Curious where your tax dollars ended up? I would suggest sitting down before digging into this one.

The South Carolina state budget has been finalized for FY 2023-2024 and on June 22, 2023 Governor McMaster released his vetos (or lack of…)

The governor started out with multiple paragraphs singing the praises of the administration. While it sounded great, let’s take a closer look at a few of his statements:

“Employers are creating new jobs, entrepreneurs are opening new businesses, and companies are deciding to relocate here.” These businesses are mostly foreign and focused on his electric vehicle (EV) initiative, even though Ford has lost $58,000 every EV it produced in 2023 (fun fact: we are only halfway through the year and Ford is projecting a $3 billion loss at the end of it.) But why would they start INCREASING their EV production? Could it be because the U.S. Energy Department is lending money out like they lent a Korean battery project $9.2 billion?

Read our exclusive article about how our government has paid these companies up to $400 million taxpayer money in cash along with billions in incentives to build on thousands of acres and redo the infrastructure of small towns. I almost forgot about the thousands of jobs they are producing. Thousands of jobs that will be taken by their foreign workers moving in next door to you. Update: BMW is setting up a new EV factory in Woodruff, Florence will have a new EV plant.

“…we have the largest rainy day fund and the lowest debt – ever…” I’ll give it to him, South Carolina’s debt didn’t climb like it did in Nikki Haley’s administration or 2020, but I’m not sure I’d brag about leading your state into $40 billion (and counting.)

“This fiscal year’s budget includes a record number-(259)-of my Executive Budget proposals totaling $2.85 billion-an increase of 93 from last year.” I just have one question: is it better that our governor has nearly doubled his personal proposals on the already MOUNTAIN of useless projects South Carolinians are funding?

Under his ‘public confidence’ paragraph, McMaster writes, “This state budget includes my recommendations to expand the resources of the Office of the Inspector General while providing the State Election Commission funds for new auditors to connect regular and routine audits of elections held by the State and all political subdivisions.” This audit program has been formulated after the forced audits that have taken place in Aiken County (after a fraudulent audit that was done in secret) and Berkley County (that had prisoners counting the ballots of the 2022 midterm and employed untrained poll workers.) Executive Director Howard Knapp presented a whole outline of this new plan in front of the U.S. Senate in March.

This year, the State Election Commission received $23.4 million compared to the $18.9 million they received in FY 2022-2023. What is the reason for this steep increase? The new “voting service” entitled Help America Vote that contributed almost $5.5 million. If you would like to know more, I suggest researching the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

McMaster praises the General Assembly for creating “the most transparent and accountable budget ever” by disclosing information on the earmarks “all previously shielded from public view…” Those 350 earmarks totaling $398.7 million. Just wait until you read what those earmarks were…which may just come in a pretty little article soon 😉

“I once again ask the General Assembly to consider my proposal to create a public, merit-based competitive grants process for these types of appropriations. Administered by state agencies, funds would be made available only to entities which demonstrate required community support and missions consistent with the policy goals and outcomes intended by the General Assembly.” Oh yes, let’s let the state agencies and appointed boards pick who receives millions of dollars based off of their own “merit” metrics. My money is on whoever has the highest ESG and DEI scores!

Many of McMaster’s vetos were eliminating duplicate funding and were honestly underwhelming. I would just like to know why he only had 73 vetoes and added $2.85 billion personally to the budget while state schools continue to receive millions in DEI funds, foreign companies receive billions, and Planned Parenthood still receives money through federal funding given to the state.

After a quick look at the budget, I noticed a few things that seemed…odd:

Remember how early this year Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom–shortly after mismanaging $3.5 billionresigned after 20 years in office? Governor McMaster appointed democrat Brian J. Gaines in May of this year. In the FY2022-23 budget, the Comp General’s office received $3.5 million, while this year they received over a million increase, totaling $4.6 million for FY 2023-24. Who knew you could receive a major increase after just assuming an office that just misplaced billions of dollars!

The SC Department of Transportation received $2.6 trillion in funding for all the road maintenance they DEFINITELY stay on top of! The Executive Director of the SCDOT receives $298,000 (that is officially recorded) annually. Must be nice to get paid big bucks for never fixing our roads!

But of course, this is only a very small snapshot of what is in this year’s budget. Maybe next year we will get one functioning road, but I’m not holding my breath.