February 19th, 2009
12:57 PM ET

Should Gov. Palin say how much she owes in back taxes?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin owes back taxes on almost $17,000 she received from the state in per diem funds while living at her Wasilla home.

Should Gov. Palin say how much she owes in back taxes?

Palin's office won't say how much she owes, saying it is a personal matter.

The state decided this week that the payments were not legitimate business expenses and that employees must treat them as income subject to taxes.

You may remember the revelation of these payments became an issue in last year's campaign. It didn't exactly jive with Palin's so-called image as a government reformer. At the time, her office insisted she was entitled to the per diem payments.

Palin collected most of these payments before being named to the GOP ticket as John McCain's running mate. The expenses were paid when she stayed at her Wasilla home and commuted to her Anchorage office instead of staying in the governor's mansion in Juneau. The AP found that Palin continued to charge the state for meals and other incidentals after losing the general election in November.

Palin's office says they don't know if she's still collecting a per diem or will continue to do so. They claim her taxes are a personal matter and won't say how much she owes.

The Alaska Governor had also previously charged the state more than $21,000 for having her kids travel with her, saying they were acting on state business.

Here’s my question to you: Should Governor Sarah Palin have to disclose how much money she owes in back taxes?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Austin writes:
Yes. We know how much Daschle and Geithner owed. Why not Palin? And, by the way, where's the outrage from Republicans calling for her resignation? Funny how paying taxes isn't such a fiendish issue when it's one of theirs.

Wally from Las Vegas writes:
Gov. Palin has been caught skirting the very laws she has sworn to uphold. She knows perfectly well charging per diem while being at home and writing off charges for family members, travel, lodging and food is wrong. She feels she is the exception to all the rules.

Bill writes:
Do the math, Jack. You already know how much she received. It shouldn't be too difficult, especially for a Democrat, to figure out how much the taxes owed are. Still not sure? Ask anyone from Obama's cabinet. They seem to be experts on back taxes anyway.

Eric from New York writes:
Hey, Jack. I got a great idea! Let's take up a collection to pay her back taxes for her on the promise that she will take her family and move to another country, never to return!

George from New Hampshire writes:
Of course, Jack, you blithering fool, she should disclose her back taxes. Come to think of it she would make a perfect cabinet secretary for President Obama. She can exchange tax ideas with Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner and a few others. Viva Sarah!

Tim writes:
She should not have to pay back taxes. She should have to pay the 17k back in full to the state, with interest. Per diem is paid outside of a normal salary. If they just add it to her salary, she, in effect, gave herself a 17k raise. I would more than happily pay some taxes on money if I could decide how much to give myself.

Chryssa from Boise, Idaho writes:
Yes, but not till she runs again in 2012. I want it to be fresh in her supporters' minds.

Gary from South Carolina writes:
I prefer she didn't. In fact, I wish I would never hear anything from her again. It would be worth $17,000.

Filed under: Gov. Sarah Palin • Taxes
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Jenny Rome Ga


    As an elected official of course she should say how much she owes in back taxes. It should be public knowledge with all elected officials whether or not they pay their taxes and how much.

    February 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  2. Woody Lewis

    Since Sarah Palin seemingly wants to be a "big wig" in the GOP, and probably run for President, I see no reason why she shouldn't jump up-front in the spotlight and announce her personal taxes. However, should she be vetted like Obama's cabinet seemingly is, she might not get approval in the future. After all, she's probably paling-around with drug addicts also?

    February 19, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  3. V Kittie, San Diego, CA

    Since owing back taxes has become such an issue, Palin should not only disclose the amount, but the year, what it was for and why she owes it. Perhaps we will finally hear a mea culpa or that she made at least one mistake that she takes responsibility for.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  4. Pablo in Tejas

    She won't have to. The media will take care of it for her. God Bless the Fourth Estate. Thomas Jefferson was right, as he usually was, Free Speech and Free Press is "the very Palladium of Liberty".

