Posts Tagged ‘sc

17
Jul
13

Free Times Newspaper Using Absurd Scare Tactics In An Attempt to Limit Competition in SC’s Healthcare Industry

In the July 17-23, 2013 issue of Free Times (Columbia, SC), writer Corey Hutchins asks: “If there was an MRI scanner next to the cricket cage in the back of Skeebo’s bait shop—and it was closer or cheaper than one at your local hospital—would you trust your life to the guy selling nightcrawlers to find out if your chronic headaches might be cancer?

“Weird question.”

Yes, weird question.

The tactic, employed by Corey Hutchins, is called “Reductio ad Ridiculum”: The logical fallacy of extending someone’s argument to ridiculous proportions and then criticizing the result.

You see, Free Times is attempting to scare you, and SC lawmakers, into continuing support for a permitting process known as “Certificate of Need” (CON). Governor Nikki Haley vetoed the $800,000 funding for the agency, and now certain special interests are attempting to scare the public into pushing for a reversal.

When hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities want to add new medical services, build or purchase new medical equipment, they must demonstrate a “need” to a South Carolina regulatory agency. The agency then determines whether or not the organization will be allowed to have it.

<sarcasm>Yay, freedom!</sarcasm>

Corey Hutchins says that such regulation is “supposed to keep costs in check.”

On that point, he is correct—but those prices are kept “in check” at a high price, due to limits on competition and the inability to purchase high-dollar equipment for business expansion (economic stimulus, job creation, etc.).

Let’s call CON by its real name: Protectionism. The healthcare lobby is one of the strongest voices in the halls of government, and CON is used by many of those voices to try to limit competition and protect the profits of well-established medical firms—and that means higher costs, for YOU.

So what if “Skeebo” wanted to buy an MRI machine?

First of all, I doubt a corner “bait shop” would have the money to purchase a mega-bucks MRI scanner—and part of the reason why they cost so much is because government limits how many can be purchased, and by whom. Again, those costs are passed along to YOU, the patient, in the form of higher procedure costs and insurance premiums.

Second, if “Skeebo” did purchase an MRI scanner, got training to “certify” his expertise with the device, offered shorter waiting room times, charged less, was more conveniently located, and gave a more personalized level of service and care, why wouldn’t I choose “Skeebo” over the high-priced medical facility that was located several miles away?

That’s exactly why they are being limited. Like I said, protectionism.

Corey Hutchins basically says that anything other than tight control of your healthcare options is throwing the industry into “chaos.”

Governor Haley said, “The Certificate of Need program does three things: restricts access, drives down quality and drives up costs”—and she’s absolutely right.

Apparently, “my body, my choice” only applies to abortion. Everything else having to do with my body must be regulated, limited, controlled, taxed, permitted, licensed and manipulated.

So, Free Times, will you promote choice in everything concerning my body, or will hypocrisy rule the day?

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01
Nov
12

Who Is Behind the Midlands (SC) Tax Increase Group?

Say NO on tax increases!Socialists in Richland County, South Carolina, are at it again with a push for another tax increase. They support increasing the sales tax rate, an additional one percent, for what they claim will be improvements to roads, the public transit system, and more jobs. (Don’t get me started on that BS!)

A similar push, in neighboring Kershaw County, was voted down in the last elections. It was discovered that an officer from First Palmetto Savings Bank, and a local CPA from Cantey, Tiller, Pierce, Green, CPAs, were behind the tax increase campaign.

Now, let’s peel back the layers of the “Citizens for a Greater Midlands” organization, to see just who these “citizens” are who are pushing the latest tax increase.

Before we go any further, it should be noted that the organization’s website domain was purchased through another company, in what seems to be an effort to keep the identities of those involved a secret (the officers/staff are not listed on the website, either). We also noticed that same type of thing, with the previous Kershaw County folks who pushed for a tax increase.

These folks want to take your money, but they don’t want you to know who they are? That doesn’t seem right. If they believe strongly in the tax increase, why don’t they show their faces and publicly say so?

