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Palin: Government Shutdown May Help Fight Rising Debt

By Lisa Lerer – Feb 17, 2011 3:16 PM ET


Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, weighing a presidential bid next year, said she opposes raising the U.S. debt ceiling and welcomes a government shutdown in the fight over federal spending.

Speaking today to business executives and civic leaders in Woodbury, New York, Palin said Republicans shouldn’t be deterred by Democratic “scare tactics” over a possible government shutdown.

It would force President Barack Obama to work with Republicans, she said. “Not necessarily would that be a bad thing on either side.”

The U.S. debt is projected by the Treasury Department to reach its authorized ceiling of $14.3 trillion within a few months, setting the stage for a congressional showdown over lifting the borrowing limit. Also, current government funding runs out March 4 as lawmakers battle over the budget for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

Raising the debt ceiling isn’t the answer, Palin said as she took questions from a meeting held by the Long Island Business Association, one of New York’s largest business groups.

“To me, all that’s going to do is create this allowance for more big spenders to get in there,” she said. “It’s an overstatement to say that we are even making a dent in the national debt,” she said. Obama’s “spending plan does add to the debt, and it does allow in the next 10 years, still, deficit spending.”

Obama on Feb. 14 proposed a $3.7 trillion budget for next fiscal year. Republicans said they will demand deeper cuts.

Palin said she hasn’t made up her mind about running for president in 2012. She said her decision last week to hire a chief of staff was intended to help better organize her professional life.

“To tell you the truth, Todd is getting tired of doing it all for me,” she said, referring to her husband.