Making Earmarks Public

 PERSONAL FUNDING REQUESTS SHOULDN’T BE ANONYMOUS A vast amount of money, but you know virtually nothing about what’s being spent, or why. That’s not because you’re uninformed – the state budget is designed to be as opaque, secretive, and abstruse as possible. The state spending plan is supposed to begin with a hearing on the […]

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State Budget Skyrockets in Ten Years

SO THIS IS THEIR IDEA OF “CONSERVATIVE” BUDGETING? Despite South Carolina politicians’ claims over the past decade that South Carolina has a “conservative” budget, the FY 2014-15 budget passed by the House is significantly larger than the 2005-06 budget. When accounting for inflation – converting 2006 dollars to 2014 dollars – the $25 billion House […]

Farm Bill

The Ways & Means Budget Is Here

  SHORT VERSION: MASSIVE HIKES FOR THE USUAL SUSPECTS The House will begin debate on another record high budget today. At $25.4 billion (assuming a $1.5 billion food stamp item for some reason no longer listed in the budget), the Ways and Means Committee’s proposed budget is over $1 billion higher than last year’s ratified […]

How Do We Stop ObamaCare? Transparency.

  WHERE’S THE MONEY GOING? HOW MUCH? WHAT FOR?  The federal health care law known as “ObamaCare” gets more unpopular every week, but the question for citizens and policymakers is the same: What can be done about it? Many of the law’s critics contend that it can be nullified. What many advocates of this approach […]

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Governor Proposes Most Liberal Budget in SC History

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER RECORD BUDGET At roughly $25 billion, it can be said that the executive budget for Fiscal Year 2014-15 is the most liberal in state history. While the proposal states the total budget is roughly $23.5 billion, for the second year in a row, the executive budget does not include the roughly $1.5 […]

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What You’ll Be Spending in 2014, Part II

MORE MONEY FOR K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION: A GOOD IDEA? State agencies virtually always ask for more money than they had last year. That’s what they do – even, or especially, when their purported functions are producing lackluster results or failing altogether. Consider South Carolina’s public and higher education system. K-12 Education In total, the Department […]

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The State Budget: What You’ll Be Paying for Next Year

‘AGRITOURISM’ AND OTHER LESSONS IN NONSENSICAL GOVERNMENT GROWTH Every year, South Carolina state agencies tell lawmakers how much money they want for the upcoming fiscal year. Unfortunately for taxpayers, they don’t offer a comprehensive report on what the money will be used for; indeed, they specify only the amounts the agencies want above what they […]

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Contract, Clarity, and a Return to Sovereignty

HOW TO STOP FEDERAL COERCION – INCLUDING OBAMACARE – AND ENACT FREE MARKET REFORM   [Pdf. of full report here; a briefer version of the report here.] For three years, policy experts, citizen groups, and politicians have argued for multiple approaches to either blunting the effects of ObamaCare or abolishing it altogether. The Affordable Care Act is […]

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The Risks of State Property Insurance

GOVERNMENT IS SHIFTING THE COST OF COASTAL LIVING On October 30th a legislative subcommittee will meet to discuss the issue of the availability and cost of coastal property insurance. South Carolina coastal residents have been fortunate this year in that South Carolina, as well as other coastal states, has enjoyed a relatively mild hurricane season. […]

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A New Approach to Unemployment?

SOUTH CAROLINIANS ARE PAYING BILLIONS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE? On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce, and Industry met to discuss a massive debt owed by the state unemployment trust fund to the federal government. Like many programs imposed on the states by the federal government, unemployment insurance, with its ever-expanding […]