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More Columbia, SC Shadiness

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For those of you unfamiliar with the scam, “Chambers of Commerce” in South Carolina exist for one purpose – to separate taxpayers from their money. These organizations have never met a tax hike, crony capitalist handout, government bailout or new taxpayer-subsidized program they didn’t wildly embrace – contending that such anti-free market measure would help “create jobs.”

How’s that plan worked out? Not so well …

Back in 2010, we even defended our arch-nemesis Nikki Haley when she battled against the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, an especially liberal member of South Carolina’s government-funded “economic development” community. Of course Haley has completely flip-flopped since then – abandoning her stated limited government ideology and turning into one of the state’s most aggressive supporter of crony capitalist deals. Now she is the candidate of choice for the S.C. Chamber.

How’s that plan worked  out? Again, not so well … 

Anyway, the latest scam foisted by these big government boondogglers is the “penny sales tax” – in which $1.2 billion was stolen from the residents of Richland County, S.C. via a rigged election. Everybody catch that? Allow us to repeat that … $1.2 billion was stolen from the residents of Richland County, S.C. via a rigged election.

(To read more about this “Richland County Robbery” click here …)

Among the chief cheerleaders of this theft? Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce president Ike McLeese.

“The business community is advocating for it,” McLeese said of the tax hike. “Not because we love sales taxes or any form of taxes. But we see it as an investment in the infrastructure that will support economic development.”

Ah, yes … “economic development.”

Well guess what … McLeese is reportedly on the verge of getting paid handsomely for his advocacy. According to our sources, he has accepted a “consulting” gig with one of the developers whose projects is benefiting from money approved via the sales tax hike. Details are sketchy at this point, but it’s shaping up as yet another example of your hard earned tax dollars going directly into the pockets of the politically connected liberals who embrace business crippling tax hikes.

Sound familiar? This same scam played out with the “chamber” in Myrtle Beach, S.C. a few years ago … 

Tax hikes never promote “economic development.” And any “chamber of commerce” which says otherwise doesn’t know a damn thing about commerce … except how to inhibit it.