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Nice Work, Dumbasses October 12, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
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AFTER THREE-YEAR SPENDING ORGY, STATE FACES ANOTHER REVENUE SHORTFALL

FITSNews – October 12, 2007 – South Carolina is facing a $430 million budget deficit for FY 2008-09 and doesn’t have the cash to pay for everything our crazy-spending, business-unfriendly legislators’ included in the current state budget, the S.C. Board of Economic Advisors said yesterday. The Board had projected $250 million in revenue growth this year (which legislators have already spent, of course), but it turns out South Carolina is showing negative income growth over the first three months of the fiscal year that began July 1.

Negative income growth? In South Carolina? Geez, you’re friggin’ joking … what the hell could have caused that?

Oh wait, we know … instead of cutting taxes that would have actually stimulated economic growth (i.e. personal income, corporate income taxes), legislators instead embarked on a social welfare program that included grocery tax cuts and a paltry $86 million in income tax relief for bottom-rung earners. Worse still, these “tax cuts” came on the heels of a populist property tax/ sales tax swap from a year earlier that also failed to provide any real tax relief – let alone target it toward job creation or income growth.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, legislators also blew through $1.5 billion in new spending last year alone, part of a 41% increase over the past three years.

Of course this isn’t the first time South Carolina “Republicans” have spent like drunken Democrats and then left taxpayers holding the bag … the same exact thing happened just before the last budget meltdown in 2001-02.

But while your income growth remains stagnant, your taxes remain high, your schools remain the nation’s worst and your government remains asininely splintered, wasteful and dysfunctional, there is some good news …

For example, State Sen. Hugh Leatherman sent $9 million in pork out back home to Florence County for a new performing arts center and museum, and House Ways & Means Chairman Dan Cooper got over $1 million to build some athletic fields and a sports complex up in Anderson (named after his dear old pappy, “Dolly” Cooper).

So yeah – our state’s economy may once again be in the sh*tter, but at least there’s exercise to be had in Anderson and culture to be found in the Pee Dee.

Oh, and nice work by the BEA, too. These “economic advisors” always hit it on the mark … if by “on the mark” you mean missing the revenue estimates by a quarter of a billion dollars or more almost every year.

Seriously, we could put an intoxicated monkey with a “Price is Right” wheel at the helm of the BEA and get more reliable economic forecasting than we’re getting now.

UPDATE – By the way, the $430 million deficit doesn’t even include the court-mandated $60-100 million for 4-K pre-school, any additional road or bridge funding, state employee cost-of-living raises and a whole bunch of other sort of important stuff.

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Comments»

1. Annette - October 12, 2007

At least you’re not going to accuse me of spending money like a drunken sailor. After all, I’m no sailor!

2. Believe It Not - October 12, 2007

Everyone knows how much it pains the staff here at BIN to agree with sic(k) will, but there have been a few times in the past when he’s made a few intelligent posts. This is not one of them.

This post is a paper thin analysis and is intended only to generate hits to his site – and steam a few key elected officials.

Geez-a-ree, hasn’t he steamed them a few times already?

But, will’s logic is warped. Take public education for example.

Yes, we have a long way to go. The problems start with poverty and social issues that the Legislature never has had the stomach to really address. They won’t either, until a court forces them too.

If this predicted “budget deficit” does happen (and it will, someday), then one of the first and most vulnerable groups of citizens to suffer will be South Carolina’s children.

We can just hear a “prominent midlands’ elected official” lecturing us the next time funding for our schools is cut. He will point his finger at the crowd and sternly say there only “…100 cents in a dollar.”

We do agree with sic(k) willie, sometimes, when he questions how much cents and sense there tis in our Legislature. 🙂

Go Cocks, Beat them all.
Go Clemson, Do the Best You Can.
Go will, And Flush When You Finish.

-Believe It Not News

3. G.L. - October 12, 2007

Thanks for bringing this out. I hope the mainstream media picks up on this and clearly explains the ramifications and causes.

