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CNN's Begala Demonstrates Ignorance   February 16th, 2009
It's enough to make you just want to give up       

 
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An article (commentary) on CNN by Paul Begala demonstrates simplistic ignorance that apparently is targeted at those that are incapable of critical thought. Essentially, Begala is challenging Republican politicians in general--and South Carolina Governor Sanford specifically--to reject the stimulus funds since we're all so opposed to it. The argument is silly on its face.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/16/begala.carolina/index.html

If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's economic recovery plan, they should refuse to take the money. After all, if you think all that federal spending is damaging, there are easy ways to reduce it: Don't take federal money.


Good in theory, and maybe not a bad idea for the sake of making a political statement. But the problem is that once the decision is made to spend this money, any state that rejects the stimulus money is putting itself at a competitive disadvantage to other states that accept the money.

It's also not clear that the cost of Obama's spending bill would be decreased if a few states reject it: It's entirely possible the money would just be shifted to the other states that are accepting it.

Gov. Sanford can be the guinea pig. His Palmetto State already gets $1.35 back from Washington for every dollar it pays in federal taxes, according to 2005 numbers, the latest calculated by the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax research group.

South Carolina is a ward of the federal government. It's been on welfare for years. If Gov. Sanford is so all-fired opposed to federal spending, let's start by cutting federal spending in South Carolina. Otherwise, he's got about as much credibility on fiscal conservatism as A-Rod has on steroids.


Mr. Begala actually makes the case for conservatives: Welfare breeds dependency. Whether it's individuals depending on welfare or states depending on the federal government, it's a vicious dependency cycle. And the fact that a state would be at a competitive disadvantage by doing what's right is precisely why the cycle is never-ending once it's started.

Once you foster dependency, there's far less incentive to be self-supporting. In fact, this situation precisely demonstrates that in a dependency state where everyone's getting a handout, there's an unavoidable incentive to partake in the bonanza. It's our money being spent so if there's no way to avoid spending it, I'd be foolish to at least not get my part of the money being borrowed and spent on my behalf.

Dependency encourages more dependency and creates more voters (and states, and cities) that want more handouts. It's the trap of liberalism.

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