They don’t own up to their activities, because tax increases are not popular—no matter what local officials and news media have to say about it. Asking for a tax increase, to give more money to government—when everyone else is struggling with high unemployment, and living paycheck to paycheck—is bordering on insanity, or extreme arrogance and disregard.

Checking documents filed with the South Carolina Ethics Commission, I feel that the group is nothing more than a facade, put on the map by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce—who contributed $33,000 in initial funding to get the group started, back in August of 2010. Yes, according to the paperwork, the group has been in the works for over two years.

I have to say that their slogan, “Our Penny,” has got to be the greatest socialist slogan I’ve ever seen. To me, it’s basically saying: “Your wealth is OUR wealth, and you shouldn’t be allowed to keep it all to yourself.” That’s how the greedy, socialist, entitlement mentality works.

According to the Ethics Commission documents, the organization’s officers are:

Chairman

Mitchell Willoughby

P.O. Box 8416

Columbia, SC 29202

Occupation – Attorney

Columbia, SC

803-252-3300

Treasurer

Terry K. Schmoyer, Jr.

1330 Lady Street, Suite 507

Columbia, SC 29201

Occupation – CPA

Columbia, SC

803-254-2050

Custodian of Books & Accounts

Doug Bridges

1711 Gervais St.

Columbia, SC 29201

Occupation – Realtor

Columbia, SC

803-788-2811

These are the “citizens” who are working to steal another 1% in sales taxes from your wallet. If you are doing business with them, I would encourage you to find new business partners.

And what is with the seeming trend of attorney’s, CPAs and real estate folks in the mix behind tax increases, these days? I have to wonder if either of those types would be involved if there wasn’t some type of gain to be made. Time will tell, I guess. It’s one of those things that makes you say, “Hmmmm….”

In addition, according to the SC Ethics Commission’s website the organization has not filed any quarterly reports since the initial paperwork was entered into the record. It is my understanding that these reports are mandatory, and there is a $100-per-day penalty for not filing paperwork by the deadline. If that’s the case, it looks like someone is going to be coughing up a considerable amount of dough for messing up.

Would you really want to do business with a CPA, attorney or real estate agent who couldn’t be bothered to file important paperwork on time? Not good business, in my opinion, but Columbia Mayor Benjamin, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and (of course) The State newspaper—who never saw a tax increase they didn’t like, as far as I can tell—endorse the group. I wonder if they know, or even care.

So, what did the organization do with the initial $33,000 that was given by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce? No one knows—other than seeing support signs blanketing the Midlands—because there have been no disclosures.

To me, this doesn’t look to be a “citizen’s” group, at all. In my opinion, it looks more like a small group of fat cats who want to get fatter through their political ties—and your tax money.

It’s not “our” penny. It’s certainly not their penny. It’s YOUR penny. Stop them from taking it from you.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of WordPress.com.

19
May
11

Amazon Deal Might Be On Again In South Carolina

Now that the Amazon deal is apparently back on the bargaining table in South Carolina, the anti-Amazon “Main Street” group (rumored to be Wal-Mart backed) is back to running their commercials, stating Amazon would destroy “375,000 main street jobs”–and I have a BIG problem with that.

First of all, according to 2009 City Data figures there were 129,333 people in Columbia, so someone please tell me how Amazon building a new distribution center–not retail store–in the Midlands would “destroy” a number of jobs equal to nearly THREE TIMES THE POPULATION OF THE CAPITAL CITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, and tack on another 12% in unemployment, statewide!

All that because of a distribution center? Absolutely preposterous!

This is evil, outlandish, anti-competition fear-mongering at its worst, folks. If Amazon was going to destroy “Main Street,” it would have done it a long time ago, because Amazon’s retail presence is ONLINE, not on the street corner–and has been for years.

And why should businesses down on “Main Street” be protected from competition, in the first place–and let’s be honest: That’s exactly what this is. Horse-and-buggy makers didn’t like automobile competition, back in the early days of cars, either, but progress is a wonderful thing!