    Arlington Texas

    February 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  5. Rolman SC

    No! As much as dislike and disagree with the Governor, the amount of the tax is her business. It is, however fair for the media to disclose the circumstances and amount of money she bilked the state for. Also fit for disclosure, are the legal basis and nature of any violation in her filing for the per diem.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Beth, MA

    Governor Palin should not disclose how much she owes in back taxes so that she can continue to prove that her words are meaningless and her promises empty.

    Why does this woman still merit the attention of anyone let alone the powerful media outlets?

    February 19, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  7. vince k (stevens point, wi)

    if she says anything, and i mean anything, i don't want to hear it. i don't want to see her. i don't want to hear her insane outlook of the world (yes ms. palin, there is an actual world outside of alaska). i don't want to know how it's possible that anyone can look at her and say, "Yes. I want her as the leader of the free world."

    and yes, even in these tough economic times, i would give up my job, my income (and sure, even my multi-millions of student loans, why not?) if the media stops acknowledging her existence.

    let's start here. please jack, don't make me beg.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Will from San Jose

    Who still cares? Palin's 15 minutes ended months ago, and even then they where 10 minutes too long.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  9. Kelly, PA

    Yes and so should every elected public servant.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  10. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Of course she should, Jack. She is after all a public official and during her campaign was an adamant demander of no more good ole
    boy politics. Didn't she say government should be held to high
    standards?? Hmmm.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  11. Jason

    She's a publicly elected official – every bit of state funds spent or received by her should be public knowledge.

    How she'll answer the question: In what respect, Jack?

    February 19, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  12. DEE JAY

    It doesn't matter, she would lie anyway.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  13. erinmontague

    Of course she should. She works for us, not the other way around.

    Healdsburg, CA

    February 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  14. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    Absolutely! And while we're on the subject of per diem, Jack, shouldn't it be a requirement that a governor (and family) reside in the governor's mansion rather than in a town 600 miles distant? And as far as having your young children travel with you on the state government's tab and claiming they're on "state business", this is nothing other than monkey business. I'm sure Ms. Palin forced these kids to attend business meetings (UNINVITED) to justify the room, board and travel (and likely entertainment) expenses, courtesy of the Alaskan taxpayer. The Alaskan residents should be outraged. Are my taxes a "personal matter"? The IRS doesn't think so.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  15. KarenB, centralFlorida

    I think more of a concern right now should be whether or not Hillary Clinton and others have properly "disclosed" all their stuff. People that the current President has appointed to various positions and any he considers for positions. No free passes.

    As a standard, one would think Palin and any other official should.

    February 19, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    It should be public record, like all of her expenses and expenditures as Governor. For someone who spent the months campaigning on being a maverick and how good she was doing as Governor, somehow the fact that she was charging the state of Alaska per diem for staying in her own home while doing state business got neatly swept under the rug. Some of us brought it up, only to be moderated off the blog.

    I can understand her confusion in the tax area on the payments of the per diem, but I don't feel the people of Alaska should be paying her to stay home! They have a perfectly nice Governor's Mansion in Juneau she needs to be in when the state legislature is in session. Even the Governor of Texas stay in his when he might be needed!

    February 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Ed Saulpaugh

    She should definitely have to disclose how much she owes in back taxes, how else would she qualify for a cabinet post in the Obama administration.

    Clearwater, Fl

    February 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  18. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    Of course she should. She's still one of us isn't she... or did I miss her coronation to be our queen? worst VP candidate ever!

    February 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  19. Anj in CA

    If she's ever going to run for national office (heaven forbid!), her tax records will become public at that time. I can wait.

    February 19, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  20. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    When you hold public office your taxes becomes public information. She is not that stupid, not to realize that fact. You can bet if it was an opponent of hers, that she was running against for office, she will be yelling in that distinct voice of hers, for the taxes to become public. Whenever the shoe is on the other foot she wants to claim she is being picked on by the press. If you were to look up the word hypocrite in the dictionary you would find Sarah Palin.

    February 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  21. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Absolutely! The GOP has been having a hay day with the democrats' tax issues. This moron was frighteningly close to being our,(gulp) vice president. We can`t afford to let her get away with this. Has she not heard, we are running out of rich people?

