Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Why the name? My first BLOG

Why the name "Walk-on Legislator?" This is kind of how I feel sometimes serving in the SC House. See, I know what it feels like to be a walk-on athlete and the feelings are similar to what I am feeling now. As a walk-on athlete, you don't get the same "looks" as scholarship athletes. You don't get as many reps or plays (or as many chances to make mistakes such as running the wrong pattern). You had better make the most of any opportunities you get. I don't know if that makes sense, but the feelings are similar.
Why a Blog? I guess that I have a few things to get off of my chest from time to time. I enjoy reading some blogs, so I figured - what the hay!

Budget 2007
Let's discuss the state's budget which is currently being worked on. $7.875 Billion. WOW! We will see around $1.5 Billion in surplus money this year and had $1 Billion last year. Add 2005 in the mix and we have seen approximately $3 Billion in surpluses in the last three years. Now, I ask you: As the average Joe citizen in South Carolina have you seen any benefit? We ought to be giving some of this money back to the taxpayers. We tend to forget that it was the taxpayer's money before it was the governments. And we are proceeding to spend almost every dime. Aren't the Republicans in control? Super majority in the House; majority in the Senate; Lt. Governor; Governor; now the Treasurer, too. I don't get it and I am frustrated.

Cigarette Tax

Why pick this year to pass a cigarette tax increase? And if that is the will, why miss the opportunity to do something for the citizens of the state? We could have used the money to fund Medicaid or create a small business insurance pool to allow small businesses to provide affordable health insurance to their employees. But the "Leadership" wanted to have a tax swap - to be revenue neutral. OK. But why do something half-way by reducing the tax on groceries. Why not a total elimination of the grocery tax? Not enough money generated by the cigarette tax increase to cover the elimination? Why not use some of the surplus to make up the difference? We have $1.5 Billion for the love of Pete!!! I put up an Amendment to totally eliminate the tax on groceries - a way to give every citizen in South Carolina some money back this year. Nobody took it seriously or cared to listen as they were dazed by the previous defeat of the Crawford / Harrell Amendment seconds before. Obviously we are not serious about giving the taxpayers some of their hard-earned money back. The cigarette tax bill was Mickey Mouse and will never get taken up in the Senate, I don't think. I wore my Mickey Mouse tie to the Statehouse today for symbolism of the things that go on there sometimes.

I remember reading somewhere that those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
November Elections 2006. The Republicans lost the US Congress because they had lost touch. They forgot that we are the party of smaller, limited government and controlled spending.
Sound familiar? Green Bean Museums, library expansions (have you seen the library in Florence! Picture Above. Geez Louise!) and festivals aren't cutting it as far as Conservatives in this state go. The taxpayers want some of the $3 Billion back or at least see us spending on common-sense things like roads and bridges. Ask them - they'll tell you.

Put me in Coach.