New Deregulation Bills Filed

ARE LAWMAKERS GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT REGULATION? The Policy Council has pointed out before the economically destructive effects of regulation. We’ve also argued that regulation is often – perhaps usually – less about protecting the consumer and more about protecting established businesses to the detriment  of would-be entrepreneurs. Several months ago, the Governor’s Regulatory Review Task […]

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The Ethics Bill: Still Alive, for Now

THE STICKING POINT: SELF-POLICING A House Judiciary subcommittee met on Tuesday to once again take up the “ethics bill” – H.3945. Versions of the bill have already passed both the Senate and the House, but rather than sending it to a conference committee, the House chose to amend the bill. The key sticking point has […]


How to Free South Carolina’s Energy Market

YOUR ELECTRICITY RATES ARE HIGH, AND GOING HIGHER. HERE’S THE REASON. In South Carolina – as in most other states – regulation has almost completely divorced the energy sector from the free market. Private energy providers must register with the state as public utilities in order to provide services. Once registered, the state helps enforce […]


A Crackdown on Accommodations Tax “Evaders”

LAWMAKERS’ ANSWER TO UNFAIRNESS: PUNISH MORE BUSINESSES, NOT FEWER Almost all forms of taxation raise the question of fairness. Why does one person pay a higher percentage of his or her income than another? Why is one industry given the advantage of a sales tax exemption, while another industry gets no such advantage? Why is […]

red tape

Committee Takes Up Regulatory Reform, Utility Cronyism

ONE STEP FORWARD, ANOTHER STEP BACK The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Wednesday to discuss multiple bills, two of which (S.256 and S.1011) we’ve been following this session. S.256 – the Regulatory Reform Act – passed the committee but not before receiving criticisms from multiple Senators – most notably Sen. Brad Hutto (D- Orangeburg). The […]


Top Ten Bills to Watch

KEEP AN EYE ON THESE Throughout December, lawmakers pre-filed their bills for the 2014 legislative session – 102 in the Senate and 83 in the House. It’s extremely difficult to predict which bills will be taken up and debated, and many excellent bills are unfortunately ignored. Some bills deserve attention on their merits, though – […]

minimum wage

Why Raising the Minimum Wage Raises Unemployment, Too

WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA, ISN’T Minimum wage workers around the country, including workers in South Carolina, made headlines recently when they protested in favor of higher wages. “America can’t survive on $7.25,” many of the signs read. The signs were of course in reference to America’s federally mandated minimum wage. While many states have […]

The History and Lessons of Mutual Aid

WHAT COMES AFTER THE WELFARE STATE? Today the welfare state is omnipresent in every part of the United States. The federal budget is dominated by entitlement spending, with 45 percent of federal spending in 2012 going to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare (among other health care entitlements). Simultaneously, the states are struggling under the fiscal […]

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 […]

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 […]