Even Democratic governors are starting to blame Washington

Rick Moran
Abandon ship! Abandon ship!

Democratic governors facing grim budget choices, lingering unemployment and angry voters are pointing a finger at their colleagues in Democratic-controlled Washington to explain this year's toxic political climate.Few will directly fault President Barack Obama for their party's plight heading into the fall midterm elections, but the state chief executives gathered here for the National Governors Association meeting believe Congress and the White House have made an already difficult year worse.

While they are almost uniformly grateful for the financial windfall they enjoyed from the stimulus legislation, Democrats believe it wasn't sold well to the public and that more still must be done to revive the lagging economy.

"I think the bottom line is, they're not seeing the jobs that should have come from it," said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, explaining why voters in his state are dissatisfied with the massive spending bill. "Are we just protecting government, or are we really stimulating the economy? Maybe it's too early to tell."

Old Joe can't seem to say what he wants to say; the stim bill was a bust and a payoff to government-friendly unions and cronies.

Nobody is swallowing the White House line any more on the $800 billion stimulus - not even Democratic governors. The only reason they're not piling on Obama is that they know that many of them will have to come hat in hand to the government in order to save their fiscal skins. Illinois, California, New York, and a half dozen other states are against the wall with budget deficits and no way to squeeze more cash out of their long suffering citizens. The real crunch will come at the end of this year and early next year where there could be a string of defaults by states unless the federal government steps in to bail them out.

Obama has said he doesn't want to but the chaos that would result from states defaulting might force his hand on the issue. In the meantime, all the governors can do is bellyache.

They are receiving as much attention from congressional Democrats as the rest of us.



Abandon ship! Abandon ship!

Democratic governors facing grim budget choices, lingering unemployment and angry voters are pointing a finger at their colleagues in Democratic-controlled Washington to explain this year's toxic political climate.

Few will directly fault President Barack Obama for their party's plight heading into the fall midterm elections, but the state chief executives gathered here for the National Governors Association meeting believe Congress and the White House have made an already difficult year worse.

While they are almost uniformly grateful for the financial windfall they enjoyed from the stimulus legislation, Democrats believe it wasn't sold well to the public and that more still must be done to revive the lagging economy.

"I think the bottom line is, they're not seeing the jobs that should have come from it," said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, explaining why voters in his state are dissatisfied with the massive spending bill. "Are we just protecting government, or are we really stimulating the economy? Maybe it's too early to tell."

Old Joe can't seem to say what he wants to say; the stim bill was a bust and a payoff to government-friendly unions and cronies.

Nobody is swallowing the White House line any more on the $800 billion stimulus - not even Democratic governors. The only reason they're not piling on Obama is that they know that many of them will have to come hat in hand to the government in order to save their fiscal skins. Illinois, California, New York, and a half dozen other states are against the wall with budget deficits and no way to squeeze more cash out of their long suffering citizens. The real crunch will come at the end of this year and early next year where there could be a string of defaults by states unless the federal government steps in to bail them out.

Obama has said he doesn't want to but the chaos that would result from states defaulting might force his hand on the issue. In the meantime, all the governors can do is bellyache.

They are receiving as much attention from congressional Democrats as the rest of us.