Tags: sanford | stimulus

Gov. Sanford: 'Proud' to Stand Against Stimulus

By Jim Meyers   |   Tuesday, 03 Feb 2009 02:50 PM

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford tells Newsmax that the economic stimulus plan now before Congress is more pork than stimulus and a “huge mistake.”

Sanford, who is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, also warned that dealing with the nation’s crushing debt will be “painful” — and said Republicans who voted against the stimulus package in the House should be “proud.”

Newsmax’s Ashley Martella asked the second-term governor, who has been an outspoken opponent of the stimulus package, to discuss the negative aspects of the plan.

[Editor's Note: Watch Gov. Mark Sanford talk about the stimulus plan - Go Here Now]

“I think it’s more of a spending bill than a stimulus bill,” Sanford responded.

“If you look at all the well-chronicled deficiencies, whether that’s 300 million bucks for sexually transmitted diseases … or a long litany of other things, it is in many ways about pork or spending rather than stimulus.

“It’s also, according to the Congressional Budget Office itself, about money that in many cases will not get to be spent for another two years or so, which sort of begs the larger question: I thought the crisis was here and now.

“It’s a package that will balloon deficit spending, and I think we’re getting to the tipping point in regard to the value of the dollar. We can go too far in running the printing presses. We really risk trashing the dollar and undermining every bit of stimulus or so-called stimulus that’s been implemented to date.

“I just think it has a lot of deficiencies. I think it’s going to make the problem bigger and longer.

“If you look at the history of the Great Depression, it was brought about, in fact, by government policy that made the problem much bigger than when it started. I think we’re headed down that same road, unfortunately.”

Martella asked if Sanford feels President Barack Obama is pushing the nation toward socialism.

“I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt right now and say he’s trying to react as so many others have,” Sanford said.

“The last administration was certainly trying to react. I just think he’s misguided in the policy.

“I think that the great temptation of today’s politics is that you’ve got to do something. In many cases doing something can make a problem bigger.

“At some point people have to level with the American public. Debt grew at three times Gross Domestic Product over the past 15 years. We’ve had a spiraling up of debt. The idea of issuing more debt to solve a problem created by too much debt to me is counterintuitive, yet that’s the route we’re going.

“And so given the fact that there’s too much debt, we’re going to go through a de-leveraging process as individuals, as businesses, and as a country. It will be painful.

“But if we simply apply a bunch of different band-aids on top of it, it’s going to take that much longer to heal. That process of applying different stimulus band-aids to ultimately maybe ease pain but prevent healing is the course we’re on, and I think it is a huge mistake.”

Martella pointed out that every Republican in the House voted against the stimulus plan, and that Democrats are running ads in GOP-held congressional districts they consider vulnerable to take Republicans to task for their vote. He asked Sanford how those Republicans should respond.

“I’d stand up proudly and say, absolutely right,” Sanford declared. “I voted against it and here’s why, because that silent majority that makes America great is very much against much of what is coming out of Washington, D.C., these days.

“So I would be defiant. I would be proud of where one was willing to stand on that vote. I think it was the right vote.”

[Editor's Note: Watch Gov. Mark Sanford talk about the stimulus plan - Go Here Now]

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