Most people love it when politicians get along. I don’t. When all the politicians agree on something, taxpayers beware. There is usually something underhanded going on when that happens. That was the case last week when the South Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed a $23.3 billion spending package 115-0.
The budget spends $6.5 billion out of the general fund which represents a record amount of spending for the general fund, nearly $900 million more than last year. The state will spend a total of $23.3 billion, a $1.2 billion increase over last year, when one includes total spending which includes federal funds and fees. Either way, it represents a record level of spending for South Carolina.
In fact, it was so much in increased spending on things like state employee pay and education, that the Democrats crowed about their political home run. The South Carolina House Democrat Caucus was jubilant about a 2% raise for all state employees and a 2% raise for public school teachers. It also pointed out that 80,000 more children will be enrolled in an expanded government health care scheme.
After the vote, House Minority Leader Harry Ott (D-Orangeburg) said Democrats were able to accomplish several things but claimed it is not “perfect.”
Harry Ott said, “Let me be clear. This budget is not perfect. But it is a small step in the right direction. Democrats will continue to fight for higher levels of accountability, increased support for teachers and state employees, and a stronger economy.”
What neither the Democrats nor the Republicans wanted to bring up was how the House budget uses taxpayer money to fund abortions in certain circumstances for state employees. One Senate Republican is going to try to block the abortion funding. Forcefully objecting to the provision, State Senator Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) complained that to his knowledge, “not a single Representative bothered to speak up for the taxpayer having to pay to abort perfectly innocent children.”
Ignoring that issue and mirroring the attitude of establishment Republicans in Washington, Republican House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R-Charleston) was proud of the budget saying, “This fiscally conservative budget is all about making South Carolina more competitive, promoting accountable government, limiting growth by focusing on core functions and responsibly planning for our state’s economic future.”
If that was really the case, I wonder why the Democrats unanimously supported the bill? Somehow record spending, pay increases for public sector employees, massive increases in government-run health care rolls, and public funding for abortion helps bring those Democrat votes on board, doesn’t it?
It’s not too late to stop this budget from being enacted. Contact your Senator and let him or her know that you aren’t going to be fooled by Columbia’s tricks. Tell them you oppose any abortion funding and that you aren’t going to tolerate following the same path to disaster that the State Legislature traveled down just a few years ago. There is no reason why South Carolina has to have yet another year of record spending. It’s time to get our fiscal house in order.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina. This article is not an official statement of position by the RLCSC.