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Money Quotes

March 20, 2009

Madame Palin has sorted through the pile-of-money-with-strings bait that the federal government wants Alaska to swallow and has decided to accept about 55% of it. Here’s her statement:

“We will request federal stimulus funds for capital projects that will create new jobs and expand the economy,” Governor Palin said. “We won’t be bound by federal strings in exchange for dollars, nor will we dig ourselves a deeper hole in two years when these federal funds are gone. For instance, in order to accept what look like attractive energy funds, our local communities would be required to adopt uniform building codes. Government would then be required to police those codes. These types of funds are not sensible for Alaska.” […”]Alaska has seen unprecedented increases in the level of state funding for education because that is our priority. I don’t want to automatically increase federal funding for education program growth, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, at a time when Alaska can’t afford to sustain that increase.” “Simply expanding state government under this federal stimulus package creates an unrealistic expectation that the state will continue these programs when the federal funds are no longer available,” said Governor Palin. “Our nation is already over $11 trillion in debt; we can’t keep digging this hole.”

Let’s see how the central planners in DC will react to this.

Meanwhile in South Carolina, Monsieur Sanford is already a bit further into the battle over the so-called stimulus money. After the introduction of the “Sanford amendment” he suggested that he at least be allowed to use the money to pay off debts. The answer he received from Washington was negative. So his next proposal is that, should they accept the ‘stimulus’ money, his state’s legislature use other state funds for the reduction of the state’s liabilities:

“We’re obviously disappointed by the White House’s decision, because it cuts against the notion of federalism and the idea of each state having the flexibility to act in a manner that best suits its needs,” Sanford said in a press release. “As a result, we will not be seeking the use of these federal funds for the way they put our state even further into an unconscionable level of debt. If our General Assembly chooses to make use of this federal money, we’d ask them to use existing state resources to begin paying down our state’s sizable liabilities. Now is the time to do so, because it will give us more flexibility in addressing future needs at a state level if this economic downturn is indeed protracted. We simply cannot afford to base 10 percent of our state budget on money that will disappear in two years’ time.”

This is a reasonable move and if it works it will certainly have a wholesome effect on the state’s financial situation.

It’s good to see that some political figures are not participating in that Mad Money March Madness ou comment dire that is running rampant at all levels of government these days.

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