But I digress.

Even if Amazon did construct a new distribution center, nothing would change; people are ordering from Amazon, right now–in South Carolina, too (*GASP!*)–and a new warehouse isn’t going to change a thing.

Amazon’s opponents say it’s “unfair” to let Amazon off the hook for collecting sales taxes on purchases made from people in South Carolina, while stores on the streets have to do so at the point of sale. Again, what is it that these people aren’t grasping about a DISTRIBUTION CENTER? It’s not a retail store! There are no–and will be no–Amazon point of sale purchases on the streets, in South Carolina.

Sometimes, it’s very easy to see why South Carolina consistently ranks near the bottom in educational achievement, because our government “leaders” are apparently dumb as rocks, too.

29
Apr
11

Amazon Decides To Leave SC Rather Than Give In To Government Mafia

Amazon has decided that, rather than give in to South Carolina government mafia tax thugs, it will halt building plans and move its proposed distribution facility out of South Carolina. After the 71-47 House vote against the company, Amazon halted building contracts and pulled job postings. The reported 1250+ jobs, plus a reported additional 1000+ jobs from an engineering firm and other support companies, and over $100 million in investments will be going to a more business-friendly state.

Here’s a list of the Representatives who stood against Amazon:

Agnew, Paul L.
Alexander, Terry
Allen, Karl B.
Anderson, Carl L.
Anthony, Michael A.
Barfield, Liston D.
Bedingfield, Eric M.
Bikas, Eric J.
Bowen, Don C.
Bowers, William K.
Brown, Robert L.
Chumley, William M.
Clemmons, Alan D.
Corbin, Thomas D.
Crawford, Kristopher R.
Crosby, William E.
Delleney, F. Gregory, Jr.
Dillard, Chandra E.
Edge, Tracy R.
Erickson, Shannon S.
Funderburk, Laurie Slade
Gilliard, Wendell G.
Govan, Jerry N., Jr.
Hamilton, Daniel P.
Hardwick, Nelson L.
Hearn, George M.
Henderson, Phyllis
Hiott, David R.
Hixon, William M.
Horne, Jenny Anderson
Hosey, Lonnie
Howard, Leon
Jefferson, Joseph H.
Johnson, Kevin L.
King, John Richard C.
Limehouse, Harry B., III
Long, Deborah A.
Lowe, Phillip D.
Lucas, James H.
McCoy, Peter M., Jr.
McEachern, Joseph A.
Moss, Dennis C.
Munnerlyn, Elizabeth R.
Murphy, Christopher J.
Nanney, Wendy K.
Neal, James M.
Norman, Ralph W.
Owens, Phillip D.
Parker, Steve A.
Parks, J. Anne
Pinson, Lewis E.
Pitts, Michael A.
Pope, Thomas E.
Ryan, Kevin R.
Sandifer, William E., III
Simrill, J. Gary
Smith, G. Murrell, Jr.
Smith, Garry R.
Smith, J. Roland
Taylor, Bill
Thayer, Anne J.
Tribble, David, Jr.
Vick, Ted M.
Viers, Thad T.
Weeks, J. David
Whipper, J. Seth
White, W. Brian
Whitmire, William R.
Williams, Robert Q.
Willis, Mark N.
Young, Thomas R., Jr.

It has been reported that Governor Nikki Haley also opposed the Amazon deal, and that Wal-Mart organized a coalition to oppose the deal, as well.

Personally, I want to see each of these dirty, rotten, scumbag politicians stand face-to-face with the people who applied for those jobs and have the balls to tell them exactly what happened: “Amazon didn’t want to help fatten the State’s coffers, so we ran off all those jobs for which you applied. Yes, we realize these are very tough economic times, but the State getting money is more important than you being able to work and feed your families. Deal with it.”

These evil, crooked people should be tarred, feathered and run out of town–at the very least!

This is just another example of how government destroys prosperity and employment opportunities.

