Obama to Sanford: No, you can’t use stimulus money to pay off state debt

posted at 6:35 pm on March 16, 2009 by Allahpundit

The absurdity of the stimulus in microcosm: Not only is fiscal responsibility deemed irresponsible, it’s actually barred by statute. Or so says the one man in America who claims to have read the bill.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said in a letter to the Republican that the federal stimulus law doesn’t allow President Barack Obama to make an exception for that cash. Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer had no immediate response, but the governor has said he would reject part of the stimulus money if Obama wouldn’t give him flexibility in spending it.

The $787 billion stimulus legislation sets strict rules for the $53.6 billion being sent to help state budgets, Orszag wrote. It calls for 82 percent of the money to be used for public schools and colleges and 18 percent on public safety and other government services.

“Congress has not authorized the executive branch to waive any of the above statutory requirements,” Orszag’s one-page letter said…

South Carolina stands to see as much $8 billion during the next two years from its share of stimulus plan when tax breaks and non-state spending items, such as Pell grants, are included. Sanford says about $2.8 billion is heading to state programs and he’ll have control of the $700 million in question.

How worried are the Democrats about this guy? Worried enough to have the DNC run ads against him for not taking a bite of The One’s crap sandwich. As public outrage mounts about spending, their version of fiscal “responsibility” is making sure the GOP’s held responsible too. Exit question via Sanford: Since when is Hopenchange about attacking people who disagree with the White House?


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Yeah, “don’t improve your bond rating” kind of sums up Ogabe’s goals….

sven10077 on March 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Obama is right. If the stimulus is used to pay the states debt. Who would be next in line? California? with it’s massive deficit?

Stanford should either take it or leave it. I bet he takes it. Coward

nice343 on March 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Exit question via Sanford: Since when is Hopenchange about attacking people who disagree with the White House?

The definition of Hope&Change changed on January 21st.

myrenovations on March 16, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Obama’s swinging at everything he can. He is like a drowning person. Don’t get too close, he might pull you under.

portlandon on March 16, 2009 at 6:38 PM

WHO voted for Obama anyway?

originalpechanga on March 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM

I saw somewhere that the Governor of Texas was refusing to take these funds too. I wonder if it will hurt them, I think not.

Terrye on March 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Obama is right. If the stimulus is used to pay the states debt. Who would be next in line? California? with it’s massive deficit?

Stanford should either take it or leave it. I bet he takes it. Coward

nice343 on March 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Cali started paying Tax Refunds this week because they know the fix is in on a bailout….

Pelosi may wreck Federalism in two years of “work”…

sven10077 on March 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Look at Sanford’s record. He’s not playing politics and if anyone is, it’s Chairmen Zero.

Notorious GOP on March 16, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Sanford is a lightweight. Sorry, but given his own asinie statement of “anyone who wants Obama to fail is an idiot”; he has pretty much left any future attacks on Obama by himself as easy pickings by the DNC and Democrats.

Norwegian on March 16, 2009 at 6:40 PM

So is Sanford being Saul Alinsky’d, now?

This POTUS plays way too many political “mine-is-bigger-than-yours” games.

What a wanker. What a total wanker.

We get it, Barry: You won. America loses, but you won.

I hope you fail, though.

bluelightbrigade on March 16, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Look at Sanford’s record. He’s not playing politics and if anyone is, it’s Chairmen Zero.

Notorious GOP on March 16, 2009 at 6:40 PM

um, Sanford is just fine but his record indicates that he often plays politics and then gives in. Like on unemployment insurance

joey24007 on March 16, 2009 at 6:42 PM

ZZZZZZ…. I’m having more fun on the Palin thread.

davek70 on March 16, 2009 at 6:43 PM

nice343 on March 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

From what I’m hearing out here Sacramento seems to think it will be able to use the theft act funds however it sees fit.

goat on March 16, 2009 at 6:43 PM

I got pretty sick of campaign ads during the campaign that wouldn’t end.

What makes anyone of either party or affiliated with either party think that I want to see another campaign ad?

myrenovations on March 16, 2009 at 6:44 PM

I’m really getting pissed.

toliver on March 16, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Obama is right. If the stimulus is used to pay the states debt. Who would be next in line? California? with it’s massive deficit?

Stanford should either take it or leave it. I bet he takes it. Coward

nice343 on March 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

And who’s going to pay off Obama’s $2 trillion deficit?

You?

Chuck Schick on March 16, 2009 at 6:44 PM

“Since when is Hopenchange about attacking people who disagree with the White House?”

