Sanford: we shouldn’t spend money we don’t have, nor should we get any more money by mattsteinglass
March 14, 2009, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Conservatism

Speaking of stimulus, CNN did a nice piece yesterday on how South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s rejection of stimulus money for his state means he won’t fix the collapsing, condemned school building where Ty’Sheoma Bethea studies. Bethea is the high schooler who wrote a letter to the White House asking for help rebuilding her school, and provided the “we are not quitters” closing line of Obama’s address to Congress last month.

In the CNN piece, Sanford justifies his position by saying that the state shouldn’t be “spending money we don’t have” and noting that state legislators could fix the school using their own money. Clearly, that would require the state to raise the money needed to fix the school, and we call the way governments raise money “taxes”. So how would Sanford respond to any effort to raise taxes so South Carolina could fix its collapsing school buildings? In case it’s not obvious, how about a news release from the Office of the Governor of South Carolina:


Columbia, S.C. – May 8, 2008 – Governor Mark Sanford today reaffirmed his stand on not raising any tax without an offsetting tax cut, saying he would veto the Senate’s cigarette tax hike if it comes to his desk in its current form.

I think the more honest way to approach this would be for the Governor to explain to Ty’Sheoma Bethea that nobody is going to fix her school building because she’s just too poor. This would teach her a valuable life lesson about the importance of acquiring the skills to earn lots of money, though how she is expected to do that when her school is falling apart remains somewhat unclear.



5 Comments so far
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The legislature could also reduce spending in other areas, in order to allocate more funds for Ty’Sheoma Bethea’s school.

I think another honest approach would be for the leader of the legislature to sit down with Ty’Sheoma Bethea and explain to her that they simply can’t be bothered to shift priorities in the budget to improve her school.

Comment by jb

Mm hm. In subsequent news, in December, the Governor announced that the “offsetting tax cut” he would demand in exchange for not vetoing the increase on the cigarette tax would be to eliminate South Carolina’s corporate income tax and to flatten the state’s personal income tax rates so that everyone above $13,000 a year would pay the same rate — the same tax rate for the chicken-parts factory employee making $20,000 a year and for the factory owner making $1,000,000 a year.

So that’s where Governor Sanford’s “budget priorities” lie: tax relief for overburdened millionaires, no fixing the condemned auditorium at Ty’Sheoma’s school. And that is his vision of how to build economic progress: invest in lower taxes for multimillionaires and corporations, not in education for your state’s kids.

30 years of this sort of governance, interspersed with just 8 years of relative sanity, is the reason why the US’s economy is falling apart.

Comment by mattsteinglass

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, Folly Beach Mayor Carl Beckmann Jr. and about 20 of the other mayors who signed a letter on its way to Sanford said that without the money, municipalities will be forced to make severe cuts in basic services. Not only will local services be curtailed, Riley said, but the state will lose prosecutors, State Law Enforcement Division agents and probation and parole officers — all of which will negatively impact public safety and quality of life.


1. State will lose prosecutors
2. State will lose SLED Agents
3. State will lose probation and parole officers



Comment by anonymous

Folly Beach! Spent one of the nicest weeks in my life down there in 1995. Went to the old Bowen’s Island oyster restaurant — I understand it’s since burned down…

Comment by mattsteinglass

[…] enough, it seems Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and “we are not quitters” high-schooler Ty’sheoma Bethea come from the same small […]

Pingback by Ben Bernanke and Ty’sheoma Bethea share hometown « ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS

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