THE TRUTH ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA’S THREE-PERCENT BUDGET CUT
FITSNews – August 12, 2008 – After embarking on a spending orgy unprecedented in our state’s history, three big government Republicans voted today to cut state spending across the board by three percent … something we’d ordinarily be quite happy about were it not for the fact this move comes straight out of the “Big Government 101” playbook.
Anyway, here’s how this time-honored big government charade works … when the economy is good, lawmakers like Hugh Leatherman, Dan Cooper and Converse Chellis spend every last cent of the money you send to Columbia. Sure, they make a big deal about passing a random “tax cut” here or there, but they always raise another tax in order to keep things “revenue neutral” (i.e. to keep the pork flowing).
Then, once all that government spending has choked off any possibility of economic growth, they bitch and moan that it was the nonexistent “tax cuts” which were responsible for the revenue shortfall. For example …
House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Cooper said (Tuesday) that tax cuts passed over the last few years, including eliminating the sales tax on groceries, were helping to create budget holes. “It’s a good thing we’ve taken that tax off people, but now it’s impacting sales tax revenue,” said Cooper, R-Piedmont.
But wait … that’s just the first half of these jerk-offs formula for keeping South Carolina first in everything bad and last in everything good …
After draining our economy (and our wallets) to fund their excesses, these jokers then take the easy way out when times get tough by cutting everything – including education, law enforcement, roads and prisons.
First of all, it’s easy (and gives the appearance of “fairness.”)
Second of all, it bullies taxpayers into accepting their pleas for “revenue enhancements” to offset these dramatic “cuts” to front-line services.
Third, it helps perpetuate the quintessential big government myth – namely, that “cutting” an agency that’s seen its budget grow by leaps and bounds during the previous four years is going to somehow bring about a disaster of Biblical proportion.
Take the reaction to this round of “cuts” that came from State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, for example, whose agency will lose a paltry $73 million after seeing its budget grow by over a billion dollars the last four years …
“It’s impossible to envision this not having a critical and negative impact on many of our educational programs,” (Rex) said.
Yeah, right. Sort of like that extra billion we just spent had such a profound and positive impact …
For those of you unfamiliar with South Carolina’s bad spending habits, this same scenario unfolded eight years ago when the booming economy of the Nineties gave way to the bumbling Bush years.
After growing government by double-digit percentages from 1997 to 1999, the post 9/11 economic free fall “forced” S.C. lawmakers to raid trust funds and cut $800 million from front-line government services.
Clearly, they haven’t learned a damn thing from the experience.
There’s a simple way to fix all of this, of course, but it requires government to live within its means the way the rest of us have to.
For example, we could cap the growth of incoming government revenue each year to the growth in population plus inflation, and then hold a percentage of what’s left over to cover any emergencies while giving the rest of it (gasp!) back to the taxpayers.
Hell, we could have returned billions of dollars to the taxpayers of this state over the last decade had we followed this plan – and avoided budget cuts altogether.
But that sort of common sense is lost on politicians in Columbia – or politicians anywhere, for that matter.
They continue to view your money as their money, and your prosperity as secondary to their pork.
Until that changes, don’t expect to see an honest tax cut – or an honest spending cut – anytime soon.