How “Waiving” NCLB Reinforced Federal Control

WE HATE TO SAY WE TOLD YOU SO, BUT WE DID In September 2011, a week after President Obama announced that states could apply for waivers from some No Child Left Behind provisions, we warned against accepting the notion that getting these waivers would return any real power over education back to the states. We […]

Damaged Crops: What’s Government’s Role?

GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES FOR THE STATE’S BIGGEST FARMS ARE MORE LAVISH THAN YOU MAY REALIZE South Carolina received quite a bit of rain recently, causing damage to, and a loss of yield for, several crops produced by South Carolina farms. Does government have a responsibility to recoup farmers for part of their losses – a responsibility […]

Common Core in South Carolina: FAQs

 WHAT IS IT? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? Over the past several weeks, a great deal of controversy and discussions have arisen on the topic of Common Core Curriculum. We asked our policy analysts to explain exactly what the program is, whether South Carolina has opted in to […]

What Will ‘Obamacare’ Mean for You?

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IS ABOUT TO BE A BIG PART OF YOUR WORLD The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, has already begun to take effect on the nation’s taxpayers and economy. Over the next year, as The Nerve reports today, South Carolina employers will be faced with serious – and […]

How to Fund Road Maintenance

(WITHOUT RAISING TAXES) How do lawmakers propose to deal with the fact that South Carolina’s roads and bridges are in suboptimal shape? The governing assumption behind most answers to this question (including one Senate proposal supported by Senate Finance chairman Hugh Leatherman) seems to be that, in order to pay for road and bridge repair, […]

ObamaCare by the Back Door?

MANY SOUTH CAROLINA POLITICIANS HAVE SPOKEN OUT STRONGLY AGAINST OBAMACARE. THEIR ACTIONS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY. In March, Governor Nikki Haley publicly stated that “as long as [she is] the governor of South Carolina, we will not expand Medicaid on President Obama’s watch.” Also in March, House Speaker Bobby Harrell lauded the House budget vote […]

Push Back: How South Carolina Can Respond to “Obamacare”

THE PROBLEM: The new federal health care takeover will add trillions to the nation’s debt, raise taxes by $669 billion, heap burdensome regulations on South Carolina businesses, and spark sharp increases in insurance rates for consumers.

The State Budget: Your priorities – or theirs?

YOU’RE A TAXPAYER? SORRY, YOU DIDN’T MAKE THE PRIORITY LIST This year, the General Assembly had more than $1 billion in new revenue to appropriate. The final version of the $23.5 billion spending plan, therefore, should be an excellent gauge of lawmakers’ priorities. Here’s what we know: Lawmakers created 250+ new full-time government employees; gave […]

DoT’s Budget – How not to fund an agency

The South Carolina Department of Transportation has one of the largest budgets in state government, yet it can’t afford to maintain the state’s roads. Why? Because most of DoT’s money isn’t state money – it’s federal.  The mission of the Department of Transportation is to maintain a public transportation system “that is consistent with the […]

Financial Coercion: Federal Control of South Carolina’s Entitlements

Part of the Obama administration’s stimulus bill established unemployment “incentive grants” to states who “modernize” (translation: expand) unemployment benefit eligibility. Any state whose law coheres with federal standards could receive the money. For South Carolina, the federal government offered $97 million dollars in federal funds if – and only if – state lawmakers changed state law to expand unemployment benefit eligibility.