Palmetto State Democrats dropped a boatload of depressing economic data on Gov. Nikki Haley this week, challenging her oft-touted job creation claims and setting the stage for a furious debate over the state of the South Carolina economy heading into the 2014 election.
“Despite Governor Haley’s many press conferences, the harsh truth of South Carolina’s economic situation under her failed leadership is apparent,” S.C. Democratic Party spokeswoman Kristin Sosanie said in policy memo released Monday.
In addition to this week’s depressing Kids Count data – and last week’s less-than-stellar state jobs report – the Democratic memo highlighted several other recent studies showing that the Palmetto State’s economy “recovery” isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.
For example, the memo highlighted a 2012 Pew Center report ranking South Carolina third-worst in the nation in terms of economic mobility. It also highlighted an April 2013 study from MoneyRates.com showing South Carolina as the fifth-hardest state in the nation in which to earn a living.
Left out of the Democratic release? The state’s abysmal 58.9 percent labor participation rate – which is well below the national rate of 63.4 percent (itself at near three-decade lows).
Haley – who opposed “corporate bailouts” as a candidate in 2010 – has built her economic development strategy around these crony capitalist giveaways. In fact she’s been their biggest cheerleader, which is why the liberal S.C. Chamber of Commerce – which opposed her three years ago – is poised to support her reelection bid.
Does government subsidized “economic development” work?
Yet Haley and South Carolina “Republicans” continue to pick winners and losers in the marketplace … while hypocritically railing against anyone who opposes such subsidies as being “anti-business.”