FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Sanford to accept $700,000,000.00 in Porkulus cash for SC, use it to pay down debt
Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) sent a letter to the South Carolina General Assembly today in which he outlined his intent to request a waiver from the Obama administration that would allow him to use the $700,000,000.00 in Porkulus cash due his state “to pay down South Carolina’s sizable debt and contingent liabilities,” rather than to fund new pork-barrel, make-work projects.
Sanford has said he will refuse the portion of Porkulus funds that carry with them the requirement that the state expand unemployment benefits, but the fact that he is accepting them at all is somewhat of a surprise to me, as he had, it seemed, been hinting that he would be refusing to accept them altogether (hence the inclusion of the Clyburn Clause in the Porkulus bill, which allows state legislatures to override executives who refuse Porkulus funds). Here’s what he had to say on the topic:
Our objections to the so-called stimulus bill have been well-chronicled for the way it spends money that we don’t have and for the way that this printing of money could ultimately devalue the American dollar.
Those of us opposed to this package lost the debate on these merits, and I now think it is important we look for creative ways to apply and use these monies in accordance with the long-term interests of our state.
Color me, well, whelmed with the decision not to leave it up to the legislature, but to go ahead and apply for the federal cash with the stated intent of simply trying to direct it better than other states intend to. I’ve got an email in to a contact within the administration, and will be sure to update this when he gets back to me.