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?