ISLANDPACKET.COM – A reader recently wrote that my desire to cap state-government spending betrays ignorance of the role government plays in the economy. “When the state spends money, that money goes into the economy to pay salaries, purchase goods, pay for services, etc.,” he says. “It is the same as when I spend money.”
Of course government spending affects the economy. And when the government spends taxpayers’ money on the essential things only government can do, the effect is positive. But when government decides, as it always does, to do more, it is a mistake to assume public and private spending are the same.
In 2006, the South Carolina General Assembly responded to outcry from over-taxed homeowners with a law that eliminated school funding from their property tax.
Unfortunately, that’s only half the story. When lawmakers passed Act 388, they didn’t cut our overall tax burden, but expanded it by imposing higher sales taxes and additional taxes on businesses, second homes, and industrial and manufacturing properties.
Another insidious impact of that law is this: putting a higher tax burden on those other categories of property deters private capital investment and adds to an unhealthy crony-capitalism environment where a handful of powerful politicians can, and do, provide special treatment to well-connected companies. (more…)
ISLANDPACKET.COM – “…We realize some parts of that report probably shouldn’t be disclosed publicly for security reasons, but sensitive information can be redacted. A publicly funded report on a very public matter should not be hidden. Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration is wrong to say it won’t release the report. Haley’s spokesman said they were heeding the advice of Mandiant. That’s not good enough.
At the very least, as state Sen. Tom Davis of Beaufort says, the Department of Revenue should have to provide a much more detailed explanation for why it is withholding the report.
“There has to be an extremely high threshold to justify withholding information that is clearly in the public interest,” Davis said.”
There is battle going on right now for the soul of the Republican Party, and the stakes are extremely high. Will the GOP truly be the party of cutting the size and scope of government and expanding individual liberty and economic freedom, or will it be the party of compromise and accommodation, one that is willing to increase taxes “for the good of the country”?
There has never been any question as to what side of that ideological divide Sen. Jim DeMint stands; he has long been a warrior in the United States Senate for restricting government and empowering people. And thanks to Sen. DeMint’s willingness to challenge the status quo Republican leadership, we now have true conservative champions like Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz serving alongside him in DC.
Today’s news that Sen. DeMint is leaving the United States Senate, in the middle of the debate on how Congress should respond to the so-called “fiscal cliff,” is akin to an army losing a general in the midst of battle, and it is my hope that Gov. Nikki Haley swiftly appoints someone to serve in his stead who is just as committed to the liberty movement, and who is just as willing to stand for what is right as opposed to what is politically expedient.