Last month, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford officially rejected a portion of South Carolina’s federal stimulus hand out. His decision was met with both tears of joy and tears of frustration and outrage, depending upon your viewpoint.

While much will be made from all sides, one thing remains clear to me: this is a principled decision from a very principled man.

Mark Sanford’s primary tenant in rejecting the stimulus funds is simply that it is irresponsible and shortsighted to heap more debt upon existing debt. He argues that you can not spend your way out of debt. He views being a responsible financial steward of the State of South Carolina as primary responsibility.

When Mr. Sanford was a U.S. House Representative, he spent his six years in Washington sleeping on a cot in his congressional office. The money he saved was returned to the taxpayers in his district. Mr. Sanford has exhibited the same frugal characteristics during his six years in Columbia serving as Governor.

Mr. Sanford is one tight, penny-pinching politician. The times of trial and tribulation we now face will require many hard choices. Washington, state, and local governments are going to need far more penny-pinching politicians from both sides of the aisle if we are to exit this economic recession on firmer financial footing.

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