In case you don’t follow the editorials at CNN.com, there’s a great little back-and-forth bitch-slap extravaganza going on that you really should tune in to.
It started on February 10th, when Democratic strategist Paul Begala wrote an editorial stating that Republican strategy for economic recovery was simply, “deny, delay, and do nothing.” Well, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford – a “rising star in the GOP” – didn’t like that very much, so he wrote an editorial three days later pleading, “Don’t Mortgage Our Children’s Futures” (Think of the children!). Well, Begala decided to up the ante and posed a “oh-no-you-din’nt” challenge to Sanford and other Republicans who oppose the stimulus:
If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama’s economic recovery plan, they should refuse to take the money. After all, if you think all that federal spending is damaging, there are easy ways to reduce it: Don’t take federal money.
Justice Louis Brandeis famously called states “laboratories of democracy.” So let’s experiment. Gov. Sanford can be the guinea pig. His Palmetto State already gets $1.35 back from Washington for every dollar it pays in federal taxes, according to 2005 numbers, the latest calculated by the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax research group.
South Carolina is a ward of the federal government. It’s been on welfare for years. If Gov. Sanford is so all-fired opposed to federal spending, let’s start by cutting federal spending in South Carolina. Otherwise, he’s got about as much credibility on fiscal conservatism as A-Rod has on steroids.
Under the Bush-Sanford economic theories, South Carolina’s unemployment rate has reached 9.5 percent — among the highest in the nation. But if Gov. Sanford wants to continue those policies, good luck to him.
Obviously, I don’t think there are any Republicans that would actually refuse to take the Federal money to which they are so opposed but it would be awesome to see them walk the walk by refusing federal money and instead focusing solely on tax cuts.