WHAT SANFORD CONSIDERS ‘CHILD ABUSE’…. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) continues to resist economic recovery efforts in his state, and chatted with Fox News’ Glenn Beck yesterday about his opposition — and what it would mean to South Carolina’s children. (Much of the $700 million that Sanford doesn’t want to spend would go to the state’s public schools.)

Beck asked the governor to explain how he’s “taking care of the children” by “not taking” the federal stimulus aid. Sanford responded that the recovery package would increase the federal deficit in the short term, and “since those costs will be borne by the next generation, in fact it is sort of fiscal child abuse.”

Perhaps it’s time to introduce the governor to one of his constituents. Her name is Ty’Sheoma Bethea.

During President Obama’s address to Congress in February, he pointed to Bethea, a young girl in South Carolina whose school is falling apart. Parts of the school, including the auditorium, are now inaccessible and have literally been condemned. Bethea, who sat next to the First Lady, had written a letter to Congress.

“Bethea has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, ‘We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters.’”

The economic recovery package included money for schools, which Sanford doesn’t want to spend. Indeed, for Sanford, the best way to deal with the ongoing economic crisis is to reject the federal aid, lay off thousands of South Carolina teachers, scrap school repair projects that might stimulate the local economy, and leave students like Ty’Sheoma Bethea in schools that are literally falling apart.

To do anything else, Sanford believes, would be akin to “child abuse.” It’s far preferable, he insists, to let kids like Bethea suffer.

Perhaps Mark Sanford is thinking about impressing right-wing activists. Perhaps he’s thinking this grandstanding will help him in 2012. Perhaps he’s studied the Great Depression and he’s thinking that Hoover guy seemed pretty smart.

One thing’s for sure, Sanford isn’t thinking about what’s best for his constituents.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.