Nikki Haley’s Visit
By Alex Saitta
January 9, 2013
I attended the luncheon of the Easley Rotary on December 4th, where Governor Haley was the guest speaker. I went in there thinking the Governor was long on political buzz words and conservative endorsements, and didn’t offer much more.
In hindsight, my view point was more a product of the venues I’ve seen her in — controlled Q&A interviews or being edited down to 10 second sound bites, than what she is truly about.
When Haley had a chance to speak for 40 minutes, and let it rip on the subjects close to her heart, it was clear she not only understands the problem, but gets it. She realizes government has over spent and over promised its revenue, and the primary solution is to end the over-spending.
On the revenue side, she realizes raising tax rates or reducing deductions will slow economic growth and reduce revenue in the long-run. Instead, Haley is working toward creating an economic environment where business formations flourish and companies hire workers, generating healthy revenue growth for the government.
While Haley is principled and her principles are dead on, she must improve her legislative skills. Her ineffectiveness as a six-year legislator and her lack of legislative success the past two years shows she is short on the legislative know-how that is required to turn conservative principles into conservative laws.
You can hear the frustration in her voice, with the players, with the legislative process, with the legislative body as a whole, hardly a quarterback who has mastered the essential task of proposing and successfully steering initiatives across the legislative goal line.
No doubt, the South Carolina legislature isn’t as conservative as Haley, but if President Reagan can get a 25% income tax rate cut passed through a Democrat Congress, Haley should have more success on this front than she has had her first two years. Heck, her own party controls the state legislature; this is not an impossible task.
My advice to the Governor is for her to buy herself a biography on Lyndon B. Johnson for Christmas. As Senate leader in the 1950's and President in the mid-1960's, Johnson developed the personality, skills and know-how to turn hundreds of bills into law. While I disagreed with most of what was passed, Johnson was the master of knowing what buttons to push and how to pull the levers of government to move it in the direction he wanted it to go.