Commentary: Palin should use stimulus funding for Alaska

Gov. Sarah Palin appears to be focusing on the negative in the just-passed federal stimulus law, and that could hurt Alaskans suffering from the effects of the national recession. Rather than embrace the economic benefits that the $787 billion package is expected to bring, Palin embraced wholesale the congressional Republicans' criticism of the law.

The stimulus money is aimed at helping states, local governments and school districts retain jobs, and to create jobs in the private sector.

Palin said in a press release that she's concerned about "integrating" federal stimulus money in the state operating budget — and increasing programs that might have to be cut when the federal spending boost ends.

It sounds as if she's hyping a hypothetical problem to burnish her conservative national credentials. She governs a state where one-third of the entire economy depends on federal spending. This year's state budget is already bolstered with $2.6 billion of federal money. Tough talk about spurning federal aid is just that — talk.

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