Gov. Sanford and one-quarter of the senate joined officials of a conservative think tank in Columbia to unveil a study showing a negative economic impact from taking the stimulus money, saying that taking the money would actually cost the state up to 35-thousand jobs, including government jobs..
South Carolina Policy Council Director Ashley Landis. “Because South Carolina already has such a high percentage of government spending, this spending money will have a more harmful affect on our state than it might on others.” Landis says the percentage of government spending verses private sector output is already 58 percent, and she says the addition of stimulus money would push that percentage up to 61 percent, which she asserts is much higher than any other state.
And Landis says the real impact will be felt when the stimulus money disappears in two years. “So if we’re truly spending this money keep teachers employed, and to keep prisons open, and keep law enforcement folks working, then in two years we’re going to have to cut this program anyway. We’re going to have to assume the cost ourselves. So South Carolinians will have to pick up the cost of at least a billion dollars, and that’s conservative.”
Legislators thought they could override Sanford’s plan to use stimulus money for debt reduction. Now South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster says, in his non-binding opinion, that the governor must approve the use of the federal money. According to Congressman Jim Clyburn’s office, state legislators cannot work to override the governor until after the Friday deadline passes.