonable uses.
In September of 2007 the Alaska Daily News ran a story titled State Abandons Ketchikan Bridge To Nowhere that acknowledges the fact that Gov. Palin put a stop to the project and states, "She directed the state transportation department to find the most "fiscally responsible" alternative for access to the airport."
Ok, so Palin supported a bridge then found out that the bridge had $100 million Federal Government funding and would have required and additional $200 million State funding. It was a bridge from the mainland to an island, which was (and still is) using a ferry. So she re-evaluated things and asked for a report (once she got into office) about what other transportation needs the state of Alaska needed. Well, after seeing that report, she decided to turn down the Federal money and use the state’s $200 million on other, more important projects.
She even went against Republicans on this for the good of the people (see: Two ‘Bridges to Nowhere’ Tumble Down in Congress).
So why is that dumb?
Why is Obama making fun of spending taxpayer money wisely? Why is that a joke to him?
While it may be unfair to say that Sarah Palin always treated the Bridge as Milton Friedman might have, she quickly grasped the project’s folly and ultimately put it out of the nation’s misery. In a country where politicians endlessly make demands until weary taxpayers capitulate, Palin scrapped the bridge soon after she was empowered to do so.
Call it a "flip-flop" if you want… this is a good flip-flop if you ask me. Let’s put her in office – pronto!