Nikki Haley’s German Vacation

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and her Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt are spending the next four days in Germany – attending the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA), a.k.a. the Frankfurt Auto Show. Held biennially in Germany’s industrial heartland, the IAA bills itself as the largest automotive show in the world – and Haley,…

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and her Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt are spending the next four days in Germany – attending the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA), a.k.a. the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Held biennially in Germany’s industrial heartland, the IAA bills itself as the largest automotive show in the world – and Haley, Hitt and at least four other taxpayer-funded “economic development” employees will attend it in search of companies to bribe with our tax dollars.

Haley’s international travel has drawn extensive scrutiny – and criticism – in the past.

In the summer of 2011 she led a massive delegation to the Paris Air Show – a trip which has yet to produce dividends. Among other taxpayer-funded expanses, Haley’s $231,000 Paris jaunt included a $105,000 chalet, $30,000 soiree as well as thousands of dollars to cover luxury amenities like five-star accommodations, gourmet meals at exclusive restaurants and “VIP” travel arrangements.

Later that year, Haley led a South Carolina delegation on a four-day trip to London for another air show – while last September she and her husband Michael Haley led a 40-person South Carolina delegation on a  three-day “economic development” mission to Japan.

Those trips cost taxpayers another $134,000 – at least.

Have Haley’s job creation efforts paid off? Not really …

A report released earlier this year ranked South Carolina as one of the worst states in America try and make a living. Other recent reports showed the Palmetto State as having a terrible business tax climate as well as zero upward mobility for its citizens. Meanwhile our labor participation rate is hovering at record lows.

According to a report released earlier this summer, Haley ranked 34th out of 45 governors surveyed when it comes to private sector job creation (five governors were not ranked because they entered office in 2013). One of those unranked governors – North Carolina’s Pat McCrory – just leapfrogged Haley in a big way.

Haley’s problem? She’s relying on the same failed “command economic model” of economic development which has held our state back for decades – a model that consists of doling out massive tax breaks (and actual government payouts) to select companies at the expense of taxpayers and small businesses.

That’s what South Carolinians should be furious over – not necessarily the cost of these overseas trips, but the costs associated with these taxpayer-funded handouts.

What do you think? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …

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Same ol' Same ol' September 10, 2013 at 9:16 am

I’m on the fence with this kind of thing. If you don’t show, then no one will know you exist and you won’t have the opportunity to “sell” your wares. If you do show, you should have a plan, not just vacate at taxpayer expense. The list of who goes should be scrutinized, as well.

Another observation, 4 days in Germany sucks, no matter who you are. 11 hour flight over and back, you need more than 4 days just to realize you’re human again. We used to do a lot of 7 day trips like that and those were hellish enough.

Also, 40 people to Japan for 3 days? 40, of course, is way too many, 3 days for a 12- 14 hour flight is absolutely crazy. If it were me, I’d decline that jaunt, if I could.

Same ol' Same ol' September 10, 2013 at 9:28 am

One more thought, if I were a sitting governor, I certainly wouldn’t stay in motel 6. It’s ok to be frugal, as needed, but don’t cheap out when you’re partying with potential vendors.

9" September 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

What about the bratwurst? And Austria?

Guest September 10, 2013 at 9:17 am

If she’s doing so bad, should she stop or do more? Work harder or quit?

You don’t make any sense.

This website sucks. You need to figure out your editorial direction before you completely lose your way. You can’t be all things to all people and you need a real message.

nitrat September 10, 2013 at 10:10 am

You have to understand.
He’s a Libertarian ‘Republican’.
They ‘think’ in talking points.
Which means they don’t ‘think’ much at all.

Karolyn September 10, 2013 at 10:36 am

The thing is, what’s she doing?

jimlewisowb September 10, 2013 at 9:29 am

Do believe that most adults are familiar with the Mile High Club

Not as well known, but perhaps more exciting is the Autobahn Club

There is no speed limit on most sections of the Autobahn. Also there is no German law prohibiting sex acts while one is driving on the Autobahn.

Therefore the game is on when one pushes the seat back, gets their partner to climb on top, puts the pedal to the metal and see which comes first: redline or their partner’s screaming

Kinda hope the Governor gives it a try. As a taxpayer I have been fucked just about everyway possible and the thought getting it up the ass at 120 mph sounds a little exciting, perverted true, but still a little exciting

Jen September 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

Mile High China Club…right Mark?

