High Wire Act
A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.
Though none has outright rejected the money available for education, health care and infrastructure, the governors of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho have all questioned whether the $787 billion bill signed into law this week will even help the economy.
"My concern is there's going to be commitments attached to it that are a mile long," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who considered rejecting some of the money but decided Wednesday to accept it. "We need the freedom to pick and choose. And we need the freedom to say 'No thanks.'"
In fact, governors who reject some of the stimulus aid may find themselves overridden by their own legislatures because of language Clyburn included in the bill that allows lawmakers to accept the federal money even if their governors object.
He inserted the provision based on the early and vocal opposition to the stimulus plan by South Carolina's Republican governor, Mark Sanford. But it also means governors like Sanford and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal — a GOP up-and-comer often mentioned as a potential 2012 presidential candidate — can burnish their conservative credentials, knowing all the while that their legislatures can accept the money anyway.
I guess these people are placing their political bets on the economy not being sobad that they get blamed, but still bad enough that they can blame Obama. It's quite tight rope they're walking.
If the Democrats were as ruthless and reckless with other people's lives as the Republicans are, they wouldn't have put that clause in the legislation and would have let the Republicans pay the price for this nonsense. You know if the shoe were on the other foot, the GOP kamikazees would have forced the Dems to bear the brunt of such a decision. But then, that's the reason why the country is in this catastrophic mess in the first place isn't it? The Republicans just don't give a damn about the people they are supposed to be representing.