Across the country, cash-starved governors from both parties are eagerly awaiting stimulus money from Washington, hoping to stem the recession’s impact on local budgets. Not Mark Sanford, South Carolina’s Republican chief executive.
He lobbied against the recovery package pushed by President Barack Obama and has suggested he may not take any of the funds, sparking a dispute in his home state with Democrats and even some Republicans. The sparring is a microcosm of the broader debate taking place over the role of government in the flagging economy.
“I’m opposed to it because we are at a real gut-check point on what drives our economy,” Mr. Sanford said in a recent interview. Instead of fostering a market-based economy in which bad choices have consequences, Mr. Sanford said, the U.S. is in jeopardy of creating a “savior-based economy,” with the federal government careening from “one ad-hoc decision to the next.”