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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Jonathan Pait
April 9, 2002

It is time to secede. We have been held under the thumb of federal control long enough. Are we willing to make the sacrifice for real freedom in our state? If we are to determine our own destiny as a state, we must loose ourselves from the bonds of federal control.

Now, before you start dusting off your carbines and marching to the border with Confederate flags, be sure to read the rest of the article! This isn't a call for the South to "rise again." It isn't a plan to go back in the hills and tell Robert E. Lee that the time has come to return for battle.

South Carolina needs to stage a "financial secession." We were the first to send a round toward Fort Sumter because we were willing to sacrifice for a state’s right to determine its own future. Wouldn’t it be great if another "canon ball" could be aimed at Washington with that same message?

Recently the EPA has told the Upstate that we are in danger of losing funds for our highways because the state will soon not meet their stipulations for clean air. The same thing happens in numerous other federally funded projects. Often we hear of these projects being called mandates.

These mandates are particularly prevalent in our education system. Tonight Dr. Harner will go before the school board with the upcoming budget. We are hearing that it could be nearly 17 million dollars off. However, it would be interesting to go through all of the numbers and see how much is there because of these mandates—either from the federal government or the state government.

Here is how it works. Washington wants a particular class taught or social agenda advanced. They will go to the states and say, "You have to fulfill this mandate. In order to help you out, we will give you so many dollars to make it work. You have to come up with the other dollars. If you don't fulfill the mandate, then we will remove those funds plus other funding." The state then goes to the school districts and says, "You have to fulfill this mandate. In order to help you out, we will give you so many dollars to make it work. You have to come up with the other dollars. If you don't fulfill the mandate, then we will remove those funds plus other funding."

What if we just told them to take a hike? "Sorry, Washington, that isn't the way we want to do things. We really think it would be best to focus on actually teaching our kids how to read. We would rather put our focus there and forget about these mandates. You can have your money. We're not going to do it." The same thing goes for the EPA.

That is where the sacrifice comes in. If you approach Washington in this way, you will lose out on some money. How much depends. Typically they will say, "You spend 6 million on this project and we will give you 9 million." This gives you a total of 15 million to spend on a particular project. If you say no, everyone yells, "Man, we just missed out on 9 million dollars!" However, if we just dumped the program entirely, we would actually save 6 million.

It remains a sacrifice because Washington still takes our money. We would be sending money to Washington with no return. However, we would still have freedom. We could attract business to an environment without so much federal oversight. Our teachers could actually focus on teaching our kids. They could stop filling out all the forms they have to endure and stop teaching classes and philosophies that actually have little to do with true education. We could get rid of the majority of the administrative positions.

The last ultimate step in the secession would be for the population of the state to say, "Okay, here you go Washington. We are going to tax our own people and then send you a check to help pay for those things stipulated in the Constitution. Otherwise, stay out of our back pockets." Keep the money home.

Funny, I was reading in the Anderson Independent Mail yesterday the article about the Farmer’s Market.

“Mr. Plaxco is a full-time grower who farms a plot of land off S.C. 24 in Anderson County. He makes his living selling at the Farmers Market as well as supplying fresh produce to local restaurants, including Sullivan’s and 1109 South Main. He does not sell his produce in Greenville because he thinks fruits and vegetables should be eaten as close to the source as possible.”
Well, vegetables and taxes have a lot in common.

Now I’ll take my tongue out of my cheek—though I do so somewhat wistfully.

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