Sunday, December 21, 2008

Choke On Your Own Vomit

Mark Sanford's got a problem.

This city in the center of South Carolina is an ideal listening post. According to a range of indicators assembled by Moody’s — from job growth to change in household worth — this metropolitan area came closer than any other to being a microcosm of the nation over the last decade.

This is now an unfortunate distinction. Some 533,000 jobs disappeared from the economy in November, the worst month since 1974. In South Carolina, a government panel is predicting that the state’s unemployment rate could reach 14 percent by the middle of next year.

Yet questions confront the notion of putting people to work through federal largess. South Carolina’s governor, Mark Sanford, a Republican, has been an ardent opponent of federal aid for states, branding it pork barrel spending. If the money is delivered to state agencies like the Department of Transportation, which has its own list of priorities, Columbia might be disappointed.