v'ܩ Mark Sanford: The new face of fiscal conservativism?
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Mark Sanford: The new face of fiscal conservativism?

March 15th, 2009

CNN ran a story about a young girl whose school was crumbling and falling apart. All she wanted was to have a quality place to be educated. In her desperation she penned a letter to lawmakers that ended up in the Oval Office and netted her a seat at the “State of the Nation” (Not Union?) address next to First Lady Michelle Obama. She was thrilled with the news that the stimulus plan would have money that could be used to help schools like hers. That is, until she found out that the EVIL Mark Sanford, Governor of her state (South Carolina), was refusing the stimulus money because Washington would not allow him to use it to pay down the state’s debt. I feel like watching the media villanize fiscal conservatives is becoming a new national past-time, move over baseball.

Does Mark Sanford Hate Education? Is He playing Politics?

Apparently, the DNC is already running ads lambasting Sanford for his refusal of these funds, claiming he is “playing politics”. To which Sanford did issue a response:

Joel Sawyer, Communications Director to Gov. Sanford, said in an issued statement that Sanford “continues to believe that problems created by too much debt will never be solved by more debt.”

“It’s time to put the partisan politics aside and for people who supported this stimulus legislation to start shooting straight with taxpayers on who is paying the bill for all of this spending. This so-called ’stimulus’ represents a federal predatory loan, the cost of which will be borne by future generations who will never have a chance to vote from office the very people who are saddling them with unprecedented spending and guaranteed future tax increases,” Sawyer added.

Obama wants to go back to basics? Great, so does Sanford!

Right below the above article I found another that began by explaining that President Obama wanted to get the country back to “economic basics.” I was a bit confused, economic basics hasn’t really been part of the stated goals Obama’s Administration. My confusion ended, however, when I read the quote about what Obama considers to be the “basics”:

…go back to fundamentals. And that means driving our health-care costs down. It means improving our education system so our children are prepared and we’re innovating in science and technology. And it means that we’re making this transition to the clean-energy economy.

These aren’t your Grandparent’s Basics.

It’s clear to me when I read quotes like the above from President Obama just how different his upbringing must have been from mine, and that of the other fiscal conservatives. Here is the shortened version of a wonderful article I recently read about financial lessons from grandparents written by Laura M. Rodebaugh:

  1. Be Frugal.
  2. Make gifts, save money and be creative.
  3. Make do with what you have, if a washing machine breaks try to fix before buying a new one.
  4. Learn to do-it-yourself. Going the DIY route is both cheaper and the gained independence is rewarding.
  5. Avoid debt, don’t spend more than you make - In fact, spend less and never consider taking on debt to make a purchase.
  6. Have an emergency fund.
  7. Look for bargains.
  8. Eat at home.

Obama was raised by his grandparents, maybe these things just never came up.