Since Inauguration Day if memory serves correctly. About the same time that “Dissent is no longer patriotic” came into vogue.

GarandFan on March 16, 2009 at 6:44 PM

I’m really getting pissed.

toliver on March 16, 2009 at 6:44 PM

I’m already there.

And what happened to states’ rights?

Oh, yeah. They don’t exist in a socialist society.

madmonkphotog on March 16, 2009 at 6:47 PM

When our actual landlords, the Chinese, to whom we owe over 2 trillion dollars (with another additional trillion coming) tell our little idiot clown president to drop dead, what is he going to do?

TexasJew on March 16, 2009 at 6:47 PM

From what I’m hearing out here Sacramento seems to think it will be able to use the theft act funds however it sees fit.

goat on March 16, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Over at NRO’s The Corner, there was a post (I think yesterday) about all of the absurd strings attached to the money and how much confusion it is causing.

myrenovations on March 16, 2009 at 6:47 PM

um, Sanford is just fine but his record indicates that he often plays politics and then gives in. Like on unemployment insurance

joey24007 on March 16, 2009 at 6:42 PM

please explain

Notorious GOP on March 16, 2009 at 6:48 PM

It’s all about control.

TheBigOldDog on March 16, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Notorious GOP on March 16, 2009 at 6:48 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/01/us/01sanford.html

joey24007 on March 16, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Sanford has been a fiscal conservative his entire political career. Go look up some of his votes in Congress.

therightwinger on March 16, 2009 at 6:50 PM

We really need to quit tearing potential candidates for 2012 down. I get it that everyone has a preference (Romney, Sanford, Jindal, Palin) but we all share the same goal. Defeating Obama and the liberals. 2012 is a long way off.

therightwinger on March 16, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Gov Perry has been bitch slapping the Teleprompter Jesus lately.
He pretty much told Nobama that “Texans take care of Texans”.
Also that we will take care of the border without Nobamas help.

Offshore_Drilling on March 16, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Why does my post disappear?

Offshore_Drilling on March 16, 2009 at 6:56 PM

You would think that between the Community Reinvestment Act and this………..

………….. someone in the GOP might start running ads of their own spelling out to the sheeple what caused this problem, why it is such a mess, and what the “Stimulus Package” really is, a Democratic Party Funding machine.

The 2010/2012 campaigns should start today, with a hole series of adds aimed at the Social Engineering Policies of the Left.

Seven Percent Solution on March 16, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Remind me, what the banks are using the cash for again? So the goal is to have solvent banks, make China whole, and leave us all holding the bag in a few years with 75% tax rates and 49 insolvent U.S. states. Alaska excluded of course.

econavenger on March 16, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Wait, now let me get this straight…If you take money from the government, they expect to be able to tell you how to spend it???

Whoda Thunk????

And what’s all this noise about MASSIVE GOVERNMENT EXPANSION???

Next thing you know they’ll be telling you what doctor to see…

oh..wait…

BigWyo on March 16, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Gov Perry , pretty told the Teleprompter Jesus, that “Texans take care of Texans”, and he didn’t like the strings attached to the Stim money.
He also told Nobama that we would take care of the border ourself. We didn’t need Nobamas approval.

Offshore_Drilling on March 16, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Exit question via Sanford: Since when is Hopenchange about attacking people who disagree with the White House?

Since when hasn’t it. How long did it take the White House to coordinate attacks on Rush?

gwelf on March 16, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Silly governor, the stimulus is for the creation of debt. You can’t use it to reduce the debt.

Weight of Glory on March 16, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Interesting discussion over here about the constitutionality of this WH effort. The question is, “Where does Congress get the power to change a state constitution?” Law professor Ron Rotunda says they can’t.

scm on March 16, 2009 at 7:03 PM

And what happened to states’ rights?

madmonkphotog on March 16, 2009 at 6:47 PM

You funny. What states rights?

Benjamin9 on March 16, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Remind me, what the banks are using the cash for again?
econavenger on March 16, 2009 at 6:56 PM

You don’t suppose The Savior is telling the banks what they can use their bailout money for too???

And to think there were all these wild stories going around about ‘Yes, you’re taking some money whether you need it or not’….

I AM SHOCKED!!! SHOCKED I SAY!!!!!

