Sunday, January 06, 2008

They are off to Columbia


Tis the season. No, not the holiday season, that is past. It is the season for the members of the General Assembly to be off to Columbia. As every seat in the House and Senate is up for re-election this year, we can be assured that this General Assembly session will be long on political points and short on governing.

The General Assembly seems to be eager to deal with illegal immigration issues, which is well and good and past time to deal with. However, it is unlikely that other major issues facing he future of the state, such as infrastructure problems, property tax hikes despite the relief passed by the General Assembly last year, the rising costs of state employee retirement and the like will come up.

To be sure there will be some legislators who will cry out "the sky is falling," about the major issues the state faces. However, in this election year those voices will likely be drowned out by legislators who think if not say, " who cares, as long as the sky is not falling on my re-election chances. "

In other words, the commerce of the restaurants, hotels, bars, and drug stores of the Columbia metro are will increase over the next five months, but little governing is likely to be done.

There will be a good bit of posturing. The Governor will posture himself against the members of the General Assembly he does not like. Members of the General Assembly will posture themselves in a way that aids their re-election. The Speaker of the House will posture himself to promote his campaign for Governor in 2010.

All the above will posture to win. However, the real losers will be the people of South Carolina, who will pay for five or so months of political posturing instead of solutions the problems the state faces. At least the Columbia area bars will make some money. The rest of us will pay for the circus that is about to come to town.

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