This writer presents a ridiculous perspective on the shiny new "stimulus" bill. Not wanting the bill to pass at all, and not taking the money from it are polar opposites. If it were not passed, Gov. Sanfords constituents (the people of South Carolina) would not send the extra money to Washington to pay for it. Since it did pass, it is only fiscaly responsible to get as much as you can. Heck, even my little town has its hand out to get what we can. If they did not i would be angry that we all are paying for it...get at least our share back!
It is also very different than the issues of lower taxes and salary caps, as that is an individual choice. If you think $500,000.00 is a fair maximum salary and you make more than that giving it back is a personal choice. A governer has to answer to the people of his state, and part of his job is to get all the "free" money he can.
Don't Like the Stimulus? Don't Take the Money
GOP governor who opposed stimulus spending urged not to accept it
By SARA K. SMITH
Updated 3:30 PM EST, Tue, Feb 17, 2009
Paul Begala is not improving the tone of debate in Washington. Oh well!
Yesterday the CNN commentator and Clinton pal suggested that Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, reject all federal aid to his state attached to the stimulus bill if he disliked the bill so much.
Sanford, like many Republicans, objected to the large amount of spending in the bill. Now he's being told to put his money where his mouth is, something that nobody ever wants to hear.
From Democrats who don't want to be told by Republicans that if they love taxes so much they are free to overpay them, to Republicans who don't want to be told by Democrats that if they hate government spending so much they are free to decline government aid, there's a particular sort of schoolyard simplicity to this kind of argument. It's crude and childish, but it carries just enough of a whiff of truth to be profoundly irritating.
Naturally, Mark Sanford can dislike what he believes are wasteful provisions in the bill while still supporting those provisions that bring much-needed jobs and relief to his state. And indeed, most Republicans can find something to like in the stimulus bill -- just not enough to make them want to vote for it.
In Sanford's case, his own column on CNN.com really does make it sound like the only stimulus he approves of is tax cuts:
In truth, there are a variety of options outside a spending bill of unprecedented scope available in this time of considerable economic distress, including, but not limited to, cutting the payroll tax, opening foreign markets through an expansion of our trade agreements, and reducing our corporate tax, which is among the highest worldwide.
We'll see what Sanford has to say after Begala called him out -- it will be genuinely interesting to see how he reconciles his objection to federal spending with his own state's historical reliance on government largesse -- but he'll probably come up with something along the lines of, "I know you are, but what am I?"And thus will continue our high-toned Washington discourse, in which we can disagree without being disagreeable.
The notable rhetorician Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.
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