BigWyo on March 16, 2009 at 7:06 PM

We really need to quit tearing potential candidates for 2012 down. I get it that everyone has a preference (Romney, Sanford, Jindal, Palin) but we all share the same goal. Defeating Obama and the liberals. 2012 is a long way off.

therightwinger on March 16, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Too true, I made a comment on another thread and the sharks went into frenzy. I happen to support the person they were defending. We are, for the most part, all conservatives and eating our own is getting tiresome. At times I think AP posts these threads to sit back and giggle at the ad hominem attacks that break out.

thomasaur on March 16, 2009 at 7:07 PM

let me get this right a state is deep in debt the goverment offers them money they want to pay off debt which would make the state fiscally resonsible the goverment says no!
ok now i get it king teleprompter is missing an order of fries.

wade underhile on March 16, 2009 at 7:07 PM

It’s a new kind of politics alright – the Dems are in power and demagoguing via paid ads. All part of the Obama playbook, always campaign, always stay on the attack, even at the expense of the well-being of this nation. …just one step closer to fascism.

dugan on March 16, 2009 at 7:18 PM

The Republicans need to start playing hard-ball. I mean really – REALLY hard ball.

Take the $$$$

82% for education? OK. Spend it on Education.

But then – reduce the state’s $$$$s spent on education by the same amount and let the Dems scream. It’ll be years from now before the can do a thing ( if any thing can be done ) about it.

Change the rules of the game right in the middle of the third quarter. Dems do it all the time.

Hal-9000 on March 16, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Awww! The widdle kiddies are all mad and stuff at the responsible adult.

How cute are they?

SimplyKimberly on March 16, 2009 at 7:29 PM

82% for public schools and colleges???
.
GIVE ME A BREAK!!
.
More money for the education establishment to waste is #2 on the list of places ANY money should not be added – Right below ACORN!
.
Ignorance – The single most expensive commodity we have in this country!” – – Thanks to public education and the teacher’s union(s)

Hal-9000 on March 16, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Take our money and do what we say.

Time for another nullification crisis?

PattyJ on March 16, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Obama is right. If the stimulus is used to pay the states debt. Who would be next in line? California? with it’s massive deficit?

Stanford should either take it or leave it. I bet he takes it. Coward

nice343 on March 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

You are an idiot. Fiscal responsibility is foreign to your kind, so I shouldn’t be surprised that you would say something as silly, vacuous, dumb, ignorant, asinine, and over the top as that! So as a libtard you don’t want to bailout libtard land? You’re all heart…

JAM on March 16, 2009 at 7:31 PM

The “stimulus” requires states to pay union rates for labor, even in markets where the union rate is far higher than the prevailing market rate, but the “stimulus” does not require the laborers to be U.S. citizens or legal residents (the E-Verify provision was stripped from the bil).

Pay-off to Obama-supporting unions: check.

Pay-off to Obama-supporting La Raza/illegal alien voters: check.

AZCoyote on March 16, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Gov. Riley of Alabama is refusing some Porkulous money(178Mil?) that forces states to pay unemployment to those seeking part time work and various other scams er ah do gooder things. I think the Mississippi gov(Barber)is doing the same thing. Both State Houses(Dem controlled) are planning to fight them but the govs promise a veto.

dragonash on March 16, 2009 at 7:41 PM

Too true, I made a comment on another thread and the sharks went into frenzy. I happen to support the person they were defending. We are, for the most part, all conservatives and eating our own is getting tiresome. At times I think AP posts these threads to sit back and giggle at the ad hominem attacks that break out.
thomasaur on March 16, 2009 at

Sorry the snarks are hurting your feelings. Let’s vote for McCain for President!

The point is we would have to have a Candidate that believes in the Conservative Philosophy or forget it. This “tearing down” only 50 days into Obambi’s Admin is fantastic! It rids the party of dead wood and shows us exactly how far from Freedom the Dims are. This is healthy, this is good. I would be upset if Obambi were making nice like a mildly Conservative President, that would be hard to beat in an election. Obambi is like an Earthquake! One day the Liberals are telling us that we are being paranoid about some issue, the next day they have to move the goal posts cuz Obambi has proven us right.

GunRunner on March 16, 2009 at 7:42 PM

This is just another illustration why Keynesianism doesn’t work. It’s a natural instinct for people to do the opposite of what’s required. Obama is “right” that in order for these handouts to have a chance at working, people (and states) should behave irrationally buying useless crap instead of regrouping, paying off debts and saving. Some idiots do that but luckily not enough.

Sanford should either insist on spending the money wisely or decline the “help”.

radiofreevillage on March 16, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Exit question via Sanford: Since when is Hopenchange about attacking people who disagree with the White House?

Tuesday November 4, 2008

johnsteele on March 16, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Americans are idiots. They will side with Obama on this one. After all Obama is promising jobs…YEAY! But Sanford wants to pay off debt. How like totally boring. How can you buy a new Escalade and put in a $5000 after market stereo without taking on debt? DUH!

angryed on March 16, 2009 at 7:45 PM

radiofreevillage on March 16, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Yeah, 82% for education qualifies as irrational.

