March 25, 2011
Do not tie the hands of state government
The Easley Progress (Easley, SC)
Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce to members of the S.C. House of Representatives.
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce understands the need for any public or private organization to be fiscally prudent and minimize unnecessary expenditures. However, it would be rare for any successful business to artificially limit its spending to something other than monies available. To do so would prohibit the business from establishing long-range objectives for improving customer services or investing in technology needed to make a stronger company.
To the extent that the South Carolina General Assembly wants to see improvements in education, health, living standards, public safety, etc.; long-term objectives need to be established as those in the private sector would with a business plan. Obtaining the resources to implement such a public-sector business plan would require more fiscal flexibility than would be allowed under House Bill 3368.
In fact, a spending cap tied to the most recent lowest revenue point for an organization, as in H.3368, makes setting long-range objectives an irrelevant process. All resources will be consumed for supplying services for today with none available for investing in the future. Such a scenario would spell stagnation and eventual death for a business.
We strongly encourage the Legislature to do two things.
First, do not tie the hands of state government for future spending when the exact needs for tomorrow and the years after are not known. Second, begin a more business-like approach for budgeting that addresses the needs of today but also sets long-range objectives for improving the state with a course of action and necessary funding investments to achieve them.
It is popular to say that we must run South Carolina like a business. It is time to do exactly that. And we can start by not passing H.3368.
Frank Knapp, Jr.
President and CEO
SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce
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