“Tea Party” S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed roughly than one fourth of one percent of South Carolina’s $23 billion state budget earlier this month.

That’s right … one fourth of one percent.

Astoundingly, Haley couldn’t even muster the fiscal discipline necessary to trim the state’s record-setting spending plan back to the size of her original record-setting executive budget, which weighed in at a whopping $22.8 billion.

That’s embarrassing for a “Republican” governor, but it’s downright pathetic for one who campaigned as a fiscal conservative.

Anyway, Haley said this week that she was “happy” members of the S.C. General Assembly sustained 33 of her 81 thoroughly uninspiring budget vetoes.

“I am happy,” Haley told reporters this week. “I will tell you that it’s a lot of (sustained) vetoes.”

Wait … what? She’s seriously “happy” with results?

What Haley neglected to mention is that the total dollar amount for her sustained vetoes was … wait for it … $4 million. For those of you who don’t have your calculators handy, that’s 0.017 percent of the state’s $23 billion budget.

You read that right … 0.017 percent.

And Haley’s “happy” with that?

She should be ashamed. And while members of the “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly certainly deserve to be criticized for failing to sustain more of the “bigger” money vetoes (and for proposing such an obscenely large spending plan in the first place), the real blame lies with the Tea Party governor.

By setting the bar so high for new spending (after approving record spending increases the previous year), Haley gave lawmakers a wide berth to grow government (again) at a time when the economy is once again cooling and South Carolinians’ incomes are shrinking.

And of course they took advantage of that latitude.  They can’t help themselves.

Haley was supposed to be different.  She was supposed to “take government back” for the taxpayers. She was supposed to “know the value of a dollar.”  She also promised us that she “wouldn’t stop” until there was a “more conservative House and a more conservative Senate” – but then proceeded to endorse precisely one candidate in last month’s legislative primary elections.

The result of all that hyprocisy?

0.017 percent, people … 0.017 percent.