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#SC2018: Catherine Templeton Responds To National Dems

Gubernatorial candidate supports GOP tax plan, says more work needed at state level …

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We ran a story yesterday on national Democrats going after 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton – a Lowcountry lawyer and two-time former state agency head who has emerged as the most credible alternative to vulnerable GOP incumbent Henry McMaster.

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) was upset Templeton had yet to take a position on the tax reform bill currently hurtling toward passage in our nation’s capital.

You know, this bill …

We didn’t receive a response from Templeton’s campaign prior to going to press with our report, but she reached out to us late Tuesday with her thoughts.  Templeton said she supported the GOP tax plan, but added that in her estimation there was much more work that needed to be done at the state level.

“It’s about time we start relieving the stress that Washington has put on taxpaying Americans. But it doesn’t stop there,” the 47-year-old labor attorney told us. “The state government of South Carolina also needs to start acting more conservative, and instead of signing in the largest tax increase in modern history – like Henry McMaster did earlier this year – we need to slash government spending and return money back to those who work for it.  The Democrat Governors Association should be shaking in their boots, because when I am governor, they better believe there will be huge tax cuts.”

Good … Templeton’s rhetoric on taxes is similar to what we heard earlier this month from state senator Tom Davis, the leading fiscal conservative in the S.C. General Assembly.

(Click to view)

(Via: Provided)

Davis (above) has consistently pushed for broad cuts to South Carolina’s anti-competitive income tax rate, which is the highest in the southeast and one of the most regressive (applying to all income above $14,600).

Last week, Davis announced his intention to file legislation in 2018 that would “mitigate disproportionate treatment” in the event middle income earners and small businesses got left out of the federal tax cuts.

We hope he follows through on those plans …

As for the “largest tax increase in modern history” comment, Templeton is referring to an $846 million annual tax hike signed by McMaster in April as part of an effort to shore up the state’s woefully mismanaged pension fund.

This news site repeatedly argued against this levy – and we have argued for years that the state’s pension fund was a disaster and its corrupt leaders needed to be replaced.

Unfortunately, no one listened … and no one in the state’s media reported on it until it was too late.

McMaster’s only other major move on taxes was to veto a massive new levy that included higher fuel taxes – although as we previously pointed out his objection to this bill was offered with a wink and a nod to liberal state lawmakers.

Unlike McMaster, this news site consistently opposed this massive tax hike – and our founding editor Will Folks has actually filed a lawsuit challenging it on constitutional grounds.

We’ll be sure to update our readers in the event there is forward motion on that case …

Bottom line?  We’re glad to see Templeton issue some substantive comments on tax policy, and especially glad to see her advocating on behalf of tax relief.  We hope she follows up with a plan that fiscally conservative legislators like Davis can support and advance through the legislative process.

Our state’s struggling economy simply cannot afford to perpetuate the status quo any longer …

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