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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.

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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

Commentary

  • state house dome

    UPDATE: Surplus, Capital Reserve, Sine Die, Uber

    SESSION IS OVER … ALMOST The third week in June ended on a tragic note in the General Assembly, and attention has rightly been away from legislative business. In the interests of keeping tabs on the legislature, however, here’s a summary of the main business at present. Supplemental appropriations bill  The House passed a supplemental appropriations […]

  • Why the Gas Tax Is a Tax – Not a “Fee”

    THE DISTINCTION IS VITAL, AND STATE LAWMAKERS ARE WRONG TO IGNORE IT A common mentality inside the South Carolina General Assembly holds that all private goods and services belong to government. We’re calling this a mentality, not a doctrine or an explicit belief, because lawmakers rarely if ever state it explicitly. But the mentality is […]

  • ANALYSIS: Senate Compromise on Road Funding

    A COMPROMISE? SURE. A COMPILATION OF ALL THIS YEAR’S BAD IDEAS? THAT TOO. Last week, a majority of Senate Republicans produced a compromise on the subject of road funding. At this point, the legislation itself isn’t available to the public; we only have a press release. But if that release accurately reveals the plan’s details, the […]

  • The Myth of the Tax Swap

    STATE HOUSE ECONOMICS, CHAPTER II Following the governor’s lead on tax swaps, more than 20 Senate Republicans unveiled the outline of a compromise amendment to the Senate Finance gas tax bill. The heart of the proposal is the swap of a 1 percent cut to all income tax brackets for a variety of tax and […]

  • BILL ANALYSIS: Abolishing Certificate of Need Laws

    H.3250 is the most significant health care reform introduced so far this session. As it’s currently written (last updated May 6th), the bill would, beginning in 2018, repeal state laws that establish and regulate the Certificate of Needs (CON) program in South Carolina. A quick background: CON laws require medical providers to get government approval (a proof of […]

  • Who Holds the General Assembly Accountable?

    ANSWER: NO ONE. CONSIDER A RECENT ATTEMPT TO RAISE REVENUE IN THE SENATE. The General Assembly has long dominated South Carolina politics. Members of the House of Representative and Senate elect judges, perform executive functions such as procurement, and investigate and punish ethics violations in their own bodies. The pervasive nature of legislative dominance is […]

  • Bill Would Impose Sales Tax on Web Purchases

    LATEST ATTEMPT TO GET STATE HANDS ON NEW REVENUE MAY ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS OF LEGALITY, CONSTITUTIONALITY South Carolina’s sales tax is unfair in its imposition and isn’t producing enough revenue. At least that appears to be the opinion of many senators. Several who take that view introduced a measure they no doubt believe will help to […]

  • Lawmakers Continue to Raid Victims’ Funds

    IT’S MONEY. THEY WANT TO SPEND IT. THAT SETTLES IT. ANY QUESTIONS? In a little remarked upon move, South Carolina House members scrambled last month to insert line items from a failed bond package into the Capital Reserve Fund and Part 1B (provisos) of the state budget. To do that, members had to make minor […]

  • Senate Moving Ahead with Fee, Tax Hikes

    ● Numerous and complicated tax and fee hikes. ● Constitutional issue addressed – briefly. ● Bill to come up in full Senate next week. The Senate Finance Committee had a productive meeting on Wednesday, passing out a road funding bill to the full Senate. This may be good news for the committee, but it’s terrible news […]

  • ROAD (2)

    UPDATE: House & Senate Road Proposals

    DEBATE LIMITED TO ONE GOAL: HOW TO SEND MORE MONEY TO A BROKEN SYSTEM Tuesday’s Senate Finance Committee featured a lot of grandstanding but little action. Senators agreed to strike the original text of Sen. Cleary’s roads bill (S.523), but they have yet to vote on replacing its language with host of tax and fee […]