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Friday, October 31, 2008

A Governor Says “No” to Government Bailouts and Stimulus

In this new era of taxpayer bailouts, everybody seems to be heading to Washington for handouts. Well, almost everyone.

It was not surprising to see New York Governor David Paterson on Capitol Hill looking for federal dollars given that New York State reportedly faces a four-year projected budget shortfall of $47 billion.

According to an Associated Press story, Paterson said: “Just like the financial services industry, we need a partner in the federal government in order to help stave off an impending financial calamity and stabilize our fiscal condition.”

A partner – how nice.

Of course, New York State elected officials have pushed government spending relentlessly higher, while also taxing and regulating individuals and businesses to death. Why exactly should federal taxpayers be forced to bailout such economic incompetence?

What was surprising, however, was what South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford had to say to Congress. According to AP:

Sanford, a South Carolina Republican who was also appearing before the committee, contended they should not pass another stimulus package because it will not fix the economic problems but drive the country deeper into debt.

"I'm here to beg of you not to approve or advance the contemplated $150 billion stimulus package," Sanford said. "This $150 billion salve may in fact further infect our economy with unnecessary government influence and unintended fiscal consequences."

By Sanford's count, the federal government has already pumped $2 trillion into the economy this year through a previous stimulus package, the financial services bailout, and rescue actions for specific firms.

A moment of economic clarity on Capital Hill from the governor of South Carolina. A big thanks to Governor Sanford.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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