The Obama White House has denied Governor Sanford's first request to use $700 million in stimulus monies to pay down state debts. Meanwhile, other state and city officials are lobbying for their share, and are already planning how to spend the $8 billion dollars slated for the state.
A standoff in this contentious situation will only delay putting these dollars to work to make much needed repairs to roads, bridges and schools, and provide additional Medicaid payments and tax cuts. It's a little like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. I applaud the Governor for creating a "transparency task force" to track stimulus spending, but it's time to quit posturing and start solving the immediate economic issues facing our state and local governments.
What we need right now is strong leadership on behalf of the hard-pressed citizens of South Carolina. Stimulus funds rejected by our state would likely go elsewhere, and we, the taxpayers, would foot the bill anyway. I'd sure rather see this money spent in my own backyard if I'm paying for it. That's my perspective. I'd like to hear yours!