The Southern governors must have read President Hoover's playbook. Hoover said the government could not provide funds for the 25-percent unemployed in the 1930s -- and that people must pick themselves up by their own bootstraps.
The current cowardly attempt by the Southern Republican governors -- led by the new darling of the right, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana -- to shaft the unemployed people is not something that will be easily forgotten. Who in their right mind as representatives of the people would have even thought they should prevent unemployment insurance from being extended -- except the Republicans?
Who in their right mind, except the Republicans, would turn down millions for infrastructure that will create jobs? Who in their right mind, except Republicans, would turn down millions of dollars to help increase teacher salaries and help disabled children? Who in their right mind, except Republicans, would turn down new funding for medical research to help cure Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases? Who in their right mind, except Republicans, will turn down mortgage settlements to prevent people from losing their homes?
The Southern governors would rather destroy the fabric of this country's economy than work with President Obama and Congress. Do the Republicans think that by not accepting the stimulus package this will lead to a Republican victory in 2010?
Well, they may call for the government to keep out of their states' failed fiscal policies, but the people won't have it. The governors don't know a good thing when they see one; the people do!
(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)