    February 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  22. Priscilla

    Yes she should, why should it be secret? Will it make it less shameful if the American public doesn't know how much she owes? No it won't, so air the dirty laundry and move on. Trying to hide the amount just shows that she can not be trusted.

    February 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  23. Liz in Towson, MD

    Of course! It's her citizens' money that she abused, so they have the right to know how little she cares about them. Besides, what's the difference between knowing how much she owes the government and how much potential cabinet members owe or owed the government?

    February 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  24. marlene

    Yes, it should be made known how much is owed in taxes. Recent examples of other political figures, included how much back taxes were owed, and paid. Transparency, right! Marlene in Mich

    February 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  25. Chuck in Ohio

    Jack: I think she needs to wait until 2012 when she runs her mouth again.

    February 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  26. I'm With Stupid

    A real Maverick would shoot straight with the people and let them know.

    February 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  27. Jasmine in Germany

    Yes, other public servants (here I include poiticians) recently have, why shouldn't Palin? I'm afraid there's a little more to this story than meets the eye.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  28. Tony in Michigan

    Damn straight she needs to. Palin recieves her paycheck from tax payer money and the public has a right to know. You should be ashamed to even ask this question, Jack, it's a no brainer. The question you should be asking is 'How much longer is Sarah Palin going to be handled with kid gloves by the media?' because if this were any other public official we would already know how much they owed and a lot more.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  29. T. G. from the virgin islands

    Gov. Palin should disclose how much she owes in back taxes. When a government official uses taxpayers' money for his/her personal expenses, it is no longer a personal matter. It is a good thing she and John McCain didn't win the election. This controversy is the last thing we need with a struggling economy.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  30. AJ Igel

    While I believe that every person should have some right to privacy, when you put your life out in the public, its hard to go back. When she stepped into the spotlight to run with McCain, she opened herself up to scrutiny over her whole life, just like any other candidate. If Obama's cabinet picks had to reveal just how much they owed and the conditions of their tax issues, it should only be fair that someone who sought a higher office should do the same.

    Also, if these taxes were on money she received from the State of Alaska, it just reinforces the reasons why it should be disclosed. She didn't pay taxes on money that ultimately came from the taxpayers – based upon that alone, I would think that the Alaskan taxpayers would and should have the right to know.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  31. Jim

    Well, under federal tax law, per diem requires an overnight stay. If she was only commuting she didn't even deserve the $17k. That's like me claiming lunch and mileage everytime I go to work. And yes, she needs to disclose it because she's in public office.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  32. Tom in Dubuque Iowa

    Jack; I'm sorry, but she has thrust herself onto the political scene, and then complains when the media takes her to task. She can't have things both ways! Neither Tom Daschle or Tim Geithner played that card.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  33. Richard Green


    If she wants to be taken seriously as a national political figure, she needs to be as forthcoming as possible about issues of the day; particularly, as to whether or not she is meeting her tax obligations to her state gov't and to the federal gov't. Good gosh, that's a minimum requirement to which she should be willing to respond. If she wants privacy, she should stay a private citizen.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  34. Nelson, Somerdale, NJ

    I believe this is not a tax issue. I haven't read her employment contract , but my understanding is that you are not entitled to per diem funds while you are at home. Wouldn't theft, fraud or embezzlement be a better description for her actions? We all know someone who was fired for cheating on their expense report.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  35. Center of the Middle

    Anything less than full disclosure is unacceptable.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  36. Scott in Canada

    Now? She may owe that to the Alaskan people, but to America as a whole, she doesn't owe them this information. Yet. When she finally announces her bit for 2012, she absolutely owes this information to the America people.

    That said, the smart thing for her to do would be to announce it now. It's going to come up before the Republican Convention, and if she says it now, it'll be forgotten by the Convention.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  37. Beth from LA

    I don't live in Alaska. She owes her constituents an explanation, not me....but as for the rest of us, I'm tired of hearing about her. Move on.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  38. Maggie from Virginia

    Who cares? That's an Alaska problem. I hope she remains an Alaska problem.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  39. Marsha

    Revealing how much taxes she makes would make news; making news means Palin Headlines; Palin Headlines means indigestion; so No NO NO Jack....That's OK......We will give her a pass!

