Our state's budget continues to grow at an unacceptable pace. From 2005 to 2008 our state government grew by 43 percent. In 2007 and 2008, we had surpluses of $1 billion and $1.5 billion. Unfortunately, the General Assembly did not choose to return this money to the taxpayer. Instead, it chose to spend the money and now cannot account for it, and virtually nothing was set aside for lean years. Fast forward. This past year, our budget was nearly $1 BILLION short of its estimated collections. What did the General Assembly do? They chose across-the-board cuts rather than removing less worthy programs or prioritizing our spending. Instead of leadership, there were threats that teachers and police officers would be cut. This was nothing more than a scare tactic to justify the acceptance of federal stimulus funds. It showed no real attempts at long term solutions. We need to return to sound fiscal management. The state should only take in what is necessary and return the rest to the taxpayer. Additionally, the growth of government and its spending should be limited by statute.
When in office, I pledge to support legislation that will end the out of control expenditure cycle. In my home, we save for a rainy day. When that day comes, we try very, very hard to not spend that fund. Why can't our state government act the same way. Unfortunately, when it isn't their money, they seem to treat it as a tool to secure their seat in office rather than doing what is right and being tight with the money the state receives. In addition, I believe the state ought to think more than twice before it takes hard earned money from any person in South Carolina. Remember, it is your money first! Unfortunately, too many office holders believe they should dip into your paycheck before you do. This is simply wrong and must be stopped.