Rep. Clyburn's full response to Sanford's letter

WASHINGTON, DC (WIS) - Sixth District Congressman and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn issued the following statement in response to Governor Sanford's announcement that he will not seek much-needed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for South Carolina:

"We waited three weeks after the recovery package was signed into law for Governor Sanford to unveil, with great fanfare, yet another political chess move towards the 2012 presidential race.  While fiscal responsibility and debt management are critically important, economists around the country and across the spectrum agree that the investments in this recovery package are necessary to save and create jobs, and stimulate the economy.  Paying down debt when the economy is crashing won't stop the deepening recession and won't put people back to work.  As a matter of fact, while prudent in times of economic stability, paying down debt in a time of recession has the opposite effect; it deepens and lengthens economic downturns.

Governor Sanford's proposal will not create one job, it will not keep one teacher or police officer from being laid off, and it will not turn this economy around.  So as South Carolina's unemployment rate is rising to double digits, parents are losing their jobs, and families are losing their homes to foreclosures, Governor Sanford will sleep well at night because he has improved his 'conservative record' and raised his national profile.

In 1936, the Federal Reserve saw signs of inflation on the horizon and cut back on its recovery efforts.  That same year, budget hawks in Congress saw a large budget deficit looming on the horizon and cut back on the investments in people and infrastructure that had begun to turn the economy around.  The result:  a period economists call the 'recession in the Depression.'  In the middle of the Great Depression, short-sighted individuals with an ideological discomfort with debt charted a course toward economic disaster.  Ideological purity and naked political ambition nearly sunk the U.S. economy in the 1930s; we cannot allow those same flawed values to jeopardize the South Carolina economy now.

The prosperity of the people of South Carolina now rests with the South Carolina Legislature.  I recommend that the State Legislature enact a concurrent resolution in order to claim the funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act if the waiver is not granted and funding is not accessed within the 45 day period.  They must prevent stimulus delayed from becoming stimulus denied."