Fritz announces retirment with characteristic candor:
"I said no I can tell you this categorically, we've got the weakest president and weakest [governor] in the history of my 50 years of public service. I say weak president in that the poor boy campaigns all the time and pays no attention to what's going on in the Congress. Karl Rove tells him to do this or do that or whatever it is, but he's out campaigning. And I really don't think our friend Mark Sanford likes the job. As a result the state and the country – your state, my state, our country – is headed in the wrong direction with respect to our finances.
"You can see it at the state level. They are firing a thousand teachers.
"And at the national level, we've got Enron accounting galore. The President said two weeks ago on page one of his budget report that we have a $455 billion deficit at the end of next month; that's when the end of the fiscal year terminates. The truth of the matter is, you turn to page 57 of the report and you'll see it's $698 billion. And he admits to a $700 billion deficit, so you can see why the market goes down. Everyone sees who invests that there's no reason to invest because the interest rates are going up and you can't carry your investments.
Fritz briefly ran for President in 1984, but was hampered by the fact that even most Southerners had trouble understanding him. Still, he's a fiery, colorful character, and perhaps the last of a dying breed-- the Southern Populist Democrat.
Most Southerners are one generation removed from poverty, and despite the fact that the region recieves far more tax dollars than it contributes, it seems to respond to the message of "less government." Ironically, their beloved Shrub hasn't given them less government, just less services. And as Fritz points out, he's made us all debtors again, as well.