Is ‘The State’ falling down on the job?

Contributed by Michael Gass

The State newspaper in South Carolina is cracking the whip; unfortunately, you won’t find evidence of this in their editorial pages. You won’t open your paper and find the headline, “GOP continues to strangle SC services.” You won’t find an editorial eviscerating Gov. Nikki Haley for wanting to eliminate all personal and corporate income taxes at a time when the state already faces a $829 million dollar budget shortfall. You won’t find a reporter from The State on the doorstep of the Republican Party headquarters demanding solutions. No, The State newspaper has instead cracked the whip on commenters on their web site. Taunting, you see, is an offense worthy of having your posting privileges blocked. 

South Carolina’s legislature as a whole, much less its politician’s, give us plenty to mock. Rep. Joe Wilson screams “you lie” at the President. Gov. Mark Sanford has an affair while hiking “the Appalachian Trail”. The state legislature cuts services every year, yet, when asked for solutions can only say, “I have no satisfactory answers.” Who doesn’t want to mock them? Isn’t that one of the last venues left to the public – shaming their politician’s into action? The same can be said of The State newspaper.

While Gov. Sanford was having his affair, The State was sitting on the emails given to them for six months. When the Associated Press reported that Gov. Sanford had violated state ethics laws, The State wrote how they were diligently pouring over documents just in case they missed something. Instead of writing editorials demanding change, Cindi Scoppe at The State wrote an editorial musing of how she just might be crazy for hoping change would magically appear this time. The taunting must have been in full force because The State felt the need to post an editorial detailing their twenty-year struggle for reform.

Wait, The State has fought for a better South Carolina for twenty years? Is this the same newspaper that wouldn’t investigate who were at the parties thrown by Thomas Ravenel where he was giving out cocaine as “party favors” thereby giving cover to whatever republican politician or contributor that was there and might have enjoyed those “party favors”?  Is this the same newspaper that didn’t investigate when one state commission “misplaced” $50 million dollars of taxpayer money which, ultimately, was never found? Is this the same newspaper that defended Gov. Sanford from being impeached after it was found he violated dozens of ethics violations? Is this the same newspaper that printed a letter to the editor in January, 2011, in which the author accused President Obama of being at fault for the shooting in Arizona, and, which diligently defends the posting of letters such as these because they are merely “the opinion of the author”?

Truly, this comment is worse to The State than its printing of a letter that accuses the President of being to blame for the attempted assassination of an Arizona politician?

Gov. Nikki Haley opposes closing prisons. Shock!  How then, does she propose to FUND prisons when she is advocating ELIMINATING the state personal AND corporate income taxes when the state can’t fund them NOW?

Where, in her GOP voodoo accounting, does the money come from then? Ask the same for education. Health care. Protective services.

“I don’t have any satisfactory answers”

That says it all. When faced with the REALITY of GOP voodoo economics, they can only say, “I don’t have any satisfactory answers”.

A RESPONSIBLE media would have THAT as their next day headline.


The editorial board of a RESPONSIBLE media outlet would be eviscerating the political party daily until they DID have a satisfactory answer. The business section of a RESPONSIBLE media source would be crunching numbers, putting it in black and white where even the lowliest of educated person could see how voodoo economics doesn’t work.

But, hey… The State won awards for journalism! Didn’t you know?

I guess it is to them. So, rest assured South Carolina residents, The State is cracking the whip. While South Carolina itself continues to sink into oblivion, The State newspaper is making sure you don’t mock those responsible, at least not on their own web site.


3 Comments to “Is ‘The State’ falling down on the job?”

  1. How does GA do it? They have no state income tax.

    How does TX do it? They also have no state income tax.

    I think my reaction to your column would be different if eliminating the state’s corporate and personal income tax had been tried and been found to be unsuccessful, but the opposite thankfully true. Three cheers to Haley for following a successful state business model.

    On a side note, I’m sure the SC state treasury will accept a “donation” ~ so why not put your money where your mouth is and write a BIG check (above and beyond what the law says is your required minimum)? Of course, you being a true liberal, I understand you’d never do that ~ as the common element in the liberal plan is always to tell us what we must do with our money, and never what you must do with yours.!

  2. iplan,

    How do states that have no personal income tax survive? The REAL question is, how far in debt ARE they?

    Georgia is $44 BILLION dollars in debt. They have a $2 billion budget shortfall this year alone.

    Texas has its own woes. They have $30 billion dollar budget shortfall due to Gov. Perry’s smoke and mirrors accounting.

    Even Florida is operating under a $2.5 billion budget shortfall this year and faces a $3.6 billion shortfall for 2012.

    Higher sales taxes simply don’t make up the difference. Even states like Florida that have huge property values can’t make up the difference in property taxes.

    You simply cannot eliminate revenue and run even a budget neutral government. Far from being “tried and successful”, it has been done (ie, Texas) and they are among the poorest states in education and health care. Their budget is a mess.

    37% of Texas revenue comes from the federal government. 43% come from taxation.

    I’m sorry, they had to slash $31 billion in cuts, not $30. Their budget is no better off for having no personal or corporate taxes.

  3. I agree with your criticism of The State. It seems as though The State has a passive agenda more by not reporting than reporting. For instance, I may have missed it reported in The State that the person most actively trying to get Governor Haley removed, indicted censured or whatever he may advocate, on ethics violations, is a person who sits on the board of a prominent SC institution. The Chairman of the Board of that institution is a prominent person, who served at the pleasure of the Governor whom Governor Haley removed from office. Reading between the lines, It is clear that principals at The State do not like Governor Haley. By not reporting this connection, they are passively furthering the undermining of her political position. Is this agenda driven? Am I mistaken? A few minutes with Google will help one find this information. Why can’t The State? Why don’t they report it?

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