Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Part 2

Today is Friday the 13th for the second consecutive month. That got me wondering when the last time that happened was. And perhaps it's because it's the end of a week in which daylight savings time robbed me of an hour of sleep, not to mention that I got up half an hour earlier than normal today, but I've been many a stray thought has crossed my mind today. I can barely concentrate.

Anyway, I saw that South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has announced that he will be rejecting nearly a quarter of the federal money headed to his state as part of the economic stimulus plan.

"I have come to conclude that it would be a mistake to simply accept the money as offered," Sanford wrote to state legislators in announcing his decision. "When one is in a hole, the first order of business is to stop digging."

I have to agree that increasing government spending is not the way to fix the economy, but I'm sure that many of the intended recipients of this money are going to be none too happy with him. The typical response that you'd expect from the opposition - that it is political posturing - was quickly leveled. Who knows, maybe it is political posturing, but at least it's interesting to see a politician literally put his money where his mouth is rather than decry the stimulus package only to accept the handouts whole heartedly. I'll be interested to see the ramifications.

The other interesting quote for me was this:

"Every state should be laser-focused right now on one issue: jobs, jobs, jobs," said O'Malley, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

All I can think after reading that is that I thought the majority of the stimulus package was earmarked for extending unemployment benefits. How exactly is paying people not to work supposed to increase jobs? The other lingering question for me is, if Sanford does follow through with this and reject the money, what will become of the funds? Will they go toward paying down the national debt, or will they simply be reallocated to some other government program. Who knows, and I'm honestly beginning to lose interest already.

One last bit of advise before I call it a day, if you're going to put a dummy in your car so that you can drive in the HOV lane, make sure to buckle him up so that you don't get pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. The Washington State Patrol will give you a $124 ticket and confiscate your dummy.
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