    February 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  40. Alan

    Of course she should. When taxpayer money is being used, taxpayers have a right to know where it was spent and that it was used responsibly.

    February 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  41. Lynn

    It doesn't matter how much she owes. It's the principle of the matter. We can not keep letting our public officials get away with things the rest of us would end up in jail for. That is not what American values are supposed to be about.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  42. jean

    Abosolutely Gov. Palin should tell us how much in back taxes she owes. I would also like to know the details of how she got her house built, interesting information there that hasn't gotten much attention. Let's dig a little deeper into "hockey mom just like you" claims.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  43. Lily

    Yes..absolutely...why should she be exempt from disclosure. Also I would like to know how far back this goes. These people just think they are on a different level from the rest of us. If I don't pay my taxes I would end up having everything I own taken by the IRS and put on the auction block. It nearly happened to me once...due to a mistake on the IRS's part..they were vicious until I could gather all the documents to show that
    I had indeed paid my taxes. This just shows that it's not just the Dems that fail to pay their taxes...seems it is an affliction that politicians on both sides of the aisle suffer from. Such arrogance..really burns me up!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  44. Tom Howard

    I really hope this nitwit becomes the "face" of the GOP!! She epitomizes the hypocracy and lack of vision that makes them tick. They hate government unless it serves as a conduit for tax dollars to flow from the taxpayers to Republicans and their corporate co-conspiritors. If it helps citizens it is "socialism" or a "welfare state." Yes, she should fully disclose the amount of taxes owed.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  45. Joe

    Plain and simple, yes!

    Blaine, MN

    February 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  46. Harold from Anchorage,AK

    You betcha, Jack 😉 😉 wink, wink

    February 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  47. Alan-Buxton, Maine

    Only if she does it in writing. Listening to her speak is painful.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  48. Suzanne Russell

    Absolutely. The Republicans want to present the image that only Democrats avoid paying taxes. Claiming a per diem for her kids is ridiculous. If Barack Obama tried that when he was a senator the Republicans would have crucified him. If Sarah Palin wants to be the Republican attack dog, then she has to be accountable for her actions.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  49. Jeremy

    Why shouldn't she be forced to disclose it all? If the American Public continues to get taken advantage of by our own politicians, who do we turn to for a tax break? Hold her accountable for every penny.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  50. Spencer

    Palin MUST provide her tax liability She is a public figure who obviously abused the system. Palin was vocal about the recent cabinet nominees that were forced to back out. As Governor , it is her responsibility to disclose this information and let her voters decide.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  51. Julius

    Yes, she definitely should reveal how much she owes in back taxes. It cost one cabinet nominee his potential post, so why should she be immune? The public has the right to know– its their money she is using, and every penny should be accounted for!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Carl Gustafson

    You betcha!! she should tell us what she owes and then pay up.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  53. Elta Wiserr

    Refreshing that a GOP official doesn't think they need to pay tax..
    Of course she should pay –she uses the roads, police , fire, and other
    government financid benifits.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  54. Todd from West Haverstraw

    Gee another politician that owes back taxes.....what a surprise.....If all politicians paid the taxes they owed may be , just may be we would not be in the mess that we are in. I find it amazing that these people feel that they dont\'t have to pay there taxes unless the are in the public spotlight and get caught owing back taxes. Shame on them !

    February 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  55. NobiasNobullRiding

    How many Obama nominees had tax issues?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  56. Frank Coos Bay Oregon

    She should not only be made to divulge how much , but should be made to pay interest at least on the amount owed .
    Any ordinary taxpayer would be treated like a cross-eyed stepchild .
    It seems that more and more "Lawmakers" seem to think that they are above the Law .

    February 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Tom in Coral Springs, Fl.