4. Natasha - October 12, 2007

BIN – come on now…are you for real? Will didn’t even touch education in this piece. But in your example, I hate to state the OBVIOUS, but I think it’s fair to say South Carolina’s children are already suffering…That boat anchored a long time ago…

But lets get back to Will’s blog. It was a good post, talking economics in a short blog is difficult. Will at the very least, is shedding light on REAL issues. And he has a sense of humor while doing so, so, it’s entertaining. If we didn’t have all that pork spending by the general assembly, there might be more money leftover for education, but wait a minute, that means the legislature would have to put a hold on the “good ol’ boy” network and that will NEVER happen.

5. baked - October 12, 2007

Agreed GL..except there’s no way any electronic mainstream media ever picks this up. And if they did, who’s still watching local news? Voters? A very small fraction. This is much too complicated a story for the spoon-fed emtpy-headers on local TV, at least here in Columbia.

As for the printed media…look for a nice heart-warming story on the senior Mr Cooper and the Florence Fine Arts Center along with comments on how this is the type of stuff that couldn’t get done without government dollars.

Unfortunately, there is NO mainstream media in Columbia that will ever touch this type of story.

6. Prudence - October 12, 2007

And the $430 million deficit doesn’t even include the $540 million the state needs to pay into the OPEB trust fund just to keep us solvent re: that $10 billion liability. And how much did the legislature appropriate to that liability last session? $50 million, and then gave it the lowest-priority so that if was the first to go a couple of months agon when Eckstrom announced the shortfall for the current fiscal year. I hope Sanford and the others (Club for Growth, Reform SC, Carolinians for Change, SCRG) torch RINOs next session and then salt the earth.

7. The 7-10 - October 12, 2007

When Republicans control the purse strings and bust the budget, they commonly say “we lost our way because we acted like Democrats” just like you did in this post.

The problem is, whatever happened to personal accountability? Seems like Republicans in Washington were “spending like Democrats” during the first 6 years of the Bush administration (the Republican Bush did not veto their bills) and Republicans in Columbia have been “spending like Democrats” too during the Sanford administration (the Republican Sanford allowed this spending to go on). And in Washington and in Columbia, the budgets are busted.

So I guess what I’m getting at is two things: 1) “Personal accountability” seems to be more of a slogan than anything else, and 2) since the Democrats haven’t been in control of the levers of power in Columbia or in Washington (at least not until January of this year), the charge that “Republicans were spending like Democrats” is a lie because if that were true, they wouldn’t have been spending anything at all.

Why don’t Republicans just admit they screwed up without trying to pawn off the blame on others? If you want to be partisan about it, since Democrats haven’t been spending any money at all under Sanford and during the first 6 years of Bush, Republicans have been spending money like, well, Republicans!

8. Guiding Light - October 12, 2007

7-10,

A pretty good analysis, except for one major flaw. Sanford didn’t “allow” anything. He pushed, prodded and jumped up and down trying to get the legislature to control its spending. He’s issued about eleventy-kabillion budget vetoes, only to see them overridden. In 2006 he vetoed the entire budget. If you’ve got any suggestions on what else he could have done, I’ll bet he’d be glad to hear them.

9. White Sports Coat - October 15, 2007

I have to agree with the 7-10. The Democrats have not controlled the State House in nearly fourteen years! Sanford is midway through his second term and except for the four years of Hodges, the Republicans have held the Governor’s Mansion for twenty years. For the better part of an entire decade, The Rethugs have controlled the White House, The US Senate, The US House of Representatives, The Governors Mansion, The SC State Senate, The SC House of Representatives and most of the SC County Courthouses. Puh-leeze tell me how it is the Democrats fault? At some point, decades into the future I’m sure, the Republicans are going to have to find another scapegoat-blaming everything on Bill Clinton surely can’t work forever!


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