Peeler's Pitiful Palmetto Prosperity Plan
April 4, 2002
After reading all 32 of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Peeler's points in his recently released Palmetto Prosperity Plan several times over the past week and a half, I am still trying to figure out exactly what he is going to do to stimulate South Carolina's economy if he becomes Governor.
Bob Peeler's gobbleygoop plan reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton's 2000 State of the Union address, which included a lot of individual initiatives all pushed together into one speech to formulate his positions on public policy. (You might recall that was the longest State of the Union address in Presidential history! I remember sleeping through the last 45 minutes of it.)
Not unlike what President Clinton did, Bob Peeler is attempting to impress people with a bunch of proposals he is FOR all in one package he calls the Palmetto Prosperity Plan. But the bigger question people should be asking themselves is why is Bob Peeler not trying to pass these initiatives now?
What better way to use his ceremonial role as Lt. Governor of South Carolina than to lead the way on getting these points he is touting for when he becomes Governor passed in 2002? Would that not show a greater position of leadership than simply stating that he is FOR these proposals when he becomes Governor?
A cursory look at this plan seems to show a lot of thought and effort went into it. After several months of wondering when he was going to tell us what he would do if he became Governor, Bob Peeler has finally given us a small glimpse into the crystal ball (albeit, itís still pretty cloudy)! His silence on the issues during this campaign has been deafening to say the least.
However, after a closer, more observant examination of the Palmetto Prosperity Plan, it is revealed for what it truly is. This is supposedly Bob Peeler's economic platform for when he becomes Governor. Unfortunately, it is nothing more than a series of minor proposals that sound good on paper but are not substantive policy initiatives.
Most of the 32 points are laden with language that says that Bob Peeler will "work" or "fight" for the causes in his plan. Unfortunately, he does not tell us what he will DO nor does he explain how he will PAY for any of these points in his plan. Anybody can say they are FOR something. (I'm FOR blue skies. Do I get credit for it when it actually happens?).
It takes a real leader to give you the details about what they are going to do about the problems that exist! Bob Peeler has not shown this in his plan.
One specific proposal in his plan that disturbs me is the health care tax credit to small businesses. Under Peeler's plan, small businesses will receive tax breaks for providing their employees health care coverage. However, Peeler's plan does not stipulate the kind of health insurance that is eligible for this tax credit. An employer may opt for a cheaper health care plan so they can claim the tax credit and save money, too!
How does this help the employees who will have to pay for this poor health insurance tax credit with their own tax dollars?
Another specific proposal in his plan that bothers me is the technology zone credits. Under Peeler's plan, new or expanding high technology businesses that are certified by the state should receive a tax credit amount equal to the sum of the real and personal property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes they would pay as well as their moving expenses to South Carolina.
Why should these businesses be given a tax-free ride into South Carolina while the rest of South Carolina taxpayers have to carry the tax burden of these new businesses and their employees?
Finally, one of the most absurd points in Peeler's Palmetto Prosperity Plan is the $250 state tax credit to South Carolinians who take an in-state vacation.
How much will this cost the taxpayers? Why are we giving a tax credit to people for not working? How are the vacations supposed to be documented to prove they were actually taken?
On the surface, people may be impressed with Bob Peeler's Palmetto Prosperity Plan to stimulate economic development in South Carolina if he becomes Governor.
Unfortunately, this plan is nothing more than an attempt at political showmanship that is weak on any real proposals for prosperity.
In addition, his plan calls for more government involvement in the affairs of South Carolinians, not less. Bob Peeler ought to be ashamed of himself for calling himself a conservative Republican.
This plan shows that he is nothing more than a moderate politician who wants to take more of your money and add increasingly more government intervention in your life!
Thatís why I call it Peelerís Pitiful Palmetto Prosperty Plan.
(From the looks of some of the comments to my article below, it is obvious that there are certain people who can't handle the truth about "their man." Instead of refuting the substance of my criticisms of Mr. Peeler's economic plan, they have resorted to personal attacks on my character. In fact, I am honored to have a whole article written in response to my article called "Peeler's Positive Palmetto Prosperity Plan" (Gee, that's original!). While I am not a paid staff member for any political campaign, I do believe strongly in writing articles that will cause people to think about the issues they believe in and support. If you disagree with my conclusions, then write a comment that explains why you do. This is what makes Commonvoice.com the best political website in South Carolina!)