The Do-Nothing Legislature
Former President Harry Truman had the "Do-Nothing Congress" to contend with during his 1948 re-election campaign. S.C. Governor Mark Sanford now has the "Do-Nothing Legislature."
Wrapped in the guise of "pro-business reforms" and "common-sense conservatism," the 116th General Assembly is now halfway through its second legislative session with precious little to show for itself - unless you count the pork included in back-to-back budgets that could end up growing government by over 20% in just two years.
Pro-business reforms, FITS asks? Only if you follow the Socialist model of economic development.
Common-sense conservatism, FITS wonders? Only if you think Lyndon Johnson qualifies as a small government kind of guy.
Yesterday, the House once again failed to get anything even remotely productive done under the leadership of Speaker Bobby Harrell (above) in passing a Workers' Compensation Reform bill that somehow lost all its "reform" en route to a 92-16 floor vote.
Rep. Converse Chellis called it "a strong bill that will help stabilize premiums" as well as a bill that "should promote competition."
Actually, it's a watered-down bill that won't do anything to stabilize premiums. And as for competition, well, it certainly has a good chance of promoting it ... if you live somewhere outside of South Carolina.
But this is typical of the "wisdom" of the South Carolina General Assembly, which embraces the private sector and free market economy in much the same way that the Jewish faith embraces Mein Kampf.
They've rejected income tax relief that's created jobs and increased state revenues everywhere it's been implemented, they've dismissed market-based choice in education that's improved public schools everywhere it's been implemented, they've refused to restructure government to make it more efficient and accountable to you, the taxpayer - all while spending your money like Richard Pryor in Brewster's Millions.
Former Speaker David Wilkins, no Sanford ally himself, nonetheless managed to rattle off two-thirds of the governor's "Contract for Change" agenda in 2004, only to see the vast majority of it killed over in the Senate by RINOs like Jakie Knotts, Luke Rankin and Speedmeister Andre Bauer.
Wilkins never would have let this workers' comp disaster happen under his watch.
Harrell has staked his speakership on a property tax reform bill that's DOA in the Senate. He's personally holding up a Charter School Reform bill that's passed both the House and the Senate. He can't control the House to get meaningful legislation out the door on something as vital as workers' comp reform and given yesterday's announcement by Sen. Hugh Leatherman, he's now in the position of being futher to the left of the biggest RINO of them all on trust and reserve fund repayment.
And let's not forget he's presiding over the biggest government spending spree since the glad-handed heyday of the late 1990's.
Oh well, at least we got the breastfeeding bill done. In a state full of suckers, it's only fitting we encourage that behavior.