Is there a shortage of solid, well-written investigative news in South Carolina? Sadly, yes. If you want to know what politicians are doing with your money, THE NERVE is your source.

Freest State in the Nation?

Ever wonder why free-market reforms are virtually impossible to pass in a state as “conservative” as South Carolina? There is a reason – and there is a way forward.


Making South Carolina the freest state in the nation won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen easily. It’s taking long hours, hard work, and help from our friends, too.

About Us

Who Are We?

The South Carolina Policy Council was founded in 1986 by the late Thomas Roe of Greenville as a traditional think tank. The organization’s purpose was – and still is – to publish research and analysis showing the relevance of the American republic’s founding principles: limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty and responsibility.

But while our principles haven’t changed – nor will they ever – the times have. The internet allows groups like ours to publish new analysis immediately, and social media enable us to reach a wide audience of citizens and public officials as events are happening. Gone are the days when a research organization could publish the occasional lengthy white paper full of dense analysis and remain effective. Read More


  • Why Another Earned Income Credit Won’t Help

    MORE LAYERS OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS WON’T ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF POVERTY. BUT SOMETHING ELSE WILL. South Carolina is among the poorest states in the nation. That’s no secret. But with a comparatively high sales tax and personal income tax, South Carolinians also endure some of the highest taxes in the nation. The state’s top marginal tax […]

  • Common Core: It’s Bigger Than You Think

    COMMON CORE IS EVERYWHERE – BY DESIGN. REJECTING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN A BILL. Across the country, parents and teachers are waking up and forcing their states to reject the nationalized standards system, Common Core. This year in South Carolina, a large grassroots effort forced the General Assembly to pass legislation forcing new standards to […]

  • Not a Great Year for Freedom

    FAKE REFORM BILLS, NO EFFORT ON OBAMACARE, MASSIVE BUDGET INCREASE Every year should be a new opportunity in a supposedly “red” state like South Carolina for lawmakers to cut taxes, snip red tape, and promote personal liberty. Yet aside from a few bills that passed like restaurant carry and hemp production legalization, economic and personal […]

  • How to Dismantle the Regulatory State

      REGULATION STUNTS OUR ECONOMY AND HURTS CONSUMERS. HERE’S WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. South Carolina, like the rest of America, is suffering from burdensome regulation on individuals and businesses. But while every state suffers from excessive regulation from Washington, South Carolina is actually adding to the burden, not easing it. Virtually everyone in “red […]

  • Got Ethics

    Conference Committee Misses Mark on Ethics Reform

    ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK The conference committee on H.3945 (the “ethics bill”) met on Wednesday to hash out differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill before agreeing to draft a conference version of the legislation. Below are some of the notable provisions that were kept in (or left out of) the […]

  • Ticking-Clock

    Governor Calls for Income Tax Elimination…In the Last Week of Session

    A GREAT IDEA…BUT A LITTLE LATE This week, it came as a surprise to many when Governor Haley called for abolishing South Carolina’s income tax. This new proposal is significantly more ambitious than anything Haley has proposed on taxes before. The governor’s previous income tax proposal consisted of deleting the state’s 6 percent bracket in […]

  • Sadly, Common Core Is Not Dead

    IT’LL ONLY GO AWAY WHEN LAWMAKERS LEARN TO TURN AWAY FEDERAL CASH On several recent occasions we’ve heard pundits or public officials – and in one case a candidate for Superintendent of Education – claim that South Carolina has gotten rid of Common Core. If only. Now it’s true that the state Department of Education […]

  • SC ethics commission

    House Version of “Ethics Reform”: Smoke & Mirrors

    SH.3945 HAS GIVEN LAWMAKERS FAR TOO MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO DO BAD THINGS The House version of the “ethics reform bill,” H.3945, approved this week, is a beautiful example of why ethics reform shouldn’t be done in an “omnibus” bill. Put simply: omnibus bills give lawmakers too many chances to insert regressive measures and too many […]

  • Hey Senators, Here’s What to Cut

    WE KNOW, YOU WON’T CUT MUCH. BUT COULD YOU AT LEAST SKIM A LITTLE? The Senate is set to take up the budget recently approved by the Senate Finance Committee. When including General Funds, Other Funds, and Federal Funds (and the federal food stamp funds lawmakers for some reason no longer include in the budget), […]

  • S.C.’s Economic Outlook Still Lackluster

     A BRIEF LOOK AT WHY  The latest ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index ranks South Carolina’s economic outlook at 31st in the nation. That’s right. Despite handing out hundreds of millions of public dollars in corporate welfare, hundreds of press releases proclaiming new jobs and investments, and countless ribbon-cutting ceremonies, South Carolina’s economic outlook still lags […]