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SC Budget Deal Reached




As expected, South Carolina legislative conferees reached a deal this week on a final version of the Palmetto State’s 2017-2018 budget – which is scheduled to take effect on July 1.

We don’t have a final dollar amount on the spending plan just yet, but as we’ve previously noted it is expected to top the $29 billion mark once food stamp appropriations are included.

Not counting food stamps – which lawmakers surreptitiously took off the state’s books back in 2014 – total spending is currently set at $27.4 billion.  That’s $1.1 billion more than was appropriated in the 2016-2017 budget – continuing a pattern of sustained growth.

Has this massive investment improved outcomes for the people of the Palmetto State?

No … not economically, academically or in regards to infrastructure.

Sadly, things are about to get even more expensive for South Carolina taxpayers.  The budget agreed to this week appropriates roughly $163 million toward what will ultimately be an annual $826 million tax hike intended to bail out the state’s woefully mismanaged pension fund.

Also, the state’s levy on gasoline is set to increase beginning on July 1 – part of a broader tax hike package that will drain $1.8 billion from the state’s economy over the next five years and another $600 million annually thereafter.

Oh, and let’s not forget the corresponding surge in borrowing.

We would be fine with some of these spending increases and tax increases if they were accompanied by corresponding spending reductions and tax cuts … and just as importantly … if they were accompanied by long-overdue structural reform to our broken, antiquated system of government.

None of that happened this year, though …

Instead, South Carolina lawmakers did what they always did: Threw good money after bad.

Complicating matters?  The Palmetto State’s mainstream media continue to focus only on one portion of the state budget – its $8 billion general fund.  They neglect to reference the nearly $8.7 billion in federal funds received by state government – or the nearly $11 billion in state funds collected via fines and fees.

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(Pic: SC State House)

That’s more than two-thirds of the state budget they completely ignore …

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: If the public keeps believing government is failing because it’s not getting enough money, then lawmakers’ scam will continue.  But if the public ever realizes it is subsidizing a massive expansion of government – and still getting abysmal outcomes – a majority of citizens may demand change.

This website will continue to report on the real numbers associated with state government’s ever-escalating spending and borrowing addiction – and continue to demand that this money be appropriated to core functions of government.

And yes, we will continue to hold politicians – and the mainstream media – accountable when they fail to do their jobs.

At some point the cycle of “more money, more failure” must be broken.



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Banner via Travis Bell Photography