    I really don't care to know how much she owes or why she owes it. But as an elected official-The people deserve to know that she owes and most importantly that she paid it!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Cindy Sparrow

    Public dollars for public officials should always be open to public scrutiny. After all the awful things she accused others of during the campaign, she should have nothing to hide. She considers herself a representative woman/mother of this nation; I find her to be an embarrassment to the rest of us women/mothers. She should step up.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Michael Schumann

    Palin is obligated to release this information. It will come out anyway. This playing coy puts her smack into the BushCo tradition of of lying and covering up.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Dorene In Alaska

    My Governor needs to remember WHO she works for. The ridiculous comments claiming the amount is "private" continues to show Palin's naivety about governance. If she truly cares about her future political image, Sarah needs to consider professionals handling her press, not close personal friends who know little of national political & public affairs.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  61. Fred May Sr WA

    Is Govenor Palin any better than any other politician ? Look at some of the appointees of President Obama that have the same problem. Because she is Govenor of Alaska does not make immune..How many more skeletons are in her closet. How many of the sitting politicians have skeletons to hide. I think the I.R S should audit all the tax returns of all the congressmen. Maybe it would reduce the national debt. Just wondering.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  62. Tim Boardman

    Gov. Palin is a public official. She receives her salary and benefits from the tax payers of Alaska. This is not a private issue, it's a public issue. She should fess up and pay up or her political career will be in the Bering Sea faster than she can look out and see Russia.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  63. Adam

    This is a no-brainer. Of course she should have to disclose how much she owes in back taxes. This recent fiasco compounds how much Sarah Palin is clueless about her place in this world. Her taxes are a private matter? Hardly. Whoever made that comment on her behalf should be fired. She is a public figure and her back taxes are a public matter. When you run for public office you make an agreement to be transparent (at least in theory). Who knew "maverick" meant meant not staying in the governor's mansion and charging the state of Alaska for it. This is a joke. She should be ashamed and the people of Alaska should be outraged.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  64. Paula Pippin

    Most of my adult life has been spent as the wife, mother of military/govt employees. Boy, we never fooled around misusing taxes or perdiem. The Governor should realize there is a whole electorate out there for whom this is absolutely dishonorable and corrupt..

    February 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  65. Serena Westberry

    Certainly she should reveal her tax debt. Her entire financial situation should be revealed annually. When one runs and/or assumes public office, one's finances, personal and family associations, and history become public. The Governor's office should be a place of service and transparency, not a booby hole to hide one's transgressions.

    Frankly, I am amazed that she learned nothing from running for national office. She totally lacks polish and is disingenuous at best! Her, gee gosh golly, I'm just a plain,small town soccer mom persona has worn razor thin. Her true colors continue to pall.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  66. Dennis, Richmond Virginia

    Jack I do not care the slightest bit how much she owes in taxes. What I do care about is how she is getting so much more coverage than Joe Biden, and he WON the election!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  67. tracy

    My initial response was, "You betcha!!" But to put a finer point on it, public figures like Geithner and Daschel and McCain and Obama have to report their taxes. And somehow i get the feeling Palin has political asperations for 2012 (I've already seen her bumper stickers.)
    Tracy, Corinth, Texas

    February 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  68. david greene

    Jack: The only way that the good governor of Alaska can escape not revealing what she owes in back taxes is to get in a boat and row over to Putinland. Otherwise she must strut out to the podium in the local hockey arena and level with the American people.
    Dave Greene

    February 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  69. Dee (Ann Arbor, Michgan)

    It’s understandable why Ms. Palin would want to cheat on her taxes in private, but as an elected public official, she should have no such luxury.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  70. John Johnson

    Of course Jack,that's the only way we can deduct it from her state's stimulus package.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  71. KimSmith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Of course she should, although any figure she produces would probably be fraudulent.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  72. Jim from Chicago

    If the Republican attack machine is going to target every cabinet appointee of Obama's because of their tax miscues, certainly Palin should come clean too. There should have been no way that she did not declare getting paid for staying in her own house as income. The fact that Alaska even went along with that "deal" is even more amazing.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  73. MEL IN florida

    So much for straight talk. Frugal???? not really.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  74. Nicole

    I have only one word, for Sarah Palin and her tax issue " DISCLOSE"!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  75. Nicolas

    Of course gov. Palin should notify the public of how much in taxes she owes. How is this governor different from any other politician (ie. Daschle) who risks resignation for owing taxes. Not to mention the serious pealties average struggling citizens face if they do not pay their taxes or fail to claim some aspects.


