Government has got to get out of the way, in some respects, of the private sector, being able to create the jobs that we need, jobs that are going to allow for the families to be able to afford health care, to be able to afford their mortgages, to be able to afford college tuition for their kids.
Creating jobs, the private, sector, government, get out of the way in terms of regulation, high taxes, those things that are disincentives to the private sector creating those jobs -- That's got to be the principal here. Reform government; recognize that it's not government to be looked at to solve all the problems.
Taxes, of course, I think is one of the most important things that government can obviously control and to help with this issue.
Let me tell you what I did here in the city of Wasilla and then as governor of Alaska, because I think Americans need to know what the candidates' track records are in this, so that you know kind of world view on what government's appropriate role is.
Here in Wasilla, when I was elected, first, to the city council, we didn't have a police department here. We had dirt roads that we were driving on. There weren't the water and the sewer line extensions. So it's infrastructure tools that the private sector needs in order to grow and to prosper.What I did as a city council member then and then as mayor was come in and we cut personal property taxes in Wasilla. We cut small business inventory taxes...
GIBSON: But raised the sales tax.
PALIN: No -- well, we had a two percent sales tax and when people came to local government and said, "We want a sports arena here," I said, "That's fine and I want a sports arena, also, but we're going to have to pay for it." So we're going to have to prioritize for that project and you're going to have to vote yourselves in to half a penny sales tax to pay for it, the bond that would fund the sports arena. That's how we paid for that. So eliminating...
GIBSON: I'm sorry, but you didn't pay for it. You came in to the city. I didn't want to get off into Wasilla, but you came into the city with a debt-freed city and left with considerable -- millions of dollars of debt.
PALIN: A $13 million sports arena that we bonded for, but, see, we put government on the side of the people by asking them if that's what they wanted. It was a question on the ballot and they got to vote yes or no. They were willing to incur that to pay out the bond to build it, an amenity that they had desired. After talking about a sports arena in Wasilla for 30 years, I got into office and I said, "You know, let's quit talking about it. Let's take some action and let's ask voters if this really is such a high priority that they'd be willing to pay for it.
So that's what we did. We eliminated small business inventory taxes. I eliminated things like business license renewal fees on our small businesses. The real property tax rate was too high in our community. So every year I was in office, I reduced that (inaudible) -- we reduced the rates, and we have wonderful economic indicators of success.
We have paved roads. We have a strong police department. We have the water, the sewer infrastructure improvements that would invite businesses to come into our community.