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Things are pretty tough  In South Carolina right now

The unemployment rate just cracked double digits, trailing only Michigan as the worst in the nation, and even in the Capital  things are looking pretty grim:

The Salvation Army gets so many calls from people desperate for help with overdue utility bills that, one morning, its phone system crashed. The Family Service Center of South Carolina is deluged with clients seeking free counseling for delinquent mortgages. And the shelves at the Life Force food pantry run out of rice, canned stew meat and black-eyed peas in less than an hour.

So what has Consevative hero and potential presidential candidate, Gov Mark Sanford done to help his people?  Well he's cut nearly a billion in spending from the state budget, this summer alone  and will only take the $700 million in stimulus money if he can use it to pay down the debt, not spend it helping people.  

Why?  Seems he's worried that if government helps people, it'll hurt private charities cause they won't have enough to do.  Really.  He said that:

Asked whose mission it is to help the widening pool of people in financial pain, the governor said that such aid "has to be leveraged through church, civic and private hands. . . . If you take care of the need in government circles, you dissipate the ability of civil society to take care of that need."

And that would be a bad thing WHY exactly?

I'm nearly certain that the Top Brass at the Salvation Army doesn't lose any sleep at night fretting that one day they wouldn't have anymore people to help and they'll be out of a job  (in fact, if they are anything like the ones I've met, I'd expect a wish for that day to come would be included in their nightly prayers)

And it not as if South Carolina is currently in any danger of running out of need right just at the moment;

{the} Salvation Army {is} overwhelmed by requests, the charity now sets just one day a month for people to schedule appointments.

Unlike in Rust Belt communities, where economic erosion is an old story, or in towns where a dominant employer has shut down, the loss of jobs here in Columbia and across South Carolina is diffuse, a sagging of a broad swath of the local economy. According to the state's Employment Security Commission, the nearly 43,000 jobs that vanished from South Carolina in January included almost 12,000 in retail, and about 6,000 each in manufacturing, hospitality, and professions and business.

And in the midst of this economic Hurricane,  Sanford and the SC legislature seem to be hellbent on making things worse, not better

Sanford and the Republican-led General Assembly have cut the state's budget three times since last summer by a total of $871 million, or 13 percent -- among the deepest reductions in the nation.

The cuts have limited state agencies' ability to help the growing numbers of people in need. The state's Medicaid program, for instance, is reducing mental health counseling, cancer screening and dental coverage.

The reductions are constricting the private sector's capacity, too. The Department of Social Services has pared its contracts to nonprofit groups by an average of 10 percent, reducing funding for emergency shelters and employment training programs.

 Now how could he possibly justify that kind of irresponsible cutting in the face of such grim economic statistics?  Simple.  He takes a page from creationists and Global warming Deniers every where and simply disbelieves any data he finds inconvenient:

For more than a year, Sanford has had a public spat with the commission. The governor contends that unemployment is not as severe as the official statistics show. He says the commission has refused to examine questions he has raised: the impact on the figures, for instance, of retirees who work part-time. "Do you guys," he said rhetorically of the commission, "have any clue of what your numbers are?"

Great question Gov!  do you?

In other words while he talks out one side of his mouth about "leveraging"  State aid through private charities, in reality he's taking money away from them. Note to Gov:  It's awful hard to "leverage" anything when someone is shrinking your fulcrum

Timothy Ervolina, president of the United Way Association of South Carolina, worries that the web of philanthropic and nonprofit groups may not be able to fulfill the governor's expectations. Ervolina has watched fundraising fade at United Ways across the state, even as calls pour in to their crisis hotlines.

"Policymakers have said, 'You guys are just going to have to step up to the plate.' I hear that," he said. "But when I step up to the plate and no ball even is coming at you, it's pretty hard to make a hit."

Now that right there is some breathtakingly innovative thinking on social policy! No wonder this guy is one of the GOP's leading lights! Amazing no one has ever thought of this before!  Why budget for the social needs of your citizens when you can just demand that volunteer non profit groups "step up to the plate" and take of them FOR you!  It's the Wal-Mart Health Care solution taken to its logical conclusion

Of course it ignores that tiny little flaw in an otherwise damn fine plan, that when times are tough, people tend to lack the spare cash to contribute to Charities:

The current climate for charity can be glimpsed in the largest annual fundraiser of the Central Carolina Community Foundation, its International Festival of Wines and Food. Last year, attendees bought all but one of about 350 bottles of donated wine, commanding prices as high as $400. This time, 200 bottles were donated, and more than two dozen were left at the end of the night.