11
Mar
11

Government Gambling Hypocrisy

One thing that really chaps my hide is hypocrisy–especially when government officials are involved.

For instance, I caught part of a recent TV news broadcast that showed where arrests were made over “illegal” video poker machines, in the Columbia, SC area. I fail to see how video games can be involved in crime, but maybe I’m just stupid and need the we-know-how-to-run-your-life-better-than-you-do folks in the SC State Legislature to enlighten me.

When the battle lines were first drawn, opponents of video poker said such things as, “Video poker takes food out of kids mouths, because some people have gambling problems and dump most of their money into these games.” Because of these (unsubstantiated) claims, SC lawmakers outlawed video poker, several years ago. They said, “Gambling is wrong!”

But almost immediately, SC Government unveiled a plan to run a statewide lottery. They named it the “South Carolina Education Lottery,” and vowed to send tons of money raised through ticket sales to the state’s education system, so that most people who don’t really care for gambling would support it–or, at least, turn a blind eye and let it pass. “It’s for the children!” (wink, wink).

What’s the difference between buying lottery tickets and playing video poker? At least with the video game, if you’re good you can play for quite a while on just a few dollars–and, back in the good ol’ days, many people regularly won payouts, until those were made illegal, too.

With lottery tickets, you can blow your whole paycheck, in 5 easy minutes, at a convenience store checkout counter–and then take your chances with odds that show you’re many times more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery jackpot. Heck, the computer will even generate numbers for you, so you don’t even have to think!

Government views its statewide, State-run gambling system to be a wonderful thing, but they will restrict charity raffles and send armed officers to bust into the homes of peaceful, little old ladies playing a friendly, private game of poker with a few friends around the kitchen table–again, because “gambling is wrong!” (Yes, busting in on ‘grandma’ actually happened.)

South Carolina legislators and liberal media constantly, and unjustly, also targeted “payday lenders,” because they said people can get caught up in a “cycle of debt.” Personally, I hardly see a $45 charge for a very short-term $300 loan being cause to destroy an entire industry–and the jobs that went with it–especially when the State runs the largest gambling operation, and the banks that the State Government often partners with make millions of dollars in interest and fees. But what do I know, right?

The kicker: While government says “gambling is wrong,” the government-run South Carolina Education Lottery runs commercials advertising a gambling hotline–that’s right, a GAMBLING HOTLINE–for anyone who needs help with a gambling problem.

Am I missing something, here?

Apparently, if something is “wrong” it suddenly becomes perfectly acceptable if government can control it (regulate) and make money from it (taxes, tickets sales, etc.).

Hypocrisy, plain and simple.

06
May
09

Teachers As Pawns

In South Carolina, there is a bitter battle going on over federal economic stimulus money. Governor Sanford has stood firm in rejecting a portion of the stimulus money (now wanting to use it to pay off the state’s debt, if accepted), while liberals have been ridiculing him and claiming that the sky is going to fall if SC doesn’t use the money for education.

The State newspaper has been following in line with the socialists (of course) with scaremongering headlines warning of future education job cuts and death, gloom and despair if SC doesn’t get use the money as they deem best. Many teachers I’ve heard from are scared that they will lose their jobs, because some principals and administrators have been telling them to “prepare for the worst” if Governor Sanford doesn’t change his mind.

When all of this began to hit the fan, I remembered the campaign of Tim Moultrie, in 2006, when he ran for Superintendent of Education on the Libertarian Party’s ticket.

During that race, Moultrie’s staff sent information requests to several school districts in the state, asking for their Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). By law, these school district financial statements are made available to the public, on request.

Amazingly, some districts’ officials acted as if they had never heard of such a thing, when first contacted. Once it was explained to them that each district had to have one, and that by law it had to be made available for public scrutiny, suddenly they remembered (“Ohhhhhh, that.“)

In the information that was returned from 25 of the 85 total SC school districts, these 25 districts had nearly a quarter of a BILLION dollars in unreserved/undesignated funds. In other words, this was money just sitting in the bank, set aside, with no detailed plan on how the districts would use it – all while the Educrat socialists continually cried for additional funding.

