It's time for an honest look at the root causes of the state budget shortfall. The revenues which fund the state budget are cyclical: when the economy goes up, revenues grow at a rate often faster than growth, and when the economy slips, revenues tend to sink faster than the rate of contraction. The reckless spending and budget growth of recent years spent billions of dollars of surplus money that could have been banked away for a rainy day.
State budgets under Governor Campbell and Hodges suffered greatly during recessions, and a lot of the legislative players around now were around then. They should not be surprised at the current turn of events, nor should they be attempting to pin all the blame on Sanford. While it's important to find a resolution to the current situation, it is also time for all concerned to make a solid effort to rein in spending growth and plan ahead for future downturns. Anything less is inexcusable.
Those who are concerned about the current budget crisis, whether they support or oppose Sanford's actions, should demand that steps be taken to follow a more fiscally responsible course in the future, and that everyone in the legislative process work together to chart that course.
And if you're passing through Florence, you might want to get Senator Leatherman to get on board with this effort as well. After all, we're sure he stands for goodness.