JAM on March 16, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Socialist Democrats always scoff at any sort of responsibility, especially the notion that they are responsible for anything. Ex.: Toxic Assetts, America’s safety, the budget, the racial divide, class envy, breaking the laws the rest of America must abide by, …

You will NOT anger America’s new Socialist Overlord!!!

DannoJyd on March 16, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Everyone is positioning themselves for 2012. Sanford has a good story, but lacks the have a beer with him charisma…

I really think we are going to see Huckabee on the ticket–top or bottom–in 2012. I can see a Romney-Huck ticket…

The one that would scare the dems the most though is a Palin-Huck ticket…

I am a conservative who is starting to appreciate the conservative brand of populism–is if there is such a thing.

joepub on March 16, 2009 at 7:47 PM

question? how is putting people into college going to stimulatethe economy. There is no production there, no extra jobs besides a couple new prof postions. You will not see any benefit form the pell grants for at least 4 years. In fact it would more than likely be a drag on the economy if it improved as those people going to schioll are taken away from the poll of employable.

unseen on March 16, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Americans are idiots. They will side with Obama on this one. After all Obama is promising jobs…YEAY! But Sanford wants to pay off debt. How like totally boring. How can you buy a new Escalade and put in a $5000 after market stereo without taking on debt? DUH!

angryed on March 16, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Whoa!! Are you like, channeling that McCain chick or what??

BigWyo on March 16, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Clyburn has lambasted Sanford and other governors who said they may not take some of the stimulus money, calling such a move a “slap in the face of African-Americans.”

Da Bama race baiting … check!

So I guess we all now understand that this is a race based stimulus, right? That blacks Africam Americans cannot survive without another handout. How proud they must all be today!

DannoJyd on March 16, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Sanford has a good story, but lacks the have a beer with him charisma…

Good. One drunk and coke-head is enough.

radiofreevillage on March 16, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Whoa!! Are you like, channeling that McCain chick or what??

BigWyo on March 16, 2009 at 7:51 PM

You think Americans aren’t idiots?

angryed on March 16, 2009 at 8:00 PM

How does the federal government put all these strings on money that comes from the states only to be redistributed back? The states should get a break because all the money they send pays the salaries of the people in Washington to send it back to them. It’s ridiculous.

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2009 at 8:03 PM

GunRunner on March 16, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Takes a lot more than that to hurt my feelings, it was more like a mild case of hemaroids. Annoying, but not anything I can’t deal with. And if you didn’t vote for McCain in Nov. you are as responsible for barry as ACORN.

thomasaur on March 16, 2009 at 8:05 PM

And if you didn’t vote for McCain in Nov. you are as responsible for barry as ACORN.

thomasaur on March 16, 2009 at 8:05 PM

Well worth repeating.

DannoJyd on March 16, 2009 at 8:12 PM

This really makes me think that there are lots of bad things we do not know about the feds taking many state’s rights in the porkulus. No wonder there was no time to read it before voting.

jukin on March 16, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Obama’s approval ratings are tanking, so he’s going to take the time to boost Mark Sanford as the face of the opposition.

Hey, works for me, and probably works for Sanford.

funky chicken on March 16, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Gov. Riley of Alabama is refusing some Porkulous money(178Mil?) that forces states to pay unemployment to those seeking part time work and various other scams er ah do gooder things. I think the Mississippi gov(Barber)is doing the same thing. Both State Houses(Dem controlled) are planning to fight them but the govs promise a veto.

dragonash on March 16, 2009 at 7:41 PM

I really, really like Governor Riley. He’s done amazing things for Alabama, and has pissed off the way far right folks and all of the liberals. He’s a winner.

funky chicken on March 16, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 16, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Amen. At least once a day I explain to someone who is ill informed when they ask “how did this happen”. They are very suprised when I break it down Barney style beginning with the creation of Fannie Mae under FDR and work up to the latest successful ploys by Congressional Democrats to block reform before it was too late.

People just don’t know.

Hog Wild on March 16, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Obama is right. If the stimulus is used to pay the states debt. Who would be next in line? California? with it’s massive deficit?

Stanford should either take it or leave it. I bet he takes it. Coward
nice343 on March 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

I bet he doesn’t.

SouthernGent on March 16, 2009 at 9:09 PM

Gov Perry has been bitch slapping the Teleprompter Jesus lately.
He pretty much told Nobama that “Texans take care of Texans”.
Also that we will take care of the border without Nobamas help.

