Once again, South Carolina is experiencing a case of “shrinkage …”

Household income levels in the Palmetto State shrank by 2.2 percent in 2011 after adjusting for inflation, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals.  Nationally, household incomes shrank by 1.3 percent.  South Carolina ranks No. 42 nationally on this economic indicator.

The median South Carolina household brings home $42,367 – down $944 from an inflation adjusted $43,311.

In 2010 income levels in South Carolina fell by an inflation-adjusted 3 percent (or $1,284) compared to a 2.2 percent national decline.

In 2009, South Carolina’s median household income shrank by $1,600 – a 3.7 percent decline from 2008.

One reason for the ongoing declines?  Our state’s chronically high unemployment rate – and the fact that the jobs we do have don’t pay much. South Carolina has the nation’s fifth-highest proportion of families making less than $10,000 a year (6.5 percent) and the sixth-smallest proportion of families earning $200,000 or more a year (2.9 percent).

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has made “jobs” her administration’s top priority, but most of her economic development “wins” have been purchased using taxpayer-funded incentives – which limit job growth elsewhere by shifting the state’s tax burden.  And as noted, those jobs usually don’t pay all that much.

This website has consistently argued that broad-based income tax relief – not corporate cronyism – is the key to job creation, income growth and expanded consumerism in our state.  Unfortunately, neither Haley nor “Republican” leaders in the S.C. General Assembly (House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Senate Finance chairman Hugh Leatherman, House Ways and Means chairman Brian White, etc.) have shown any interest in such an approach.

What have they shown an interest in?  Growing government by leaps and bounds