• Column: We need political reconciliation

    Editor’s note: Rudy Barnes Jr. will be on our Nov. 8 ballot as a candidate for the 5th Congressional District, representing the American Party of South Carolina. According to his website, Barnes practices law in Little Mountain, near Newberry. He graduated from The Citadel and has a master’s in public administration and a law degree from the University of South Carolina. He is a retired United Methodist minister and a retired Army colonel who once served on the Columbia City Council.

  • Column: S.C. exempts more sales tax than it collects

    In the most recent year for which data is available, a review by The Nerve has found, S.C. state government collected $2.4 billion in sales tax revenue – but exempted a full $3 billion.
    That’s the opposite of what one would expect to find. In most forms of taxes, only a few items are exempt, and in a typical year a typical state would take in far more than it would exempt. It’s a simple matter of government needing revenue: Lawmakers are reluctant to dole out too many exemptions since that means less revenue.

  • Column: Trump has no requisite experience

    One important reason that Donald Trump is not qualified to hold the office of president of the United States is his lack of experience.
    All 38 men who were elected to the position, as well as the five who were promoted due to the death or resignation of the serving president, had previously held high-ranking public service positions in either the government or military.

  • Column: Leftist elites have created a delusional democracy

    Dr. Steve Stewart had a great opinion piece in the Phil Nobel Gazette (TLN) last week.
    Dr. Stewart speaks the truth. The change will not come from our leaders, but from the people. The only true option is to return to the Judeo-Christian foundation of our Founding Fathers.
    I do not believe that a great revival will happen, because the Bible does not prophesy a revival. America has entered the post-Christian age.

  • Column: Troubled agency? Give it to the governor

    In South Carolina, many state agencies that carry out executive functions are nonetheless run by boards appointed by the legislature and the governor. Typically when one of these agencies has major problems, legislative leaders propose making the agency a “cabinet” agency.

  • Column: S.C. visitor analyzes why we’re wary of outsiders, government

    Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, “To see ourselves as others see us! It would from many a blunder free us.”
    Here’s a letter I received from a reader in 
Somerville, Mass. He asked me not to use his name.
    Dear Mr. Noble:

  • Column: Psych 101 garbage?! Oh, let me differ, sir

    Ronald Hopkins’ letter in Wednesday’s Lancaster News was in criticism of Phil Noble’s previous column concerning South Carolina state government being corrupt. His points may have been well taken except for one with which I must take issue: He asked, “Where did that garbage come from… psychology 101?”

  • Column: How to make America great again? There’s only 1 option

    Donald Trump says it every day: “Let’s make America great again.” The slogan adorns his hats.
    Hillary Clinton criticizes Trump for that, insisting America is already great. But she used the phrase herself in 2007, while making her case against the Bush administration.
    After a decade and a half of trouble on many fronts, most of us would love to see America restored to a former state of greatness – economic, military, political, moral or some combination of those.

  • Column: Can-kicking on S.C.’s 3 biggest problems

    The true test of political leadership is making the hard, long-term and right decision instead of the easy, short term and wrong decision.
    Said differently, do our political leaders genuinely work to solve problems or do they just kick the can down the road?
    Unfortunately for our state, kicking the can down the road has been the unofficial sport of the State House crowd for nearly a generation. Can-kicking results from politicians who refuse to look down the road farther than the next election. For too many, making tough decisions is just not in their nature.

  • They’re spending our money on what? Part 1

    Most taxpayers would agree that it’s OK for the governor or other top officials to use state-owned aircraft for high-priority trips. Yet records reveal that South Carolina’s state planes are routinely used by mid-level state personnel and legislators for arguably  non-essential purposes.
    The S.C. Aeronautics Commission posts monthly flight logs and bimonthly flight manifests that list not only who has been using the state aircraft, but where they went, the purpose of their flight, and the total cost, in addition to general flight information.