Tag: South Carolina state budget

Bureaucratic Middle Men in State Government

  FOR GOVERNMENT, IT TAKES A LOT OF MONEY TO SPEND MONEY South Carolina’s state budget now tops $24 billion – a staggering sum (and just to put that in perspective, remember: a billion is a thousand millions – and state government takes 24 of those out of the private economy for just one year). …

Another Useless Attempt to Cap Spending

IT WON’T CAP SPENDING IF GOVERNMENT GETS TO KEEP THE MONEY Yet another legislative session is about to pass in which there was some talk about controlling state spending, but nothing done. Back in February, House members introduced a bill that aimed to limit state spending by capping General Fund (GF) appropriations. Specifically the bill …

Is State Government Shrinking – or Growing?

 TAXPAYERS ARE GETTING POORER. GOVERNMENT ISN’T. Lately a number of commentators have tried to make the case that South Carolina is already a lean model of low taxes and limited government. These commentators don’t actually approve of these ideals – in fact they favor a much more active and expanded role for government than we …

Capital “Reserve” Fund?

SINCE WHEN DOES ‘RESERVE’ MEAN ‘SLUSH’? As has become a yearly tradition, legislators have voted to raid the Capital Reserve Fund to funnel money to their own pet projects. The purpose of the Fund is to finance previously authorized capital improvement bond projects and to retire interest or principal on previous bonds. Each year, the …

Budget Transparency: How to Get There

STEP NO. 1: ELIMINATE THE HALF THAT ALMOST NOBODY CAN READ Each fiscal year, the South Carolina state budget is split into two major pieces: Part 1A and Part 1B. While both parts are excruciatingly boring to read, the first part – 1A – is at least understandable. Part 1B, on the other hand, is …

How (and How Not) to Cap Government Spending

A WEAK LIMIT IS WORSE THAN NO LIMIT If the last few legislative sessions prove anything, it’s that almost nothing can compel state lawmakers to exercise spending restraint. A report released by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) revealed South Carolina increased state spending by 26.5 percent from 2010-11. The most recent budget …