Gov. Henry Mcmaster: Keep SC’S progress on track

The State (Sunday) - - Opinion - BY GOV. HENRY MCMASTER

Now is our time. South Carolina is poised to en­ter an era of un­prece­dented growth and pros­per­ity.

In the last two years alone, I have an­nounced over $8 bil­lion in di­rect in­vest­ment and the cre­ation of 24,000 new jobs. In 2010, our un­em­ploy­ment rate was 11 per­cent. To­day, it is 3.3 per­cent, the low­est in decades, and more of us are work­ing now than ever be­fore. Just days ago, I an­nounced a $52 mil­lion re­duc­tion in un­em­ploy­ment taxes, fol­low­ing a $25 mil­lion re­duc­tion last year. These are all records. How did this hap­pen?

Be­gin­ning cen­turies ago with rich nat­u­ral abun­dance, our peo­ple have strug­gled, en­dured, striven and flour­ished, pro­duc­ing in­sti­tu­tions, at­ti­tudes and a cul­ture which to­day dis­tin­guishes us from other states and gives us unique strength and prom­ise. I re­fer to our great re­search uni­ver­si­ties and four-year col­leges, our tech­ni­cal col­lege sys­tem which is the best in the coun­try and our vi­brant Port of Charles­ton and its in­land ports in Greer and Dil­lon. Add to this our strong mil­i­tary tra­di­tion, our un­con­quer­able faith as ev­i­denced by an abun­dance of churches, syn­a­gogues and other places of wor­ship and the sto­ried friend­li­ness and gra­cious­ness of our peo­ple, and you have a state which can­not be equaled.

So, what do we do now? It is clear that the world is chang­ing. How do we con­tinue and ac­cel­er­ate our growth and pros­per­ity? The an­swer is sim­ple: Cut taxes, re­move bur­den­some reg­u­la­tions, en­hance ed­u­ca­tion and learn­ing at all lev­els, keep the peo­ple and their prop­erty safe from harm and pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment. Specif­i­cally, we should:

Cut all in­come taxes by 15 per­cent, as a start.

Elim­i­nate in­come taxes on re­tire­ment pay for mil­i­tary vet­er­ans, first re­spon­ders and law en­force­ment.

Elim­i­nate un­nec­es­sary teacher test­ing and pro­vide a cer­ti­fied, trained law en­force­ment of­fi­cer in ev­ery school.

Pro­hibit oil drilling and test­ing off our coast.

Deepen and strengthen the Port of Charles­ton, en­hance the Port of Ge­orge­town,and build the Port of Jasper.

Vig­or­ously pro­mote the new Op­por­tu­nity Zone in­vest­ments.

Build and main­tain I-73, I-526 and other vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture.

Pro­mote work­force de­vel­op­ment through our tech­ni­cal col­lege sys­tem.

And ex­pand ac­cess to health care in our ru­ral ar­eas through nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, telemedicine and fam­ily prac­tices.

My record in pub­lic of­fice re­flects com­mit­ment to and im­ple­men­ta­tion of these goals — and that’s just the be­gin­ning. My op­po­nent’s record is just the op­po­site, re­flect­ing 22 years of ef­fort to raise taxes, ex­pand gov­ern­ment, sup­port unions and pro­mote abor­tions. These poli­cies, if em­braced by the gover­nor of our state, would bring our progress to a halt.

Our time is now. Do we build on our strengths and take our state into a new era of pros­per­ity and suc­cess, or do we change course for a failed, lib­eral di­rec­tion? I am fight­ing to lead South Carolina to our fullest po­ten­tial for gen­er­a­tions to come. That is why I ask for your vote on Tues­day.

Gov. Mcmaster is the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for gover­nor of South Carolina.

I AM FIGHT­ING TO LEAD SOUTH CAROLINA TO OUR FULLEST PO­TEN­TIAL FOR GEN­ER­A­TIONS TO COME.

SEAN RAYFORD AP

Gov. Henry Mcmaster ap­plauds a guest dur­ing his state of the state ad­dress on Jan. 24.

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