THIS IS FISCAL CONSERVATISM?
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley issued the final budget vetoes of her first term in office this week … and as far as South Carolina taxpayers are concerned, she saved the worst for last.
Haley vetoed a minuscule $18.5 million out of the state’s $25.1 billion budget. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 0.07 percent of the state’s total spending plan . Assuming you don’t count the $1.5 billion South Carolina doles out on food stamps (and state lawmakers don’t), Haley’s anemic vetoes still add up to less than one tenth of one percent of the state budget.
That’s not fiscal conservatism, people. That’s rubber-stamping all manner of waste, inefficiency, duplication and unnecessary government.
Sadly, though, it’s what Palmetto taxpayers have come to expect from this governor … although this year she did manage to outdo her own veto anemia.
Last year Haley vetoed barely $100 million out of a $22.7 billion budget (.44 percent). She even went so far as to join “Republicans in Name Only” in the South Carolina Senate in approving a $26 million appropriation for U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature education initiative – an expansion of the state’s failed government-run early childhood education programs.
In 2012 she vetoed $60 million – or one quarter of one percent of a $23 billion budget.
The high water mark for Haley’s veto pen? Her first year in office, when she cut $213 million (.96 percent) from a $22.1 billion spending plan.
Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Steve French – who will be on the general election ballot in November – mocked Haley.
“The great fiscal conservative (Nikki Haley) vetoes $18.5 million of a staggering $25 billion dollar budget,” French tweeted. “What a joke.”
Indeed … unfortunately the joke is on all of us (FITS included) who believed the habitually dishonest Haley would remain true to her 2010 campaign promises about limiting the growth of government.