REFORM: IT SHOULDN’T BE COMPLICATED
Happy New Year! As you can see from Robert Ariail’s cartoon, we’re ushering in 2015 – the South Carolina Policy Council’s twenty-ninth year – with a pretty simple message. This year marks the seventeenth year I’ve been with SCPC, and during that time this organization has addressed complex issues with credible, detailed analysis. We’ve worked with state and national experts to dissect the state’s education funding formula, explain the economics of school choice, and prove the benefits of state spending caps, tax cuts and deregulation as well as the folly of corporate welfare and dependence on federal dollars.
All of those reports – and so many others – are well worth reading today. South Carolina officials don’t lack information about how limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty and responsibility will lead to a better quality of life. Politicians lack the motivation to reform government and give up power.
2014 proved what we’ve said for the past few years: the core problem in our state is the concentration of power and secrecy in our government. That’s always been the recipe for corruption and tyranny, and we aren’t going to be the exception. It’s pretty simple, actually.
The solution is equally simple: we must implement separation of powers and transparency.
Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, though. It will take a fight to restore citizens’ ability to hold politicians accountable, to end the systemic corruption that has allowed politicians to benefit from office directly at our expense, and to make South Carolina the freest state in America. We made a lot of progress toward that in 2014, and we’re ready to make even more.
The battleground is not over mere “ethics reform.” That sounds like a few tweaks to a conduct code. Fixing our crumbling roads and failing schools starts not with tax increases but with giving citizens the ability to hold officials accountable for both. And that starts with holding them accountable to the same laws that apply to the rest of us, and with ensuring that holding office doesn’t open the door to their personal profit. Pretty simple stuff when you think about it.
Here’s to new opportunity in 2015, and to working together as South Carolinians to make our state the freest in America. Happy New Year!