Does Sarah Palin Like Oil Revenue?

Sarah Palin told Sean Hannity, in an interview that aired last night, that she's glad oil doesn't cost $140/barrel, despite her state's reliance on oil for revenue, not just because people have to pay more for gas, but out of a basic belief in fiscal conservatism: "The fewer dollars that the state of Alaska government has, the fewer dollars we spend.  And that's good for our families and for the private sector."

Conor Clarke sees some hypocrisy in this, as Palin called oil prices a "double-edged sword" in a press release Monday:

"History reminds us that high oil prices are a double-edged sword," Governor Palin said. "The state treasury may swell, but Alaskans will feel the pain at the pump and the pinch of higher energy prices...

Conor's point is that, while Palin says she doesn't like revenue, she poses revenue as the good side of the double-edged sword in a statement issued the day before her Hannity interview aired.

So does she like revenue, or doesn't she? Does she want the treasury to swell?

Swelling treasuries are generally good for sitting governors, but Palin is a national political figure, a conservative emblem, and, politically, oil revenues are indeed a double-edged sword for her. There are those who, she admits, point to her state as benefiting from high prices, and Conor has suggested that Alaska's practice of sending oil-revenue checks to residents sounds kind of like socialism--although that does keep the treasuries from filling.

At the same time, Palin can freely point out that, as she says to Hannity, those oil-revenue checks cancel out taxes on Alaskans--a pretty good thing for a fiscal conservative to boast. "We are the only state with a negative tax rate," she tells Hannity, which Hannity clearly loves--as would many other conservatives outside Palin's home state.