by Jed Babbin
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Mark Sanford doesn’t want his state to be tangled up in the strings attached to the money President Obama’s so-called “stimulus” bill is bringing to his state. His objections are grounded in conservative principle, so it’s natural that the Washington Post is attacking him.
The problem — as Sanford explained in my interview with him last week — is that a large portion of the “stimulus” money requires increases in state payments such as unemployment benefits, and those increases have to continue even after the initial federal funding runs out. In state terms, this “annualizes” — i.e., permanently grafts onto the state’s budget — the increased spending which many states don’t want and can’t afford.
After looking closely at the fine print, the South Carolina governor decided he would ask the White House for permission to use much of the money for the sole purpose of reducing the state’s deficit.