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Stimulating the States

February 23, 2009

This may be stating the obvious, but the stimulus bill wasn’t all things to all people, and was far from perfect. It doesn’t, in my opinion, address in a strong enough way our nations declining education infrastructure; it only scratches the surface of the needed health care changes this country faces, and favors to heavily to tax relief. However, it is what was “passable”, and the closest thing to bipartisan the country could have hoped for as long as the National Republican party has decided (and it has) to further hold to an ideological orthodoxy.

This fact could not have been more evidently perceived than as it was portrayed last weekend, as the National Governors Association met in Washington, D.C.  A debate I might add mainly observed within the annuls of the GOP. One one side the moderates like Governors Schwarzenegger of California, and Charlie Crist of Florida have taken the pragmatics approach to governing. Gov. Schwarzenegger very poinyantly stating of his party,

“You’ve got to go beyond just the principles,” 

on ABC’s “This Week.” Contrast this statement with that of rising GOP star, Bobby Jindal, Gov. of Louisiana sunday on Meet the Press:

“I just have a fundamental disagreement with this package.”

Those two statements address the reasons why the GOP has lost the last two elections, and is in real threat of disappearing like the Wiggs. “Fundamentalism”. Around the country there are record levels of unemployment, many of the states most strongly effected being historic republican strongholds. States like South Carolina (9.5%), North Carolin (8.7%), and Florida (8.1%) are suffering from weekly it seems reports of layoffs and corporate bankruptcy claims. In light of this revelation you would think that the Governors of hard stricken states would be ready for any assistance marked for them. But in classic GOP fashion, fundamentals come before people.  In moves that smack of political posturing neighboring Governors Bobby Jindal (R-LA.), and Haley Barbour (R-MS.) have decided to refuse hundred of millions of dollars of aid to their states marked for unemployment benefits. Why? Because the idea of spending money to help the people is equivalent to socialism to conservatives. Or as Gov. Barbour said to reporters,

“It’s filled with social policy and costs too much. You could create just as many jobs for about half as much money.”

Well, Gov. Barbour, after looking at your states unemployment percentage (8.0%), apparently that is not the case. The Grand Ole’ Party is now strickly placing itself as the party of “NO”. Ideologically stuck into principals that are day-by-day proving themselves wrong.

I’m agree with Gov. Schwarzenegger’s response to another “NO” Republican Governor,  South Carolina’s Mark Sanford, who also said he would reject a portion of the stimulus money:

“I take it, because we in California can need it.”

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