This week in Under the Outhouse, the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce outs itself as a narc, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley hits the gambling table, and the Border Patrol gets babysitting experience.
Chamber Whining About Unfair Situation It Helped Create ?
Every year, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce receives millions of taxpayer dollars through an accommodation tax it lobbied for with the help of local hotel magnates. This money is then used in advertising campaigns for tourism that promote the Grand Strand, and in turn, pushes business to -- you guessed it -- local hotel magnates. Yet, even with this government-backed scheme, the Chamber is complaining that small time property owners who rent property on by-owner sites such as VRBO.com have an “unfair” advantage over the big guys because it is easier for these owners to avoid paying accommodation taxes. So, rather than take the free market approach by working to lower taxes, thus reducing this advantage, the Chamber supported a new bill (“The Fairness in Lodging Act”) introduced by Republican State Sen. Ray Cleary (Murrells Inlet), giving authorities more power in monitoring the collection of taxes, and helping to punish the rebel scum who dare defy the Empire.
South Carolina’s Republican Governor Embraces More Crony Capitalism
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How much are new jobs worth to Gov. Haley? About $23,800 each, at least if the state goes through with its plan to spend $169 million in grants and tax rebates to bring an estimated 7,100 jobs to the Upstate by luring three companies -- LPL Financial, The Lash Group and Giti Tire -- to South Carolina. According to Charlotte Business Journal’s Adam O’Daniel, the grants would be used to finance building new facilities in the state.
Haley can pretend that she is the Queen of Jobs, but reality is much different; she was simply more willing than the North Carolina government to gamble taxpayer funds on the promise of jobs.
A hallmark of Haley’s administration is the use of taxpayer funds as bait for companies to relocate to the state. Of course, not all of these investments work out as planned, nor is there any way to prove the jobs will ever materialize given companies have years to “make good” on these sweetheart deals. As with most job deals, taxpayers front all the risk, and are left waiting for the reward. That’s not free market economics. It’s crony capitalism.
A true capitalist would create jobs by luring companies to South Carolina by improving the business climate in the state, something Haley has failed to do. Despite her frequent boasts about “job creation,” Forbes lists South Carolina 28th in the nation for business and careers. Equally alarming, the Tax Foundation puts South Carolina 37th in the nation for business tax climates, likely because current businesses in the state are asked to cover the costs for her deals with new ones. Lowering taxes and eliminating red tape that makes doing business in South Carolina should be Haley’s top priority, not shopping for jobs with the taxpayer’s credit card.
Immigrants Storming U.S. Border
For years Democrats and liberal activists talked openly about the need for “amnesty” in addressing America’s battle with illegal immigration. So, when Democrats made amnesty a sticking point in passing a comprehensive immigration reform package, America’s borders suddenly became open season for Latin Americans looking for an express route to U.S. citizenship. And, in spite of numerous red flags that conditions at the border were steadily reaching crisis level, the U.S. Border Patrol was grossly unprepared for handling the surge of immigrants from Central America (not Mexico, for those who like to generalize all Spanish-speaking brown folks).
Making matters worse for detention and processing facilities, included in this surge of immigrants are a record setting number of unaccompanied toddlers and children, reflecting the Obama Administration’s attitude that unaccompanied children would be given higher consideration for amnesty than illegally immigrating adults. As a result, federal immigration officials are scrambling to find facilities to house families and children, converting abandoned buildings across the country into makeshift shelters where they wait for deportation hearings in conditions that are as squalid as one might imagine.
The time for debating immigration reform is over, and decisive action is needed immediately. However, only after the current immigration chaos is controlled can a comprehensive plan to address our broken immigration system be discussed in earnest. In the short term, the Obama administration must draw a clear line in the sand that trying to illegally immigrate into the U.S. is not a golden ticket for citizenship, which includes ending its ambiguous (and often contradictory) language when discussing immigration reform. Meanwhile, Democrats must accept that immigration reform starts with border security, while Republicans must accept that rounding up and deporting all illegal immigrants in the U.S. as a means for addressing those currently living here is a logistical fantasy, in addition to being prohibitively costly to taxpayers.