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The dire predictions of what will happen to “the state of South Carolina” if Gov. Mark Sanford follows through on his threat to reject $700 million of bureaucratic bailout money are neglecting one thing – well, make that 578 million things.

Or more precisely, $578 million.

Sanford and several State Senators backing his play joined together today to point out that Senator Hugh Leatherman is ignoring $578 million in federal bailout cash (money that the governor can’t block) in the Senate Finance Committee’s “doom and gloom” budget – you know, the state spending plan that fires eleventy kabillion teachers and sets eleventy kabillion prisoners free from maximum security prisons to roam your neighorhoods at night.

Oh, we almost forgot, Leatherman’s “doom and gloom” plan isn’t counting the nearly $790 million that South Carolina’s local school districts have tucked away in carry-foward reserve funds, either.

Pressured on the floor of the State Senate earlier today by Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), Leatherman conceded that the $578 million wasn’t included in the Senate Finance budget because “we haven’t voted on it yet.”

“Well Senator, we haven’t voted on any of it,” Davis fired back.

Good point.

For those of you pulling out your calculators now, we’ll save you the trouble … $700 million minus $578 million = $122 million.

Which is not a whole helluva lot … particularly when the schools that are supposedly going to have to fire all those teachers are (again) sitting on $790 million.

Of course, no matter what Sanford does these ass clown politicians of ours are going to get their hands on the $700 million anyway because let’s face it – U.S. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn still has some taxpayer-funded monuments that he needs to erect and slap his name on in this state.

Trust us, people … there’s a “James E. Clyburn Pedestrian Overpass” coming to a city near you!