I want to wish you and your family happiness this Holiday Season and prosperity in the New Year. I want to humbly thank you for the honor of serving you in the South Carolina House of Representatives and let you know how much your trust and confidence means to me each and every day. I am looking forward to the 2012 Session starting January 10th; and as always, let me know what I can do to help you.
"Meaning of Christmas" Message from Former President Reagan:
Thirty years ago this week, then President Reagan addressed the nation on television and delivered his "meaning of Christmas" message. Regardless of your political leanings, I encourage you to take a moment to watch this message and to reflect on that message both this week and next. Click Here To See The Video
Your Prayers Are Needed:
Let us all keep the family of Aiken's Master Public Safety Officer, Scott Richardson, in our prayers. As some of you are probably already aware, he was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier this week. Also, Officer Travis Griffin, was shot in the chest and his bullet-proof vest saved his life. Griffin was treated at Aiken Regional Medical Centers and released. During the Christmas season, please pray for all those in the line of duty, both law enforcement and military.
S.C. Economy Continues to Recover:
By measuring the state's sales and income tax collected, SC's economy is continuing its slow recovery. The state's general fund revenue was up 6% in November from the same month a year ago. We are apparently buying more, since sales tax collections were up nearly 5%. Personal income tax collections were up 4%, while corporate income tax collections were up a whopping 118%.
More Tax $$$, More Government Spending?
We all recognize the tendency for government to increase spending when more of your dollars are collected in taxes. Previous estimates show the legislature will have $900 million more available for the 2012-2013 state budget. Unofficial estimates now put that at 1.3 billion! In my view, priority #1 is to adequately fund core functions of government. Just one example: recession cut-backs diminished our state trooper numbers by nearly 20% and caused very large cut-backs at SLED. Keeping our state safe is one of my priorities. Most importantly, we need to save and put more money in the state's rainy day fund that had been diminished over the past few years, and pay off our loans from the United States Government.