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SC Susceptible To Sequester? Okay … But Why?

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South Carolina is especially vulnerable to cuts associated with the looming federal “sequester” – a modest spending reduction that accompanied a 2011 deal to raise the federal debt ceiling by more than $2 trillion. We’re already on the record in support of U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders following through on their word and implementing these cuts – which would trim $85 billion over the next nine months from a $3.8 trillion federal budget.

In fact the sequester – which Obama referred to this week as a “meat cleaver” – would roll back just one out of every six dollars in post-2008 discretionary spending, a benchmark which was already artificially high given the fiscal excesses of the administration of former president George W. Bush.

Also there’s the fact Obama and Congress agreed to make these cuts (which they’ve already postponed once) in exchange for a record run-up in deficit spending.

Anyway …

The big government crowd in South Carolina is having a conniption fit over the sequester because the Palmetto State, in the words of The Greenville News, “has one of the lowest per-capita incomes in the nation and relies heavily on government-transfer payments for health and welfare programs.”

No argument there …

But just how “heavily reliant” is our dirt poor state? According to the big government backers, 7.5 percent of South Carolina’s economy is comprised of federal spending (while another 15 percent made up of state spending). That’s nearly one quarter of our gross state product which is directly subsidized by taxpayers (a tab which grows much larger when you add county, municipal and local education budgets to the mix).

Of course the liberal legacy press never stops to ask why we spend so much – or what free market reforms can be implemented to move our state out of the “low-income” category. Instead our mainstream media incessantly bitches and moans about how even the most infinitesimally small reductions in government spending would wreak havoc on the poor.

Meanwhile our politicians (at the state and federal level) continue to perpetuate that dependency …

Here’s an idea: What if instead of subsidizing low incomes (up to and including friggin’ cell phone service for the poor) our government decided it would incentivize work for a change? Imagine that! Of course such a fundamental shift in government’s approach might actually have the effect of raising income levels – which would reduce the need for government assistance.

And Lord knows the bureaucrats can’t have that …

We’ve made no bones of our support for the sequester.

“While this modest reduction in excess is a far cry from the draconian cuts our government really ought to be making – it is a very, very, VERY small step in the direction of fiscal sanity,” we wrote earlier this month.

Now if only our state would take a very, very, very small step in the direction of common sense …

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