Sarah Palin had an 85% approval rate in Alaska. Do you think it has anything to do with paying the Alaskan citizens cold hard cash?
Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska's Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry — a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared.
At a time when Americans are feeling the pinch at the gasoline pump and oil companies are racking up record profits, Alaska's choice foreshadows one of the sharpest debates in the upcoming presidential election.Some of that new cash will end up in the wallets of Alaska's residents.
Palin's administration last week gained legislative approval for a special $1,200 payment to every Alaskan to help cope with gas prices, which are among the highest in the country.
That check will come on top of the annual dividend of about $2,000 that each resident could receive this year from an oil-wealth savings account.
State Sen. Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat who supported the windfall tax, said the oil companies " ... were literally printing money on the North Slope. We decided to strike the balance a little bit more on our side."