Here is the information obtained from the reports of those 25 Districts (out of 85 total):

Abbeville         3,153,545
Anderson 1         3,288,677
Anderson 2         1,929,211
Anderson 4         5,215,196
Bamberg 1         380,211
Beaufort         11,283,646
Charleston         7,325,690
Clarendon 1         565,818
Dorchester 2         8,759,216
Georgetown 1           7,377,623
Greenville         36,932,332
Greenwood 51         2,294,948
Horry         507,469
Lancaster 1         9,869,381
Lexington 1         11,418,550
Lexington 2         5,842,766
Newberry         5,000,601
Richland 1           14,887,400
Spartanburg 5         7,689,326
Spartanburg 6         10,571,742
Spartanburg 7         12,126,562
Sumter 2         5,486,284
Sumter 17         3,396,295
York 1                 5,970,449
York 2                 11,593,258

Back then, the rallying cry for more funding was the so-called “Corridor of Shame” (certain schools reported to be in a state of disrepair). Now, teachers are being used as pawns, with threats of job losses, if stimulus money isn’t used to increase funding for government-run education.

In my opinion, this is absolutely shameless, down-and-dirty politics, using the lives of the teachers they claim to love and support so much (give me a break!) as pawns in a money game. It’s sickening!

My question is this: If there was no possibility of stimulus funding, would these Educrats still be acting like Chicken Little, threatening massive teacher unemployment? If so, how did things get to that point, all of a sudden, without any warning or contingency plan?

Sorry, but I’m calling “BS!” on this one, but a gullible public seems to be falling for what I feel is a huge opportunistic, socialist scam.

Maybe it’s time we went back to the CAFRs, to see how many hundreds of millions of dollars the school districts are currently tucking away as unreserved/undesignated – and then tar and feather them, and run them out of town for mismanaging your tax money and causing so much stress, strife and hardship.

12
Feb
09

Michael Phelps and The Law

First of all, screw The Law. I have absolutely no respect for laws, their enslaving results and those who enforce them.

Second, Michael Phelps–the gold medalist swimmer–owns Michael Phelps. Senators don’t own him. The President doesn’t own him. His neighbors don’t own him. The newspapers don’t own him. Richland County (SC) Sheriff, Leon Lott, certainly doesn’t own him, either.

Michael Phelps owns Michael Phelps, exclusively, so Michael Phelps should be able to decide what Michael Phelps will do with–or put into–his body. If government owns his body, government can dictate what Michael can do with his body. If not, SHUT UP AND GET OFF HIS CASE about the picture of him looking as though he is taking a bong hit at a private college party.

I absolutely HATE drugs and alcohol, and I have never used either of them, but I believe in freedom and self-ownership. Sheriff Leon Lott just doesn’t want to let it go, unfortunately.

In my personal opinion, I feel that Mr. Lott is simply trying to make a name for himself on the national stage. What other reason can there be, because of all the time and trouble it will be to gather any kind of credible evidence upon which to build a case–all for misdemeanor charges?

Actually, Mr. Lott is making a name for himself, in certain circles, but not the kind of name he wants.

Sheriff Lott has been on TV and radio saying he wants to get tough on “crackheads” and other local issues, so it’s no surprise to me that he is now on this ridiculous campaign against Michael Phelps.

Apparently, we’ve put an end to rape, murder, theft and other such crimes, since Mr. Lott’s department is putting so much time and effort into chasing a celebrity who allegedly smoked something in a pipe that hasn’t received the government’s official stamp of approval.

This country has become a nation of self-righteous busybodies, and it’s this busybody quality that has led us down the road away from freedom toward totalitarianism, with more laws, jails, rules, ordinances, regulations, codes, permits, licenses, taxes, fees, fines, etc.

Freedom is the one thing that you have to give to others in order to be sure you can have it for yourself. With that in mind, be sure to make a contribution, today and everyday.