Commentary: Sanford's latest request is unreal

March 18, 2009 

This editorial appeared in The State.

The White House must be wondering what part of "no" Gov. Mark Sanford doesn't understand. We're beginning to wonder what planet he lives on.

We understand Mr. Sanford's opposition to the fiscal stimulus package; although we believe the package was necessary, we too disliked many of the specific spending initiatives.

We understand – and often respect – his push for fiscal responsibility; heaven knows our Legislature too frequently engages in irresponsible, unsustainable spending practices.

We agree that it's better to avoid excessive debt.

But Mr. Sanford's latest attempt to avoid using federal stimulus funds to actually put South Carolinians to work and help pull our state out of recession is so unhinged from reality that it's difficult to believe even that it's a politically calculated effort to position himself as a 2012 challenger to President Barack Obama.

His do-over attempt is nonsensical enough: Within hours after the White House quite reasonably rejected his request to divert $700 million in stimulus funds to repaying "debts" – some of which haven't even been incurred yet – the governor sent the president a repackaged request, attempting to explain how not using the money to stimulate the economy would stimulate the economy. He even asserted that his non-stimulative proposal was in the "spirit of the stimulus legislation." Seriously.

To read the complete editorial, visit The State.

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