It’s here: Best & Worst of 2015

SOUTH CAROLINA’S ONLY COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF EVERY YEAR’S LEGISLATIVE SESSION Our guide to the 2015 legislative session – The Best and Worst of the General Assembly – has just been published. It’s the only publication of its kind in the state. We examine every major bill, explain what it would do in plain English, and assess it according to […]

Category: Best & Worst · Tags:

Best & Worst of the General Assembly

HOW’D THE LEGISLATURE DO? Every year since 2009, we’ve given readers a guided tour of the legislative session’s follies, misadventures, missed opportunities, and accomplishments. This year’s guide includes sections on tax favors, education, spending, health care, restructuring, regulation, and individual liberties. There are also substantive explanations on Common Core, tax reform, and the debacle known as […]

Category: Best & Worst, Research · Tags:


Judicial Independence: WWFD?

“THERE IS NO LIBERTY, IF THE POWER OF JUDGING BE NOT SEPARATED FROM THE LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE POWERS.” South Carolina state government is inordinately under control of the legislative branch. From the power to appoint hundreds of members to boards and commissions, to the power to elect judges, the General Assembly has far too much […]

Banning E-Cigs: WWFD?

‘SOME PEOPLE DON’T LIKE IT’ ISN’T A SUFFICIENT REASON TO CURTAIL INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in a letter of 1819, “within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often […]


Allowing Hemp Cultivation: WWFD?

ONCE UPON A TIME, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULDN’T BAN A PRODUCT SIMPLY BECAUSE IT WANTED TO A bill pre-filed in the South Carolina Senate will likely attract a lot of attention. The legislation – S.839  (more of our analysis on the bill here) – is indirectly related to one of the most discussed political issues […]

Category: Commentary, Individual Liberty, WWFD? · Tags:

declaration founders

Fines & Fees Imposed by the Unelected: WWFD?

WHY THE DANGER OF ‘TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION’ IS STILL  WITH US In many states – certainly including South Carolina – the state can raise taxes on citizens without even consulting the legislature. If that sounds outrageous, consider the fact that fines and fees are taxes. The raising of fines and fees on citizens by state […]


George Washington and the Budget & Control Board

    WHAT WOULD THE FOUNDERS DO ABOUT S.C.’S GOVT. STRUCTURE? As we stand today, South Carolina’s state government is full of blurred lines of responsibility across the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Executive boards are full of legislature appointees. The power over government purchases – that all-important power boringly known as procurement – stands […]

Category: Commentary, WWFD? · Tags:

What Would the Founders Do about Our Income Tax?

WOULD THE FOUNDERS BE SATISFIED WITH JUST ‘SIMPLIFYING’ THE INCOME TAX CODE? Among the several tax-related bills we analyzed in our annual guide, The Best & Worst of the General Assembly, is legislation purporting to simplify the state’s tax code and lower taxes on South Carolinians. H.3266 would reduce the state’s current six income tax brackets […]


Half-Year Legislative Sessions: WWFD?

S.C.’S SESSION SUFFOCATES REFORM AND CULTIVATES FULL-TIME POLITICIANS: WHAT WOULD THE FOUNDERS DO? The Policy Council has long taken the view that South Carolina’s legislative session is far too long. One might at first think a long session is necessary in order to let lawmakers “get things done,” but in part that’s precisely the problem […]

george mason

Unlawful Seizure of Cell Phones: What Would George Mason Say?

LIKE IT OR NOT, THE FOURTH AMENDMENT EXISTS Among the few excellent bills filed during the 2013 legislative session – and analyzed in our Best & Worst guide (download here) – is H.3059. This refreshingly short and uncomplicated bill would make it illegal for law enforcement officers to seize cell phones, video recorders, or other electronic recording devices at the […]