Monday, March 16, 2009

Republican Incompetence

This is rich:
Mar 16th, 2009 | COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is calling on President Barack Obama to get the Democratic National Committee to pull an ad criticizing the Republican's opposition to federal stimulus money.

In a statement Monday, Sanford said the ad is at odds with Obama's campaign promises of ending politics as usual.

The DNC is airing an ad that says Sanford is playing politics with $700 million in stimulus cash instead of using it for health care, jobs and schools. Sanford last week asked Obama to allow the state to use some of the stimulus money to pay down state debt.

Oh, whaah. Politics as usual, huh? South Carolina has the second highest unemployment in the nation at 10.4%, right behind Michigan:

The commission said the number of people without jobs in South Carolina climbed to a record high of 227,986 in January and its data also indicated that for the first time in almost a year the labor force contracted.

I'm just curious how paying down the state debt at a time of high unemployment will help unemployed families. How is this going to put food on the table, pay the rent, or help someone find a job?

It gets worse:

Amid forecasts of a feeble summer of tourism, the state's largest industry, some economists are predicting South Carolina's unemployment rate will hit 14 percent.

Before federal bailout money, the state had to cut $1 billion from a $7 billion budget because of a drop-off in tax revenue. Government workers have been ordered to take unpaid days off. About 135,000 people are collecting some $20 million a week in unemployment benefits, and the state is borrowing federal cash to foot the bill.
Job fairs draw hundreds more applicants than the number of positions available. Food pantries run short of food.

Republican Gov. Mark Sanford is a leading critic of federal stimulus money and is pushing to use the cash over which he has some say to pay off debt. State lawmakers plan to fight him on that. Sanford instead has called for tax cuts to help the economy.

I’m trying to wrap my head around this. The state has been forced to cut its budget because of decreased tax revenue, and must therefore borrow money from the Federal government to pay for unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, unemployment is rising.

So I’m trying to see how tax cuts will further help people in South Carolina. It will certainly create an even bigger budget shortfall for the state. And the governor wants to take a couple of hundred million dollars in federal money and instead of giving it to the people of the state, its intended use, he wants the state to keep it to pay down debt.

Dear friends in South Carolina, I'm sorry you are suffering under this idiocy. Just remember: if the Christian Exodus movement has its way, things will only get worse.