February 8th, 2009
11:04 AM ET
13 years ago

SC Governor: We're moving close to 'a savior-based economy'


Watch John King's interview with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As many state and local officials clamor for their share of the billions of dollars in federal aid in the stimulus bill under consideration in Washington, South Carolina’s Republican governor is sounding a note of dissent about federal efforts to help the economy.

“A problem that was created by building up of too much debt will not be solved with yet more debt,” Gov. Mark Sanford said Sunday, making a reference to the federal deficit spending that will likely finance the federal stimulus package.

“We’re moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy,” Sanford also said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

The South Carolina Republican said such an economy is “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,” Sanford said after pointing to the powers granted to the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to help deal with the current economic crisis.

“A lot of people who’ve made some very stupid decisions are being bailed out by the population at large,” he added.

Instead of bailing out failing companies, Sanford told CNN’s John King that the government should let the economy work through the current challenges without intervention.

“We’re going to go through a process of deleveraging,” Sanford said. “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.”

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.

soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Jesus

    If only that were really the case.

    February 8, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Nathaniel

    Funny how he didn't refuse the money huh?

    February 8, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |

    Republicans and Whites are so very disrespectful to this President it is awful! You-all don't call him President Obama, I've noticed and I'm sure lots of other people around the world and America have noticed that also you-all just say Obama as if he is not to get the RESPECT that you-all have given Bush. Bush and the Republican Party are the sole sources of running American in the Doo Doo Tank and here is a man that wants to bring this Country back in good stead. White's can't stand that this Black Man is in office and are DISRESPECTING HIM TO THE DEGREE THAT IT IS BEING NOTICED AROUND THE WORLD. You People had better get it in order or China will be the Owner of America because of your selfishness. I know that CNN will not print this but I'm sure someone from this station will read it anyway.

    February 8, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Chris F.

    I agree that the banks deserve the pain for the problems of self creation The bad thing is that over 3 million peopel have lost their jobs just imagine if nothing had been done and the hole fanancial sytem collapse. We would probably be in a Depression already and a heck of a lot more people would be out of work. I guess Republicans like Sanford is waiting on a miracle to save us all. If this were a Republican President he probably would not b saying much right now. He is a idiot like the rest of the Repugs

    February 8, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Melissa in New Orleans

    No, we're not you nutbag.

    February 8, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Perspective

    Was that an answer from the governor? It seems to be "yes" you will take the stimulus funds. All the while, Gov. Sanford unfortunately puts forth more Republican hypocrisy for failing to address WASTEFUL, supposedly savior spending (Iraq) under the Bush administration.

    February 8, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Change

    Mark Sanford can't wait to get his hand on that money. He's just trying to give the President a hard time. It's because of the republicans we are in this mess!!!!!!

    February 8, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Rachel

    This govenor is at least consistent. He has said that SC does not require aid from the federal governement and uses every opportunity to rail against the presidents economic stimulus and recovery plan. The govenors consistent position here will invariably lead to SC receiving far less economic support than other states. What does this mean for the people of South Carolina, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country?

    This is a man who stands by his principles and ideology regardless of the facts and reality.

    February 8, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. SAI

    Like any good and true republican, the governor wants to cut the stimulus funding for others, but will be delighted to take it for South Carolina. Sanford in 2012, as running mate to Palin!

    February 8, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Fan of Common Sense

    Finally! A politician saying something that resembles common sense. When a society starts depending on its government to save it instead of the ingenuity, innovation, and hard-work of its people, THAT SOCIETY IS IN TROUBLE!

    February 8, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. chris

    hmm, and for 8 years he was silent? His economics degree is from where again? I missed that. Let things work themselves out, I wonder if that is how the folks he represents feel. If they do and they lose their job or house or both ask them how the feel. If their neighbor, friend or family member lost their job, house or both ask them how they feel.

    8 years is enough, they shot their wad and if failed miserably. Now is the time. Now is our time to show them that the American people will no longer follow the advice of those who have no credibility or history of making things work.

    February 8, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. rebekah

    Isn't great that the Republicans say "It will be painful" but get over it and it will be ok. Will it be ok for the thousands that are losing their jobs due to lay offs?? Well it would be, but again the Repubs do not believe in any extra aid to those who need it. I think what We the People need to do is start LAYING OFF the congressmen and senators that have been elected. They are getting FREE health care, but do not believe we should! They get their cars paid for, but do not believe we, who elected them should! When are we going to wake up!! They live off the government tit, and are the epitome of living a Socialistic life all the while reaping the benefits they do not think we should have. Let's start a campaign to LAY THEM OFF!!