Can Georgia have him when his term is up?

jimmy2shoes on March 16, 2009 at 9:18 PM

Sanford is the whipping boy showcased to the world to demonstrate this is what happens to anybody who gets out of line.

technopeasant on March 16, 2009 at 9:26 PM

The fact that the DNC is spending money to run political ads against a republican during a recession and less than six months after a presidential election speaks volumes. “Paranoid” doesn’t begin to cover the diagnosis of the DNC.

tartan on March 16, 2009 at 9:31 PM

“Obama to Sanford: No, you can’t use stimulus money to pay off state debt.”

If Governor Sanford can’t spend the money where he thinks it will serve the people of South Carolina best, he should refuse it all.

What does the POTUS think Ahnuld from Callyfornia will spend it on? Debt reduction I would bet.

GFW on March 16, 2009 at 9:36 PM

How freaking dare you Sanford – being fiscally responsible? Take it like a man, and sell your constituents out. It’s the Obama way. What the hell is wrong with you? Wanna start a fight or somethin?

seesalrun on March 16, 2009 at 10:14 PM

Tell Obama to shove his stimulus then.

chunderroad on March 16, 2009 at 10:26 PM

Heh…

My first thought on seeing that Ad is: “What kind of politician turns down other people’s money that’s being handed to him on a platter?”

My second thought is to answer: “My kind of politician!”

Sackett on March 16, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Silly governor…that money’s supposed to go to ACORN and illegal immigrants.

Sheesh-who elects these guys anyway?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 16, 2009 at 11:20 PM

Allah, they did an attack ad against Gov.Palin too. Promote Sanford all you want, that’s your wish. But don’t do it at the expense of other leader. I guess that’s why you suggested Sarah accept the RNC chairman position. Don’t get too smartalecky.

promachus on March 17, 2009 at 1:23 AM

82% for education? OK. Spend it on Education.

Hal-9000 on March 16, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Here’s the thing, the micromanagers in DC alloted the stimulus monies in such a way that most of the money is going to be wated (shocker).

Some school districts thought they could use the stimulus money to save education jobs, but the strings attached say the money has to go to technology. The school districts that need money for technology as being forced to spend the money on building repair and such.

All of the stimulus money that comes with those kinds of strings should be rejected. If the money can’t actually help, then it should be rejected.

It’s not just the bogus unemployment money. The money for roads and bridges has G_d awful strings to and will force communities to do assinine things to spend it.

This is a huge boondoogle and it needs to be pointed out every day until 2010 and beyond.

myrenovations on March 17, 2009 at 8:28 AM

Sounds like Sanford has been reading Dave Ramsey’s crazy advice to pay down debt before you start spending money on things you “want.” Crazy fool! /sarc

Obama has ZERO fiscal sense, but we all knew this. Word on the street is that there’s a second stimulus bill to be voted on within the next two weeks. Gird your paychecks.

citrus on March 17, 2009 at 8:40 AM

Forgot to add – that 82% may not be going towards ACORN and overt partisan groups, but it IS allocated to go towards the “education” of new voters!

citrus on March 17, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Pardon me for asking, but can’t Sanford just accept the funds and do a corresponding reduction in his budgeted State expenditures on programs, funneling the savings to debt service? Or does the federal money have strings that extend to the way it is treated in State budgets?

DrSteve on March 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM

South Carolina has to balance it’s budget, unlike the federal government. The guys on the hill don’t understand accounting, they only know how to write checks.

workingforpigs on March 17, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Allah, they did an attack ad against Gov.Palin too. Promote Sanford all you want, that’s your wish. But don’t do it at the expense of other leader. I guess that’s why you suggested Sarah accept the RNC chairman position. Don’t get too smartalecky.

promachus on March 17, 2009 at 1:23 AM

Yeah, Allah has been pumping Sanford while dissing Palin for months. The funny thing is, noone cares as Sanford is a dud. His pump threads on Sanford rarely break 100 comments, while any Palin thread generates hundreds of comments.

Norwegian on March 17, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Pardon me for asking, but can’t Sanford just accept the funds and do a corresponding reduction in his budgeted State expenditures on programs, funneling the savings to debt service? Or does the federal money have strings that extend to the way it is treated in State budgets?

DrSteve on March 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM

The first burst of stimulus money is coming in too fast and budgets have already been written covering some areas. The demand by the Feds to spend fast means that it cannot be done carefully. Not to mention the strings.

myrenovations on March 17, 2009 at 11:31 AM