Statement on Unemployment Figures by State Senator Tom Davis

By • on August 17, 2012


“Today’s unemployment figures for South Carolina are very discouraging. In the past three months, our state’s unemployment rate has increased from 8.9 to 9.6 percent, more than three times the growth of the national rate. Meanwhile state average per capita income remains only at about 84% of the national average. In other words, compared with most other states, we have a substantially higher unemployment rate and the jobs we do have pay substantially less.

“This economic condition is the result of our state’s failed economic policy. There is far too much secretive top-down planning by state government officials – chasing specific companies and industries with taxpayer subsidies – and not nearly enough attention to the underlying business climate. Instead of making South Carolina a place where everyone has a fair shot at succeeding, we are favoring the politically well-connected. That’s neither fair nor good policy.

“The numbers bear this out. According to our state’s Board of Economic Advisors, the annual total amount of special “incentives” given annually by state government to “targeted” businesses grew from $35 million in 1998 to $525 million in 2008. And as shown on this graph (*.PDF) by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, cited by the South Carolina Policy Council in “Unleashing Capitalism,” there is a direct correlation between the increase in state government’s interference in the marketplace and the decrease in our citizens’ average per capita

“Crony capitalism is rampant in Columbia. Because of nearly 100 special loopholes in the tax code, the state actually exempts more in sales taxes than it collects. Huge companies able to hire the right lobbyists get special laws passed so they can avoid collecting sales taxes altogether, whereas small businesses and mom-and-pops are forced to pay full freight. Chief Justice Toal was right when she said such amounts to a ‘tyrannical exercise of arbitrary power.’

“But the favoritism doesn’t stop there. Our state’s manufacturing and industrial tax assessment (10.5%) is the highest in the nation. Again, though, companies with the right connections can avoid these high property taxes by negotiating fee-in-lieu agreements with local governments. Everyone else must pay the high rate, and capital investment is discouraged.

“We need to end the corrupt politics of favoritism, close the loopholes and cut taxes across the board, so that all citizens and businesses pay lower taxes, not just the politically connected. South Carolina’s goal must be to become the freest state in the nation. Lower taxes for everyone will promote free-market entrepreneurship and discovery – the true sources of prosperity.”


Sen. Tom Davis
August 17, 2012
(843) 817-3226

2 Responses to “Statement on Unemployment Figures by State Senator Tom Davis”

  1. Ben Kinlaw says:

    Why I agree with some of Sen Davis’ comments, I disgaree with tieing July upward increase of 0.2% in the jobless rates.

    There were 44 states’ jobles rate increased in the month of July; 4 remained the same and 2 dropped. Regionally, GA up 0.3 to 9.3%, NC up 0.2 to 9.6%, SC up 0.2 to 9.6% and TN up 0.3 to 8.4%. If you are blaming the spike in SC jobles rate on the esamples you referenced, then all 44 states would have to be placed in the same category.

    NC was recently ranked in the top five states nationwide by CNBC’s latest report in, “America’s Top States for Business.” NC is considered one of the best states to do business in, ranking fourth nationwide.

    With NC jobless rate spiking to 9.6% just as SC, NC now falls in the saae category you are placing SC in, with failed economic policy. NC has now had 43 straight months of 9.0% unemployment.

  2. Tom I’ve been in business since 1999. In summer 2008 when gas prices spiked my business took a plunge, contracts canceled etc. 2009 was pretty bad, 2010 was much improved and 2011 it sort of stalled out. This year is looking much more like 2009, an awful year for us.

    I submit that the crushing increase on businesses state wide in the unemployment tax has killed what little momentum we were building.

    I always paid my taxes when they came due. Now I have to finance them, paying them monthly. I’m sure that tax has hit a ton of other businesses as well and now many simply don’t have the money they once had to spend so they put off the maintenance work they used to do. Case in point, the next time you visit Wal-Mart, check out their inside lighting and see just how bad it has gotten. I’m a Walmart vendor and they used to repair all the lights every quarter or so. Now some of the stores have more lamps out than working!

    You guys need to FIX this and roll the taxes back. I see there was some reform passed to deny benefits to those fired with cause. AWESOME Tom. That is what we need, and follow that up with some Tort reform!

    Thanks for your time!

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