    February 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  76. Matt from atlanta

    Yes she should, as should all elected officials. Her case however, is more about claiming a benefit she was not entitled to rather than not paying your fair share in taxes.

    We have stumbled upon one aspect of bi-partisan activity...elected officials cheating on the laws they enacted.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  77. Mary Pat RN

    It is not hard to believe... those that scream the loudest want you to look the other way. I believe the days of using the system to 'use' for ones own deceitfulness hopefully are all over. The days of using the system for personal gain are over! Democrats and Republicans alike are going under the microscope. We are going to see these folks dropping out at a rate like never before.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  78. Michael

    I don't recall Sarah Palin being nominated for a cabinet position in the Obama administration.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  79. Mable

    Yes, Governor Palin should disclose her taxes. After all, she should want to do her part to keep them honest. Remember, she wants to help run this country.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  80. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    Certainly, but she won't. What elected official of more than one term discloses anything that should be public? This is why we are in a recession and heading for a depression. Never re-elect anyone.

    Two Rivers, WI

    February 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  81. JR - Phoenix

    Well what a turn of events, Mrs. Sarah "i want to be president" Palin owes tax money?? If she can't handle her own finances, how is she going to handle America's when "god calls upon her" to run for president. Maverick of withholding funds is more like it.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  82. Barb MN

    You Betcha! She should.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  83. Howard

    Forget the back taxes. Why is Governor Palin allowed to keep her ill-gotten gains? Why isn't she required by the State of Alaska to refund to the state all of the per diem she shouldn't have collected. She gets paid a salary as governor. Is filing for and collecting undeserved per diem just a means of giving yourself an off-the-books pay increase?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  84. Elizabeth F

    We are ordinary taxpayers who pay our taxes yearly or government will run after us if we missed regardless if you become jobless. We made payment plan monthly last year. Can't they do the same. It's tax payers money, therefore, it have to be made public like Daschle,Geithner... Maybe, public officials' unpaid taxes should all be made public while in office and if they run for any elected office because unpaid taxes contribute to unbalanced budget. A dollar is not a dollar if 1 cent is missing. 1 cent missing for every dollar in a billion dollar is how much? See what I mean?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  85. barbara

    Of course, she should disclose that information.

    For someone who is woefully uninformed about national and international issues, she sure has a firm grasp on exploiting the tax system and grabbing for all of the political favors she can get her hands on.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  86. don in naples, florida

    Does anybody other than the working class folk pay taxes?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  87. Stephan

    she should do whatever Daschle and everybody else had to do.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  88. uncle jimbo - Chicago

    Yes she should – Only because she is part of the family values, flag waving obstructionist party. Iam sure since Alaska recieves more Government $$$subsidy per capita then any other state in the Union, the people would like to know.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  89. Daniel

    Why are you and the rest of the liberal media so hell bent on making Sarah Palin a villian? Why not ask whats going on in the Obama cabinet before you start worrying about what Sarah Palin is doing, not one of them has clean hands. Report that Jack.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  90. Marcelle

    Gov'. Palin's taxes ARE our Countries business and all other persons holding office.

    This taking all of her chldren everwhere was fine HOWEVER, her choice should not be at tax payers expense, then it our problem as well, as her choosing to fly back and forth each day from her residence to the Capital of Alaska each day instead of moving there during her term and going home occasionally. With fuel at am all time high!