EJB September 10, 2013 at 9:58 am

I’m not against going to the shows to display SC to the world, it’s the screwy deals they make when they get back home. I would like to see an economic development plan that provides an attractive business environment that first encourages businesses currently operating in SC to stay and then get others to move here. Filter out the “rent seeking” regulations and nonsensical laws that just try to provide a favorable playing field for some politicians friends/contributors. Eliminate corporate taxes and moderate property taxes. Then welcome them when they come. If they seek additional goodies tell them sorry.

When the Amazon deal was announced the state advertised there would be 2,000 jobs and the cost was upwards of $40 million. Shortly after that I went to visit my Dad in the Tampa area and a headline in their local paper blazed they had landed a company (can’t remember who) that would bring 1,000 jobs at a cost of $3.5 million. I think our people that cook up these deals are getting flummoxed by professional “economic development” dealers and we end up coughing up way more than we have to. We aren’t Florida (no income taxes) and we don’t have nearly the volume of tourists that they do but we have marketable assets that can land jobs if we have a favorable business environment.

Marie Harrison September 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

Should SC taxpayers subsidize a one way India trip for her whole family? Please vote.

Karolyn September 10, 2013 at 10:34 am

I thought she was a Tea Partier! Aren’t they for less spending? Yet, she turns down money offered by the Fed that goes to some other state!

Appropriate??? September 10, 2013 at 10:55 am

“Mark Sanford Won Exemption to Take Fiancée on All-Expenses Trip to Israel” (maybe it served as a honeymoon? That cheapskate!) – read the story in National Journal. Maria Belen Chapur later wrote about her trip in an

Infobae Opinion piece”

“Medio Oriente en llamas”

which some commenters took issue with stating “Esta es -como abundan- otra de esas pseudo analistas, que repiten el
discurso de los asesinos yankis y sionistas, la minoria de las veces por
convicion y odio islamofobico, la mayoria por dinero.” “RATA COMPRADA POR USA!!!” ” Cuanta guita vale tu etica y moral MARIA BELEN CHAPUR???”

Those crazy kids are at it again!

carrie September 10, 2013 at 11:22 am

Just read it, the only thing she told us that was new was the fact Mark took her to Israel. All the other opinions she wrote were already expressed by others. Hate the thought that we are going to be paying for future trips for the (can’t say it).

Bill September 10, 2013 at 11:43 am

All she does is make fundraising calls. 24/7. She has called me three times and I am a small donor. She has called everyone I know.

Does the woman work? Will she be calling us for money from Germany? We she confine her shakedowns to Germany?

At some point she has got to do some actual governor work. Maybe it will be in her second term.

Smirks September 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I see “Yes” and “No” but clearly no “Hell No” option. :(

Raymond September 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I would expect maybe for Hitt and one other department employee to make trips such as this with Haley’s approvial of the expense. As long as she is going, she can’t be objective about its necessity. I would also expect the accomodations to be reasonably frugal befitting the economic conditions under which her subjects… er, I mean the South Carolina citizens… are enduring. Delegate, Ms. Haley, delegate.

Squishy123 September 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

If elected will Sheheen not take similar trips?

guest September 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

If he takes trips, he will take his wife not some bimbo from another country another continent.

Steve September 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Hitt — Does he ever stop eating? He gives the state an unhealthy image. 380 lbs.? Ugh.

Same ol' Same ol' September 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm

‘Sup wit d comment times. Somebody changin shit. Will done let Nancy take over. No good stuff here anymore, all is not “unfair, imbalanced”.
Guess whoever writes the checks gets the stories.
Oh well, I may read from time to time, but I think I’m done.
In SC nothing will happen. It will be Same ‘Ol Same ‘Ol no matter what.
No such thing as Karma, evil does win most of the time. Best to stay out of the way.

Just look at Big Jim Rennie on “The Dome” reminds me so much of SC.
I’ll just try to keep my head low, wait for retirement, if there is any when I get there.
Hope and change, y’all.

Nancy September 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm

You still fucking queer politicians?


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