South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford made some very important, insightful points on Sunday. He said them very concisely, as politicians know how to do. They are just what we’ve been saying here for so many weeks and months, and are important points that every American must remember:

  • “A problem that was created by building up of too much debt will not be solved with yet more debt.”
  • “We’re moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy…what you see in Russia or Venezuela or Zimbabwe or places like that where it matters not how good your product is to the consumer but what your political connection is to those in power.”
  • “That is quite different than a market-based economy where some rise and some fall but there’s a consequence to making a stupid decision.”
  • “A lot of people who’ve made some very stupid decisions are being bailed out by the population at large.”
  • “We’re going to go through a process of deleveraging…And it will be painful. The question is: Do we apply a bunch of different band aids that lengthen and prolong this pain or do we take the band aid off? I believe very strongly: let’s get this thing over with, let’s not drag it on.”

Wonderful. We agree entirely. However, he also inadvertently made another thing very clear. Although Sanford was critical of the federal government’s efforts to get the economy back on track, he equivocated when asked whether he would turn down money in the stimulus package intended for South Carolina which he would control.

“I think that ultimately we’ll decide that question when we get to it,” the governor said.

Let us remember this even more: there is a reason that our Senators, Congressmen and Governors do not admit the above truths about the so-called stimulus package, and the bail-outs, and the other spending plans, more often. It isn’t because the arguments aren’t true, and it isn’t because politicians are stupid. It is simply in their own self-interest to go along with such spending. Whatever their true ideology, the chatter heard in the media about this plan is mostly between various recipients of the money or the power to control the money. No wonder there are so few dissenting voices, despite the 70% who are skeptical among the regular public. Kudos to the American public for maintaining skepticism in the face of all the hype