    Just another reason to be grateful that she and McCane weren't chosen last Nov., There are SO many reasons!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  91. Latroy

    Yes... Why was it such a big deal for obama when he picked the guy for his cabinet and his taxes wasn't right and for mrs palin taxes it doesn't matter? Goes to show that us democrats are expected to be perfect and republicans can just tell the citizens who pay taxes that it doesn't matter what high government does with ur money. Yes she should have to pay her fines to the IRS and show that state how she spent there money. This is the reason we are in a recession now .. High government officials just doing what they want with tax payers money. Not all but most of the republican party is the reason we are in this mess now! Only if I could of had some of the money she waisted to save my father from the cancer he died from because our health care we could afford couldn't get him the right medical attention he so much needed. People are out here dying, and starving, and struggling trying to live ! And this is going to be just another sweep under the rug for the republican party!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  92. Linda from Maine

    My question is "why is Palin not being charged with misappropriation of funds?"At the very least she is guilty of padding her tax deductions to make money for herself on the back of the Alaskan people she is a public servant for.....she has proven her credibilty should be questioned on anything she says .How many examples do we need she is not a trustworthy person ..what she says or promotes is not the same as what she does .........or how she lives....Too bad because she is very charasmatic.....however integrity of word and deed are more important than the charisma and in those two she falls short....

    February 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  93. JOHN N.H.

    The way I see it is....Public Office, Public Record. If you want you're records private then go to work in the private sector! If you can find work that is!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  94. Nelly from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack, average Joe like me owes $100 in taxes I would have to pay 3 times more or have my paycheck garnished or even go to to jail, and I'm a taxpayer. So yes Miss Palin should disclose how much money she owes in back taxes just like everyone else.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  95. Wendy NC

    When you run for President and win, you go live in DC at the White House or support your own commute. When you run for Governor of AK and win, you go live in Juneau at the Governor's Mansion or support your own commute. It's simple, Sarah. You thought you could quietly and covertly move you 'capitol' to Anchorage and collect some money and it backfired. Be open (for once) about the amount of taxes, pay them and stop collecting per diem while living at home. If you had wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom, then that is what you should have done.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  96. Ryan Portland, Oregon

    Sarah Palin should disclose what she owes. After all, only a maverick would come out and say the true amount to the public.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  97. Zach Roberts

    Of course Palin should say how much she owes, but she won't. She is the Queen, and answers to no one. The rest of the world is beginning to see Palin as she is. Thinking Alaskans (there are a few of us) have been disgusted with her entitlement attitude for some time. Any other Alaska State employee would have been fired for claiming and receiving per diem for groceries while living at home.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  98. Jesse

    I think all of these crooked polititions should have to show their back taxes. They make me and they are no better than I am.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  99. Charlotte from Charlotte NC

    Absolutely she should have to disclose the amount of her back taxes – she should also be required to pay back every penney of that money.
    She's a thief...plain and simple. She knew it was wrong to take that money.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  100. Terry in Hanover County

    Jack, didn't you know that it only counts when Democrats owe back taxes? The GOP has long anointed itself as God's Party and that none of their members could possibly do anything wrong, including Saint Palin. Tell you what. Let her keep her back taxes in exchange from dropping out of sight for the next 4 years. Any publicity good publicity? Palin milks it for all she's worth, which isn't much.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  101. Sam - GA

    Absolutely – disclosure with an explanation, amount owed, interest and PENALTIES. None of these cheating politicians seem to pay PENALTIES....only back taxes and interest!!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  102. Doug in Knoxville

    Tax accidents happen, that's no big deal. Even her cell phone use for personal calls is taxable if it's a state-owned cellphone. These kinds of tax issues are normal for government workers.

    What's not normal is being able to not disclose this information. You lose many rights to privacy when you accept a government job. Your salary, benefits, and payroll deductions are all public information.

    I can't believe the gall of this governor to think that she's above the law.

    Now that she's got me mad, what about any perks from her campaign that were used for personal reasons. She needs to pay taxes on the makeup, cellphone calls, and underwear that didn't go back to the GOP when the campaign disbanded.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  103. Carol Wilson

    Yes, and she should pay them, too.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  104. johnvet


    What's good for the goose is good for the gander, isn't it? Had I hid $17,000 worth of per diem or funds the IRS and the State would be on my but, I'd be out of my house and trying figure out how to pay off not only the back taxes but the penalties too.]

