Senators are preparing for a budget battle in this upcoming legislative session. Berkeley Senator Larry Grooms says the stimulus package that President Obama signed two years ago is now running out, and state government has to act now.
In some people’s opinions it’s worked real well. What it has done it has enabled government to be artificially propped up for two years. It’s enabled us to spend well beyond our means for another two years. It’s enabled us to take $2.5 billion and spend it on government services we cannot afford. And, now, the stimulus money is running out and everybody is scrambling, “Oh goodness, what are we going to do?”
So, does Grooms have an answer?
Well, I know what we are going to do, we are going to cut the budget, the same budget we should have cut two years ago. There are many people that want you and all your listeners and everyone else to be dependent on the government. The government giveth and the government taketh away. That’s not my religion, that’s the religion of some.
South Carolina faces a deficit this coming year of more than $800 million. Grooms says there’s a problem in the state’s system of government, and lawmakers need to get back to the basics.
It’s wrong when we take from some and give to others, that’s not the purpose of government. Government is suppose to be limited to what it can do, and when government is limited to the things that are necessary, such as protecting life, liberty and property, once government does that, people prosper and liberty abounds. But, when government is overreaching and overtaxing, and when it grows beyond our ability to pay for it, we get into trouble and we are in trouble now.
Governor-elect Nikki Haley has appointed a task force to look at different ways in dealing with the deficit she will face as incoming chief. Haley told the Sun News “I think we have to be realistic with the people of South Carolina: This is gonna hurt.”
Grooms says the General Assembly will have some tough questions ahead in the upcoming session.
We’re going to have to tighten our belts more. We’re going to have to cut things. We’re going to have to ask some hard questions to the General Assembly this year. What does this state agency do and is it necessary to continue? We’re going to have to consolidate some state agencies. We’re going to reduce the size of government out of necessity because we are going to have to learn to live within our means. Our government costs more than it should, our government exists beyond our means.
The next legislative session begins January 12.