Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gov. Mark Sanford: Using Stimulus Money For Education Is "Fiscal Child Abuse"

Following the lead of Governor Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana, who refused $90 million in stimulus package money that could aid 25,00o people, Governor Marc Sanford (R) of South Carolina is refusing $700 million in funds, most of which would go toward education.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that Sanford's motivation is to satisfy his conservative supporters: "“This is just political posturing aimed toward the next national election. If he were looking out for the state he would be looking out for the people of the state. He’s got a political agenda that runs contrary to the needs of his constituents."

Sanford's rejection of the funds could result in the loss of 4,000 teachers' jobs. Ty'Sheoma Bethea, who was cited by President Obama in his speech to Congress for her letter asking Sanford to repair her crumbling school, will also be disappointed. Incredibly, Sanford told Glenn Beck that it would be "fiscal child abuse" to use the money for education:

Beck: But your point, if I’m not mistaken is, no, no, no, you’re taking care of the children in South Carolina by not taking it. Can you explain that? […]

Sanford: Since we don’t have any of this money that’s now being dispensed from Washington, DC; since we’re going out and printing money and we’re issuing debt to solve a problem that was created by too much debt; since that’s taking place, and since those costs will be borne by the next generation, in fact it is sort of fiscal child abuse to do what we’re doing.

Beck: Yes. (h/t Think Progress)

If students in South Carolina such as Ty'Sheoma Bethea attend schools that are falling apart and losing teachers, will they thank Governor Sanford for saving them from "abuse"? Surely the cost of an inadequate education will be borne by the next generation.

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