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. Kristen

    Also, he's dead-set against the Fed giving money to the states but would gladly accept money for his state. Huh?

    Here's my fav. proposal. In the stimulus bill, include a provision that says any senator or rep who votes against the bill will not receive federal aide for their districts. I think these hypocrites need to be called out. If they're so against aide money, they should just turn it down. Problem solved. I'm sure the people in their district will really "appreciate" their "stance."

    February 8, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. LK in NJ

    JESUS saves! And he will direct President Obama in how best to solve our nation's woes. It will take some time but it will happen.

    Praise the LORD!

    February 8, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Badger

    Where were these republican clowns during the the administration? What a tool.

    February 8, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Badger

    Where were these republican clowns during the last administration? What a tool.

    February 8, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. tennisguypitt

    Oh great, its the Hoover thought all over again.

    February 8, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. voter

    Sanford and the rest of the republicans are the problem. They have no clue on running an economy which explains the reason we are in a fix right now. Tax cuts for the rich don't work. It does not create jobs because most business don't pay taxes. Second, if people have no jobs, they don't file taxes and therefore do not receive a tax cut. duh. Once again the republicans don't have a clue.

    February 8, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. McWhine

    I got an idea. Why not stop giving Fed aide to states whose governors or senators refusing to support the economy recovery bill? I would like to see how much their state would suffer.

    February 8, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Mike Dallas

    Translation of Republicanese

    You betcha' we'll take it!

    February 8, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Matt

    ...this from a guy whose party foisted social services off on "faith-based" institutions?

    From a state where they still fly a flag from a war they lost over 100 years ago?!?

    Can someone PLEASE drag South Carolina into at LEAST the last century?

    February 8, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. paul oregon

    are repub. governors that think this stimulus is bad going to turn it down for there states???????

    February 8, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. mike

    I believe that if all the state Governors that supports this SP should take action like Cali did and shut their state down Repubs in opposition would be dropping like flies. I am in favor of some radical action now. This SP is too important.

    February 8, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Reid

    What Governor Sanford says is the best sense. Letting people off the hook for making huge mistakes in areas where they were accountable is not the way to get back on track. We are a market based economy and that's where America's strength has always been- competition in the free market. When we fail to measure up, that's when we lose the competition, and we have to learn to be competitive again. If stimulus packages keep coming down, America will cease to be competitive overall, living off the government gimme's and making the kind of mistakes that if made in the past would never have got us into our position as the world power.

    February 8, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. The people of America

    Yes I agree we should have let Wall Street and the banks go belly up and cleanse the nation of the stupid greedy morons who caused the crisis. Of course the government would have had to nationalize banks to keep credit flowing and then gradually sell them back to the private sector.
    What is really sad is that government is now controlled by big business so essentially they are one in the same. So the best way to downsize government is to let these government funded large caps go under. Letting non government funded small business pick up the slack.

    February 8, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Keith Johnson

    Where were all these Republicans who are howling about overspending and "expanding government" back during the last eight years?

    If they stood up and fought for this cause, regardless of what party was in power, then I'd have an ounce of respect for them. Unfortunately, their deeds in the past have shown that they are just another group of partisan hacks who are full of vitrol, but no convictions beyond the desire for power. Just like the Demcorats. 🙂

    February 8, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. John in Canada

    I'm sorry, but where have the consequences to stupid decisions been in the so-called free market that the U.S. has had under Sanford's Republicans. Is this a joke? Doe sthis guy actually think the people of the U.S. are that short-sighted.


    February 8, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Crazy Cat Lady

    So the bailout is a terrible, terrible thing - except when you can get your hands on some of it? Yeh, right.

    February 8, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Sue in MI

    Of COURSE he'll take the money! And of course, he's been lobbying for their share. It's easy to be against it in principle.

    His unemployment rate is 8%-I'm sure those folks don't need any help, right, Gov?

    And I'm sure "savior-based" was not a slap at Obama, right? What has Venezuela got to do with anything? American consumers will buy the best product, not the government issue, but right now, no one is buying anything but necessities. Savings are up, but that will mean more business failures, less inventory, more unemployment. We need to get people working, and states haven't been able to do that.

    February 8, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Tony

    Easy for him to say because he's rich and won't be feeling any pain. Man am I glad we got rid of the Republicans and their voodoo economics. Don't panic people, we finally have some real leadership for the first time in eight years. Remember how good things were eight years ago? We'll get back there soon. Just don't be influenced by the incompetent people who got us into this mess. Let the other guys have eight unobstructed years to see if they can do better. Then we can put this argument to rest. Don't listen to others. See for yourself who's right or who's wrong. Or, who's lying and who's telling the truth.

    February 8, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Greg Hodges

    Perhaps Gov. Sanford should consult with the Republican mayor of Carmel, Indiana who seems to feel this stimulus bill is desperately needed; as do mayors and government officials of both parties all across America. These obstructionist Republicans are so out of touch with reality these days, they simply are not to be taken seriously by anyone.

    February 8, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. ar

    this is a great analysis that is very true and will have consequences on our country in the future!

    February 8, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Lisa, Austin,Texas

    Governor, perhaps you should thank your "saviour" you are not the governor of California, or Florida. You know the states with the high forclosure rates.

    You do realize when homes are forclosed on, there is a decrease in a state's, or county's tax base? That means these states will likely need some help from the federal government to continue to employ individuals with non essential jobs, such as fire fighters, police officers and educators.

    Geeze.. how dare these dead beats look to the federal government for help. It is not like they have paid federal taxes in the past, and have a right to cash in now. No... that money is best spent to fight unnecessary wars, and for the rich to get huge tax breaks.

    Your indignation is totally justified, and to prove it, you should turn down any federal funds allocated to South Carolina. That will show those "tax and spend" liberal.

    Please get a clue.

    February 8, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Carla Hale

    I will be glad when the Democrates and the Republicans stop fighting and start thinking about those of us on mainstreet that do not know where our next meal is coming from due to the loss of so many jobs.The Congressman on Capital Hill are still receiving a paycheck and their families are not worring about their next meal. Work together and do something so that we can move on!!!

    February 8, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. JustTheFacts

    So, Gov Sanford, in what areas of education, public health, transportation, technology, intellectual property devlopment, scientific innovation, or manufactoring does your state of SC lead the nation or rank as a true model of excellence?

    February 8, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  24. Joe

    Good to see at least one elected official gets it!

    February 8, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  25. Peter H Hoffman

    Mark Sanford and Jim DeMint make me proud to live in SC. We need more politicians with libertarian (what used to be called 'American') views.

    February 9, 2009 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
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