Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

A Few G.O.P. Governors Consider Turning Down Federal Stimulus $

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) and Gov. Sara Palin (R-AK) are considering turning down their states’ share of the Economic Recovery Money passed by Congress over Republicann objections–despite how much their constituents need the money. 

I say President Obama should call their bluff:  Give them two weeks to decide and then publicly tell those states’ residents that their governors turned down the chance at new jobs and development and redistribute the funds to other states that need them most.  Then the White House should help Democratic challengers to each of those governors make commercials pointing out to their constituents just how their governors messed them over!

I know that CA, FL, MI, IN, NY, PA and MANY other states (including my state, KY) would be more than happy to help divide up funding from refused states.

February 19, 2009 - Posted by | economic justice, U.S. politics


  1. Key term: “Considering.” Jindal will take it. He just wants to look like a conservative Republican. BTW A national organization of scientists informed Gov. Jindal it will not hold its annual convention in Louisiana as long as the recently adopted Science Education Act remains on the books. The Science Education Act allows teachers to teach alternative creation theories.

    He’s not my favorite governor.

    Comment by Howie Luvzus | February 19, 2009

  2. They are bluffing of course, but politicizing the White House is not a good idea at all. Obama would hurt his bipartisan efforts and Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck/Dobbs/Savage would be all over this crap.

    Comment by Steven Kippel | February 19, 2009

  3. Of course the hypocrisy of Reps continues to amaze me. They pretend to say this ERRP money should be spent better to “actually help people now” but they’re actually against spending the money – full stop.

    This morning I happened to stop on Fox News whilst skipping through channels and the ditsy blonde anchor was saying how the proposed mortgage salvation plan wouldn’t help people who are paying their bills. Of course the reality is they wouldn’t want money allocated to those people either, so it’s just a huge smoke screen.

    Speaking of Fox News, they also apparently live in an alternate reality where every expert known as a fact that this current economic depression was caused by the Democrats who encouraged FannieMae and FreddieMac to lend.

    Comment by Steven Kippel | February 19, 2009

  4. Yes, Steven, the GOP meme that Democrats and poor black people caused the mortgage meltdown started last Fall–along with the idea that Bill Clinton caused everything that went wrong in the last 8 years and FDR caused the Great Depression.

    The mortgage rescue IS expected to help people who are paying their bills (but are close to foreclosure)–more than those already in foreclosure. And, since a foreclosed house next to yours lowers your property values, this helps everyone. In the GOP/ Fixed Noise universe, anything Bush thought of, no matter how idiotic, was wonderful, but anything decided upon by Democrats must be evil and not working.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 20, 2009

  5. Howie, I think ALL the GOP governors are bluffing. I just think their bluff should be called. If I lived in LA, TX, AK, SC, or MS, I would organize huge numbers of people to call the governors and urge taking the money. Then I would call the press and let people know what was going on–publicly embarrassing the governors.

    I think a political price should have to be paid by people who put ideology or their own ambitions ahead of the needs of the people.

    Steven, if you check out Recovery.gov you will see that GOP districts actually get more recovery $ and more jobs created than Democratic districts (though not by much). It’s also true that most “Red States” are economically carried by “Blue states.” For instance, despite its oil wealth, Alaska recieves $180 in welfare and other government benefits for every $1 in taxes it sends to Washington, D.C. By contrast, in normal years New York, NJ, Mass. & CA send in far more tax money than they receive back.

    So, the states where politicians complain the most about taxes and welfare are also the states that are the most welfare dependant!

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 20, 2009

  6. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) commented that his reason for proposing an amendment allowing state legislatures to request the money was concern that some republican governors (including Mark Sanford) might consider neglecting to make the request.

    Comment by David Lupo | February 20, 2009

  7. Whether these governors (nad their states) take the stimulus money or not will soon be evident. However, in a couple of years this stimulus money will not be there and the states will have to come up with their own money. There is the rub.

    Comment by Paul | February 21, 2009

  8. So what? This is Bobby Jindal’s reasoning and it makes no sense. No one said that the infrastructure projects would contiinue indefinitely. IF the stimulus works, then the states will get jobs which will create tax revenue–for the states as well as the feds. As for the unemployment extensions, the states can discontinue them or cut them back to current levels when the federal stimulus money runs out. But if they turn down the stimulus money, the states will be insolvent. This is a no-brainer.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 21, 2009

  9. Yes, but I want to see the governors turn it down and then get overruled by their state legislators. I may be petty, but if these governors are this stupid, then I want them humiliated and every one of them defeated at the polls. This is a crisis for the country and I have no patience with these people.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 21, 2009

  10. The buck (literally in this case) will have to stop somewhere .

    Comment by Paul | February 22, 2009

  11. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) just made this kind of challenge: i.e., “If they don’t want the money, we in CA will certainly take it.” In a slightly less confrontational way, Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) said much the same thing.

    This is why Charlie Crist, though in many ways a conservative and certainly nobody’s “liberal,” will easily be reelected as governor (unless he moves to the U.S. Senate)–in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans. He, like the term-limited Schwarzenegger, is putting his constituents ahead of ideology. Because Jindal, Barbour, Sanford, Palin, & Perry are doing the opposite, they may soon find themselves unemployed. At least then they’ll finally know the pain their constituents are feeling.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 22, 2009

  12. I hope that the constituents benefit in the long term Michael. Is Obama’s plan taking that into account? As for “all” of their constituents suffering I doubt it. Some people do not suffer economically even in these perilous times. However, my heart goes out to the ones that do. In bad economic times selfishness rears its ugly head – the “I got mine-you get yours” mentality.

    Comment by Paul | February 23, 2009

  13. Not just in bad times, Paul. The Wall Street/Republican view is “We’ve got ours AND we’re entitled to yours, too!”

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 23, 2009

  14. Michael not every person who is a Republican or works on Wall Street feels that way although I’ll grant you that many do. Unfortunately they all get painted with the same brush. It’s like saying all poor people are good-all of them aren’t or that Obama is the greatest President since Lincoln. That has yet to be revealed. Greed is a problem that afflicts all people to one degree or another. Poverty does not necessarily mean one is virtuous nor does wealth automatically make a rich man bad. The thing that I take special note of is that Jesus gravitated towrds the poor.

    Comment by Paul | February 23, 2009

  15. I think the Federal Government should do something about Alaska. They pay their citizens to live there, yet need to go to Washington to get money for their own public projects.

    Comment by Steven Kippel | February 27, 2009

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