    February 8, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. thomas

    Waaah! What a pi crybaby! These problems weren't caused by debt. This economic meltdown was the spawn of greed. This issue is about the health of the nation and the resolution of difficult problems potending total collapse. We ignored these issues for years, knowing where they would lead, and now it is time to get serious and make America great once again. Those who help will be heroes, those who sit and watch will be forgotten.

    February 8, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    I have a suggestion for the S.C. governor: just don't take the money when it comes to you. And to all the complaining GOPers, just return any stimulus checks you get and don't spend any of the money in Red States, including GA. As far as I am concerned, the Repugnants have made this mess and now they are belly aching about government spending money. You guys won't need to worry about a trillion dollars when we hit 25% unemployment, you'll need to worry about 10's of trillions of lost dollars in lost tax revenues and lost national productivity. AND, you'll bascially give the lost jobs and opportunities to Europe and Asia as the skilled Amerians leave the country to look for jobs overseas. The S.C. governor needs to worry about his state and its poor people!

    February 8, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. darryn

    How can he bail out companies and not individuals if you are true to capitalism you bail out nobody for bad decisions, and I bet you he want even stand on his on words and accept the money for his state SC, for it bad decisions.

    February 8, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. w.l. jones

    Pay your share of taxes we would not be in this mess.

    February 8, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Terry

    I agree....we need to not panic....the normal taxpayer spends more time to pick out a car or washing machine. Slow down....vote no...we have heard the "catastrophe" once already....this money is free money to the states...the banks and auto at least pay it back. I read CNN list of pork....

    We doubled the education budget....do we have a 100% Unemployment in Education ...this is bull....or teacher's union paypack.

    $2.9 billion for Weatherization program .....Hello..NO Home Responsibility here...now it's my problem …. Go Buy a Tube of Caulk & weatherstripping at Wal-Mart....are we "freakin' serious"… this gets more than Homeland Security.

    We have become Blagovich-ED with an "F....take your time and fix this....we don't need it by Friday.

    February 8, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Paul

    Living and practicing strong ethics and moral decisions, instead of using them as points in rhetorical speech, would be an effective counter to the "savior-based economy".
    Sir, start with a discussion with your wealthy constituants.

    February 8, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. Seattle Sue

    Is Mark Sanford planning on taking stimulus funds for his state?

    February 8, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Marc

    This is our great experiment in socialism. If we can get it to work here it will be the first place and the first time in history. It has failed everywhere else. But the American people have spoken. The experiment is on. (But whatever happens from now on is not Bush's fault!)

    February 8, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. kengpdx

    Wow three towns with unemployment close 20%, and a marginal unemployment rate close to 40%, John King did not ask him why he has failed to date to bring down unemployment or at least not let it get worse. Missed opportunity for reality to confront ideology!

    February 8, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. Linda Goodman

    Mark Sanford sounds like the voice of sanity in an upside down economy. Why don't we listen to people with common sense more, and those "intellectuals" (some of whom got us into this mess) less.

    February 8, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. cedgar

    Yes ! Please make sure you review the strings attached to the money
    because there will be a lot of strings. After all is this not how you get
    one to conform to what you want them to do.

    February 8, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Robert Wendell

    He's talking the talk, but he aint going there. More Republican double talk. He's got 3 counties in South Carolina with almost 20% unemployment. Go ahead Governor, turn that money down. I am sure your mumbo-jumbo economics will impress the people in those counties. Stick to your guns and full speed ahead. Your principles are more important but hmmmmm, you do want to get elected. Well, ok, think about it.
    Good Luck!

    February 8, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Earl

    Sanford is a tragic reflection of the failure of theory capitalism (reganomics). That theory implies that a successful free market will maintain a democratic society. It is just the opposite. Open capitalism fosters greed, excessive consumption, exclusion and corruption. Democracy on the other hand, maintains capitalism through regulation and laws to protect the majority of citizens. It is just capitalism cannot grow uncontrolibly. Monitary gain is measured by societies standard not the ceo's or the board. Thus there is stability, but not great wealth. Democracy at its core foundation is about protecting society at large, not big business. Democracy is about being a productive citizen, good community member and contributor to adhering to as well as promoting constitutional and civil laws. Sanford is none of these. He could care less about American society in general.

    February 8, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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