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Palmetto State “Restructured”




This week, South Carolina’s Senate overwhelmingly approved the first comprehensive restructuring of the Palmetto State’s bloated, dysfunctional government in more than twenty years …

The only problem? The “new” state government is every bit as bloated and dysfunctional as the old – although only a handful of lawmakers were willing to call out this “reform in name only” for what it was.

Sad … but par for the course in the Palmetto State, where the appearance of progress never seems to be accompanied by the real thing.

“I am for true restructuring but I am not for something that people can go tell the constituents that they did something, pat themselves on the back and then realize that business as usual rocks on here in Columbia,” said S.C. Sen. Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg), one of only four Senators to vote against the legislation.

Ah yes, “business as usual …”

That’s exactly what this “restructuring” legislation will do … spend a bunch of taxpayer money to slap new labels on the same entrenched, ineffective bureaucracy.

This legislation – championed by Democrat Vincent Sheheen and “Republican” Nikki Haley – didn’t get rid of any government agencies (at least not any agencies that weren’t replaced with new ones).

There were no meaningful spending cuts, agency consolidations or programmatic eliminations … and while there’s a modicum of enhanced accountability, the state’s executive branch remains hopelessly splintered (lawmakers preserved their stranglehold over agency procurement, for example).

“At a time when South Carolina’s leaders need to dramatically reduce the size of state government (and give those savings back to the people) they are choosing to rename a few offices and pocket the pennies they save,” we wrote last fall in assessing the latest version of restructuring.

In fact Haley’s version of restructuring would have actually grown government … 

Yeah …

The only good news in all this? The glad-handing politicians seeking voter approval for rearranging a sinking ship’s deck chairs are unlikely to receive the adulation they seek …

Why not? Because with exception of the echo chamber at the S.C. State House, no one even vaguely understands or remotely cares about this issue.

Taxes? Spending? Parental choices? Corruption? Those are issues the general public can sink its teeth into …

Government restructuring? Not so much …