Big Bang Ballin' on a Budget
That's all FITS can say.
In his first year heading up the powerful House Ways & Means budget-writing committee, Chairman Dan "I am the Egg-Tooth, I am the Walrus" Cooper stirred up a political firestorm yesterday after details of his gargantuan (and taxpayer rebate-free) $6.5 billion budget hit the proverbial fan in Columbia.
Cooper's budget not only doesn't include a dime of the $400 per family rebate being sought by Gov. Mark Sanford, it cuts trust fund repayment by two-thirds and would also raise government spending in South Carolina by anywhere from 12-16% from last year's budget - which, incidentally, raised government spending by 9.1% from the previous year's budget.
That's a helluva lot of firetrucks isn't it, Chairman Egg-Tooth?
In fact, Cooper's proposed "Spend-A-Pallooza" was so over the top that this time - unlike previous attempts to soak the taxpayer dry at the expense of special interest-driven, vote-buying, pork "Harrell" spending - the governor isn't alone in resisting the boondoggling.
Joining His Excellency Marky Mark in raising the red flag of common sense this go-round are - among others - House Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith, Judiciary Chairman Jim Harrison and House LCI Chairman Harry Cato. With such high-ranking institutional support for fiscal restraint being shown so early in the House budget-writing process, expect last year's growing nucleus of "Taxpayer Heroes" (Murrell Smith, Nikki Haley, Ralph Norman and others) to expand further this year.
Joining Cooper on the dark side, once again advocating government growth at more than three times the growth of our economy, is the Mayor of Importantville himself, Speaker Bobby Harrell. And in a Michael Rentiers-esque display of stupid political conspiracy theories (see previous "Staton Campaign: Alive and Kicking?" post), Harrell yesterday attempted to blame the growing, high-level opposition to Cooper's budget on the fact that Smith, Harrison and Cato were his former opponents in last year's Speaker's race.
Typical thin-skinned Columbia politicos.
Harrell also ripped the governor's office for sending its press release during Cooper's Ways & Means Committee meeting, calling it "a pretty sneaky way of doing a press release."
The Mayor refused, however, to answer repeated inquiries from FITS as to whether or not he also believed Sanford's office and legislative opponents knew about President Jed Bartlett's attempt to hide his previously-diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis from the American people.
"That's The West Wing and not real life, you idiots," Harrell told FITS.
Citing shared ideologies, Bartlett Communications Director Toby Ziegler brushed off the Mayor's criticism.
"I'm not sure why he's dismissing us because we're clearly on the same team," Ziegler told FITS. "We're trying to grow government spending at unheard of, exorbitant levels up here, he's trying to grow government spending at unheard of, exorbitant levels down there."