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Public Statements

Issue Position: Tax & Spending Reform

Issue Position

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Limit State Spending -- A business can't be competitive if it's wasting money and neither can our state. That's why I support measures to limit state spending. Measures to consider include a cap based on a formula equal to inflation plus population. Another is a cap of spending at the rate of population growth plus the growth in personal income. Both proposals are acceptable. South Carolinians work hard for their income and expect state government to spend the public's money as carefully as they spend their own. I will be a watchdog for our tax dollars in the General Assembly.

Demand Earmark Reform -- Currently, legislators can insert secret pork barrel spending projects into the state budget, putting an undue tax burden on hardworking families. Many of the requests for these projects are anonymous. I will support legislation to make all appropriation requests and their authors known to the taxpayers.

Revise the Tax Code -- South Carolina's tax code is antiquated and must be revised for our state to compete in the global economy. Many tax credits and incentives that currently exist -- including those for renovating historic properties -- are difficult to access or not practical. This will be a long-term project, but the sooner we get started, the sooner we can get the job done. I support efforts to revise the tax code as well as lower our state income tax.

Restructure State Government -- Our state government is out-dated, inefficient, and wasteful. I support measures to combine state agencies/departments to reduce duplication. We should allow voters to decide whether or not certain elected constitutional officers should be appointed. Further, we should do a top-to-bottom analysis of our education system to ensure that our tax dollars are getting to the students and the teachers in the classrooms. I support efforts to bring our 19th Century Government into the 21st Century.

Encourage Families to Save -- Surveys show that the average family spends more money than they earn. This is a recipe for disaster. The old adage "A penny saved is a penny earned" still is true today. We have to find ways that encourage our state's families to save money. This includes finding ways through revisions in our tax code so that saving is not penalized by an outdated tax code. I will support more tax incentives for college and retirement savings.


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