GOP Guvs Right to See Stimulus Cash as 'Trap'

Say law is a 'budget trap' that will hook them on more spending
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 8:40 AM CST
GOP Guvs Right to See Stimulus Cash as 'Trap'
Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is seen in Kenner, La. in a Monday, Dec. 1, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

Five Republican governors are threatening to turn down much of their stimulus windfall, afraid of taking addictive doses of spending on education, welfare, and health care that the states would have to shoulder in 2011 and beyond. And they're right to worry, the Wall Street Journal says. Take enrolling new families in Head Start, for instance: “There’s no way politically we’re going to be able to push people out of the programs in two years when federal money runs out,” says South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

Nor are governors happy about the $7 billion boost in unemployment insurance expansions, which some say they'll have to raise payroll taxes to accommodate. “This will cost our state jobs,” says Haley Barbour of Mississipi. “So we’d rather not have these dollars in the first place.” But Barbour may not have a choice; the stimulus allows state legislatures to overrule governors if they turn down the cash. (More economic stimulus package stories.)

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