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Columns

  • Eckstrom column: Payroll tax hike symptom of runaway federal spending

    Most of us will be seeing our 2013 paychecks shrink. But don’t blame the boss. Your take-home pay is shrinking because of a federal tax hike on your earnings.
    It’s a hike in Social Security taxes that was part of a recent late-night fix in Washington supposedly to protect us from plunging off the “fiscal cliff.” People shouldn’t feel much protected by Washington’s “fix” to raise taxes on the wealthy.

  • Why I voted against the fiscal cliff deal

    Recently, Congress approved the so-called “fiscal cliff” agreement. I voted against the final version of the deal. The reason is pretty simple: the agreement raised spending.
    Again. Indeed, its passage seems to reaffirm a disturbing truth about today’s Washington: compromises always lead to more spending, more debt, and too often, more taxes.
    Last week we added $330 billion to the national debt with new spending programs. At best, we have no plan for ever repaying that money; at worst, we have no intention to ever pay it back.

  • New old South Carolina conflict requires patience

    I’m sure Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wasn’t thinking about the Palmetto State when he quoted Gen. Kutuzov in “War and Peace.”
    “Patience and time. Time and patience.”
    But these words of wisdom seem to make a lot of sense for South Carolinians – both old and new, alike – as we continue to try to live and work together amicably in this weird and wonderful place we call home.

  • New majority, opportunities

    With the New Year, the first-ever Republican majority on County Council gives Lancaster County new opportunities to chart a new course.
    Led by Larry McCullough, chairman and Bob Bundy, vice chairman, look for the new council to put politics-as-usual behind and get to work on the issues that matter most –  attracting jobs, protecting our quality of life, keeping our communities and families safe and making sure no parts of the county are left out.

  • What’s next? Taxing sun?

    The Earth and the entire universe is massive, as well as fragile. Each planet that circles our sun has different characteristics; no two are the same. For example, Jupiter is a giant gas planet so huge that 1,100 Earth-size planets could fit inside it. Jupiter, as well as Neptune, emits more energy than it receives.

  • Don’t let Lancaster County become like Rhode Island

    I’m writing this in response to the recent ordinance passed by the Lancaster County Council on smoking. I attended one of the meetings and I spoke. It turned out to be a waste of time. I could tell their minds were made up. The council was going to follow the status quo of other cities and towns; God forbid if this county stood on its principles.
    I moved here from Rhode Island two years ago. After 50 years, I had to get out of there because that state was overrun by left-leaning activists.

  • Open letter to my U.S. congressman

    My name is Matthew Taylor and I was born and raised in Lancaster. I want to start by saying that I am appalled by the numerous massacres that have been perpetrated across the country in the past couple years, even more so when following each tragedy Congress has failed to act in any meaningful way.  The most recent, and possibly the worst of current history, saw 20 first-graders murdered. From all media reports, these kids suffered multiple bullet wounds, which as a parent of an 18-month-old child, I find terrifying, sad and angry. 

  • SC Access provides wealth of information

    Imagine being separated from an elderly family member or loved one in need of help or services who lives alone in South Carolina.
    If you’re like many families across our state, you may find that younger generations have moved away from their older relatives to further their education, get married and start a family, find a job in another state, or serve in the military. Where are they to look for resources if their older relatives need help finding various services available in their communities?

  • Haley’s health-care math: 1+1=0

    In the next few months, Gov. Nikki Haley and the Republican politicians in Columbia are going to be making some very big decisions about providing health care for 513,000 South Carolinians, and there is more than $3 billion at stake. These are some very large numbers and let’s hope they make the decisions based on math and not ideological purity. Right now, it looks as if math is losing.

  • Medal of Valor honors S.C. law enforcement’s bravest

    It’s something folks might often take for granted, and understandably so.
    After all, we live in a modern society and pay our taxes, and therefore we fully expect the traffic lights to work and the firetrucks to respond when we need them to.
    But how often do we really stop and think of the sometimes life-threatening circumstances behind those expectations when it comes to our law enforcement officers?
    Fortunately, there’s an organization that helps us do just that – the S.C. Law Enforcement Officers Association.