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Today's Opinions

  • Letter: Is Mr. Peanut better off without my existential thoughts?

    As I took my dog, Mr. Peanut, for a walk today and as he stopped to do his ritual sniffing every couple steps, I looked around me. I was amazed at my surroundings. How incredible everything is.
    I stand there, a self-aware being, among trees, grass, clouds, air and other self-aware humans. How is it my surroundings, the planet, the solar system, the galaxy and the universe came to be? Was it because of a supreme being we call God, or was it because of numerical chance? An answer I’ll never know until my time here is up, and maybe not even then.

  • Column: My pessimism about Congress keeps growing

    I have been watching the actions in Washington for the past several weeks with great interest and have come to some conclusions.
    First, regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump, he has been the catalyst to prove what we have suspected about our government – that we the people have very little control of the “government by the people.” We are the “sheeple” that are needed to justify career politicians’ existence.

  • Column: Why tax credits are a bad idea

    Tax credits can be some of the worst policies a government can pass.
    Taxes, as a rule, should be broad-based (everybody pays them) and low-rate (nobody pays much). Tax credits usually violate that principle – after all, tax cuts are different from tax favors. The former lower the overall burden for everyone, and the latter make exemptions for favored businesses, individuals, or sectors at the expense of everyone else.
    And of course, targeted tax credits are often used for economic development – or so the claim goes.

  • Column: Is the American Dream alive or dead?

    If you stop and really think about it, this is the most fundamental question one could ask about our state and nation.
    And the answer says a lot about the kind of people we are as a state and a nation.
    The American Dream is both very simple and very profound. It has been the driving force behind our country since its earliest days.
    We all have our own slightly different definitions of the American Dream. This is mine: If you work hard and play by the rules, your children will be better off than you are.

  • Column: We pay more for electricity than any other state, but not all of us do

    In a ranking of states by total energy costs, South Carolina is solidly in the middle, at 24th most expensive.
    When the costs of electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil are averaged and combined, state residents spent $278 per month.
    That’s much better than the most expensive state, Connecticut, at $380, and much worse than the least expensive, Washington, at $226. (The District of Columbia is even lower, at $219.)
    More curious is the ranking of states just on monthly retail electricity costs.

  • Column: Consulting jobs for ex-agency heads costly and unnecessary

    According to a contract obtained by the Post and Courier, the former head of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, Catherine Templeton, accepted a contract with the agency just one day after she left her position in January 2015.
    As DHEC director, she was paid $13,500 a month. After signing her no-bid consulting contract, she was paid $17,300 a month – a 28 percent increase.

  • Column: Open government has come a long way in the last decade

    It was 10 years ago this month that I began developing plans for what would eventually become the state’s fiscal transparency website – one of the first such sites in the country. The goal was to provide citizens easy access to details about how state government spends their money.

  • Column: Where Dems are in charge, everything is falling apart

    Dimple Ajmera, a Charlotte City Council member, said last week that any Republican who supports President Donald Trump has no place on the city council or in the Charlotte mayor’s race. 
    Her liberal Democrat self-satisfaction is off the chart. She and her party consider themselves the epitome of compassion, empathy, goodness and light, while believing that conservative Republicans are full of greed and hate.