Overall, gifts to the foundation, a main source of grants to local nonprofits, dropped by nearly $2.5 million in the second half of 2008.

By late February, the largest anchor of philanthropy in town, the United Way of the Midlands, was more than $1 million short of its $12.2 million goal for the annual campaign that is ending soon. In this fundraising environment, said Anita Floyd, a United Way vice president, the cuts the governor and the legislature have made are "really frightening. . . . There is no way for the private side to come in and close that gap."

Whoopsie. well I'm sure the Gov will Challege those numbers away too and simply conclude the Charties don't know what they are talking about either, and that will make everything all better

In the meantime though, I think I'll go with the prediction of the local Untied Way head:

{ Ervolina} added: "We are increasingly taking on the role of a community grief counselor. Something has got to give, and that something is going to be people's lives."

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, it really has come down to this: His people are in real need, really suffering, and all one of the Great (White-of course) Hopes of the GOP has to offer is them is stale and thoroughly discredited economic policy rarified (and nonsensical) theories about the social fabric, creationist-like challenges to the hard data, and Buck-passing (but not money passing) on an epic scale.

This then is the "Conscience" of the modern Conservative

I think William F Buckley would be silently weeping somewhere had he lived to see it

Originally posted to Magorn on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 07:30 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Discussing this elsewhere today (7+ / 0-)

    Discussing this same story elsewhere today  convinced me that Gov Sanford's idiocy isn't confined to him alone but may be endemic in his party

    Responding the quote above about government giving hurting non profits one commentator said:

    I was going to paste that, but you saved me the trouble.

    He's right. Government has never stepped in, without producing an atrophy effect in the lower levels of government, and in the private sector, to service the same needs. Happens that way every single time. Nice to see someone finally gets it.

    do you think this person even stopped to consider that an atrophy of programs designed to combat pvoerty would be a GOOD thing?

    Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

    by Magorn on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 07:33:12 PM PDT

  •  Sanford Dashes Ty'Sheoma Bethea's Hopes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, Munchkn

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 07:44:11 PM PDT

  •  How did this man ever get elected Governor? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dopper0189

    He is stupid, repulsive, selfish, arrogant and extremely off putting. I think he should be an easy target to defeat next election cycle.

    •  He is term limited (0+ / 0-)

      He is doing this because he intends to run for Prez. He won't have to face the voters wrath, but all this grand standing helps him in the eyes of GOP primary voters. But notice how the national media has commissioned a poll on his popularity? This is the typical afraid-to-offend conservatives bias of the media. I hope KOS does a poll of him soon. I think it would be a great talking point to deflate this clown.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power"

      by dopper0189 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 02:02:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is even more stupid then Senator "Maccaca" (0+ / 0-)

        I hate to be the one to inform him, but whether or not he wins the nomination, he doesn't stand a snowball chance in hell of ever becoming our President. And what was with the remark he made about Obama and that African dicatator?  This guy is dumb as dirt. I seem to remember him on Hardball or one of the other talks shows during the past election, and he could not give a coherent answer. I didn't pay much attention to him back then thinking he was just another G.O.P. asshole, but now that you say he is set on running for President, I will pay more attention, if I can stand it. I really, really, really dislike this man, he is the type of person, I find supremly offensive, and not just because he is a Republican, he has absolutly,(in my estimation) no redeeming qualities.

      •  I am not a big fan of Newt Ginrich, but (0+ / 0-)

        at least he has a brain that operates, not like Sanford. If Ginrich is his competition for the nomination, he will make mincemeat of him. I think Reagans 11th commandment will go down the toilet at that point in time.

  •  demand that Elected officia lose their health ins (0+ / 0-)

    It is after all a tax payer expense.

    Seriously

    Start a campaign that all elected local and state lose their health insurance plans.  Just as small business and individuals must sacrafice in this economic down turn so must they.

    IN addition, demand that the governors position - as with the "orginial intent" crowd - is a non salary position.

    Takin it to the streets....Doobie Brothers

    by totallynext on Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 04:16:12 AM PDT

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