    By the way, does this include all the money she got to fly her family around? Maverick my butt!!!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  105. Kenn

    Don't you get it? Gov Palin took Alaska taxpayers for over $17,000, but all the state wants is for her keep the money and pay taxes on it. Why is she not being required to return the money that she was not entitled to receive?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  106. janet

    You betcha she should. Please! Let's get rid of this person. Save us all from her, so she won't be back to irritate us again in 2012.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  107. Leah,Texas

    The people of Alaska should be up in arms that Palin is getting paid to eat and sleep in her own house!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  108. Mary from Houston, tx

    Sure let's go for transparency. Was the clothing wardrobe ever donated to charity, or is the RNC saving it for the Palin section of the Bush library?

    February 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  109. Tina

    I am appalled by these lawmakers not paying their taxes. I am a retired teacher of 33 years. My last three years of teaching, I joined a program in my school district earning extra money towards my retirement. $72,000 was earned during those three years. Because it was necessary to take the lump sum to pay down creditors, the government taxed $14,000. Which was deducted before I received my payment. This seems so unfair. I just believe they all have some tax issues.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  110. Al

    Damn I want to get elected into public office, you get a lot of "special" tax deductions!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  111. Jack Shenandoah,Pa

    Not disclose how much she owes the United States of America?
    What a Maverick!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  112. Scott - Madison, WI

    I want to see her per diem charge for pallin' around with the terrorists, the Washington elite and the got'cha media at the Alfalfa dinner.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  113. Maria Irizarry

    Yes ...Not only Gov Palin but a financial investigation should be made of all members of Congress to see who owes back taxes and the names of those individuals should be made public....I'm sure there are many.....

    February 19, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  114. Copper

    Call me an embarrassed life-long multi generational Alaskan. Our Governor-in-name-only, Sarah, got her job with promises of transparency and ethics reform. We badly needed it. We are still waiting for it. In fact, the only thing transparent about Mrs. Palin is her non-stop campaigning for national attention.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  115. Boz

    The US president has called for and put in place an accountability act, she should also follow the new and just rules, give up the truth, and let the people know.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  116. Christy

    Gov. Palin HERSELF ASKED if there were problems with the per-diem situation after questions arose, and has stated she has every intention of paying the IRS what she owes once that has been determined.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  117. Frank,Blanchard, Idaho

    Jack , Why yes in deed she should show what she owes in Taxes! What a joke , please, just go away Palin, (Get Over It) you didn't get elected!!!!!!!!!!Pay your Taxes help our President Obama, stimulate our Economy! That you got my vote on!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  118. Ralph Nelson

    No. Her taxes should be forgiven in exchange for a wrtten guarantee she'll stay off the nation's television networks until 2013. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  119. Roy - Chicago IL

    Funny how Daschle's taxes becaue a Public matter, but Palin's are 'private'?? Oh I get it, if it makes her look bad it's private, if it makes her look good it's public. Cari-BOO!!!!!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  120. Tom

    Of course Gov. Palin should have to disclose the amount she owes, all other elected tax deliquents had to.. She is a Public Servant. She should also show receipts for all those expences for her children. The people of Alaska should know what they got for the $21,000 for the kids "business trips". It's beginning to look like Alaskan politics is very much like Illionis politics.

    February 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  121. marlene urben

    hello Jack,

    Yes Sarah shoud let the public know ,after all she is the Gov. of Alaska, although she is just as worthless at that as she would have been as a vice-president. Sarah is an egotistical person and it comes out when she talks. I wish the media would let her fade into history,.John McCain was not using his head when he picked her ?


    February 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  122. Irvin

    Governor Sarah Palin have never played by the rules, so why should she thinks that she should change now. This is a clear case of “do like I say, but not as I do”. -Texas

    February 19, 2009 at 4:58 pm |