Republican Governors Refusing Stimulus – I

April 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Rick Perry, Texas governor has stated that we would rather cut jobs and benefits for Texas residents and raise taxes on those residents, rather than receive stimulus money to help Texas balance its budget.  If Perry refuses it, it will be his last term and just like Republicans jumped ship after Bush, the same will happen in Texas.  As soon as the polling data comes back, he’ll take the money, no question about it.   


The federal government said they would send money to the states to fund certain critical programs to protect Americans: Health care, unemployment, schools, etc.  Unlike the federal government, states are required to balance their budgets and so without stimulus from the federal government states would be forced to slash jobs and benefits, and to raise taxes during a failing economy.

 

As for some of the other funding they receive with strings attached, the state IS within its rights to decline to accept the funding – AND the White House is on record as saying that the governors CAN refuse the stimulus and that the state senate can NOT overturn the governor’s decision. 

 

Some of the complaints from red states about the stimulus is the expansion of unemployment benefits.  That’s right, they’re against it, during the worst job market in 75 years.  Reason: The federal money provided to fund the state unemployment offices (there is no ‘federal unemployment office’) has some rules about who gets the federal money and for how long.  The argument is that in the process of protecting those good ole white Christians who find themselves out of work in a shrinking job market….the regulations also allow some people who the state would deem “ineligible” to receive some of the federal dollars.  It’s a question of whether it is more important to protect the innocent or punish the guilty. 

Perry (the idiot) feels like extending benefits to people who took part-time jobs in this shitty economy would discourage them from seeking full-time employment. If I lost my job, as the primary earner for my wife and our 3 young children, I would take a part time job while I searched for a replacement job.  And that part-time job would not allow me to pay all my bills but receiving a small unemployment check would not cause me to stop searching for work and for Perry to come out and say he’s got a state full of lazy Texans….screw you Rick Perry. 

 

The state senate will attempt to overturn Perry but the White House has sided with the state governors.  The state senators will continue, in order to show they are trying, but officially – the White House has sided with the governors saying that the stimulus money can be accepted only by the governor.   

 

In any case, they are within their rights to refuse the stimulus funds offered by the federal government to help its citizens.  The federal government would provide the funds to the states and the states would mange distribution.  The states, much like the bailout TARP companies, are welcome to refuse the stimulus.  However, the state of Texas is required to balance its budget so if he doesn’t take the money, he’ll have to (a) cut benefits to Texans and/or (b) increase taxes.  His choice. 

 

How can the federal government tell the states how to spend the money?  Because it is federal money and it’s offered to the states on the condition that it is used for the purposes as outlined & detailed.  (The federal government is providing billions of dollars with no controls or requirements and to think that would be the case is just stupidity.  That may be how the Bush Administration did it, but not anymore).  One exampple is the federally “mandated” drinking age of 21.  To implement it, the federal government said that they would provide federal funds for state highways in states that have a minimum drinking age of 21.  As we know each and very state took the money and moved the drinking age to 21.   

 

Perry said the money would come with too many strings attached. Taking the half billion would require the state to assist qualified out-of-work residents seeking part-time jobs, an idea that Perry said the state has rejected before, partly because it could discourage them from seeking full-time employment.

 

Opponents said Perry was spurning workers hurt by the plummeting national economy. Taking the federal money would save on taxes and prices in the long run, they said.

“Texas families are hurting and are worried about how they are going to keep their homes and pay their bills,” said state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston. “Today, Gov. Perry told them: ‘good luck with that.’ If the governor won’t do his job, we’ll go around him.”

Republican Jim Pitts of Waxahachie, chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, seemed prepared to join forces. He voted to accept the federal unemployment aid. He was joined by four Democratic state representatives at an Austin meeting of a legislative committee studying the stimulus aid. Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, voted no.

Waco-based economist Ray Perryman had just told the committee, “We’re probably better off taking the money.” Without the funds, Perryman said the state’s unemployment fund is projected to run dry this year, possibly triggering higher unemployment insurance levies on employers even without the state’s acceptance of federal funds.

South Carolina is also contemplating refusing stimulus money.  Their governor wants the money, but he doesn’t want to give it schools (one of the ‘strings’).  He wants to use it to pay down debt instead of sending it to educate children (on how to avoid this situation, perhaps). 

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham warned that [South Carolina] citizens will have to repay the federal money through taxes regardless of whether the state chooses to accept the stimulus funds. “By doing nothing, other states increase the chances they will receive a portion of the funding originally directed to our state.”

 http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/Senate/members/dist27/pr09/p031209b.htm 

Of course, this was all a bunch of grandstanding by these blowhards:

WASHINGTON – South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford backed down yesterday from his standoff with the White House over stimulus funding, becoming the last governor in the nation to announce officially that his state will accept economic recovery aid.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123879653707088087.html 
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/04/04/last_holdout_sc_accepts_stimulus_aid/ 

 

 

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Theocracy – Just Say No Republican Governors Refusing Stimulus – II

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