Saturday, July 30, 2011

Demint and South Carolina Republicans put their State at severe financial risk with their extreme debt-ceiling stance

If the credit agencies downgrade U.S. debt, South Carolinians and all Americans will see their interest rates increase and more will be forced to do business with the many legal loan shark operations like this one on the outskirts of Spartanburg, that line South Carolina's roadsides.

Senator Jim Demint, the self-proclaimed Tea Party senator has stood fast to oppose raising the U.S. debt ceiling unless Congress passes a balanced budget amendment to the 50 State legislatures in just two days. He has been joined by the five Congressional Republicans that represent his State in support of the so-called Cut, Cap and Balance legislation and additional stonewalling strategies that have caused credit rating agencies such as Moody's to threaten downgrading  the country's current AAA credit rating.

Debt ceiling debacle poses greater fiscal risk to South Carolina than for other states
What is often not reported however, is that it the debt ceiling crisis also threatens the financial health of individual states that for one reason or another are highly dependent on Federal spending.

Because South Carolina is an "above average" recipient of funds for Medicaid and Federal procurement contracts, Moody's has threatened to downgrade their credit rating along with that of the Federal government if the risk to US solvency is determined to increase.

Logical Consequences, Illogical South Carolina Politicans
In one of the poorest states in the country (which explains its need for high levels of Medicaid funding), with some of the most egregious social problems that include the nation's highest violent crime rate, enormous public health problems and poor education a credit downgrade will result in immediate increased borrowing costs. Given the budget slashing passions of Govenor Nikki Haley and the conservative regime that runs her State, this will likely mean more budget cuts and more misery for South Carolina residents.

In this WSPA Channel 7 report a state official explains that South Carolina's high poverty rate makes it vulnerable for a credit downgrade if US credit is downgraded as well.

Its impossible to see how Cut, Cap and Balance is a anything but an effort to crash South Carolina's already fragile economy. It is nearly impossible to understand how the elected representatives of South Carolina can take such extreme positions in light of their State's financial vulnerability.

Who benefits from an economic strategy that is destined to cause so much pain to so many people?
Koch Brothers: generous Demint funders even when he faces no real campaign opposition
Big Boeing money goes to Senator Demint and South Carolina congressional Republicans
Demint evades blame in U.S. debt downgrade

Additional reading
Read Moody's report on South Carolina's possible credit down grade.
Read Washington Post report on South Carolina Republican congressional delegation's refusal to compromise
Read Associated Press report on how Jim Demint pulls the strings behind the right's inflexible approach to the debt ceiling debate.
Investors journal: South Carolina 6th worst run American state
South Carolina legislators pad income with excessive pension and salary scheme

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Senator Demint's web site goes down and stays down after President's debt ceiling speech

Could President Obama's July 25th speech on the debt ceiling debate be the reason why Senator Demint's official Senate web site is currently off line? Perhaps the President's plea to Americans to appeal to their Congressional representatives was more than the South Carolina Senator wanted to hear. After all the hard working families of South Carolina can't provide the kind of support Boeing and the Koch Brothers generously give.

For some inexplicable reason, a number of Congressional web sites went down after President Obama's latest speech on the debt ceiling crisis. They included web sites operated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner. As of this morning those sites were back on line. However South Carolina Senator Jim Demint's site remains down. Since we provide a link to the Senator's web page from this blog we thought it worthwhile to report this news.


Was it a crash, server problem, hacker or intentional shutdown of the web page by its administrators? We will publish any further explanations that we find on this quirky event.

Demint blames White House for U.S. credit downgrade following tea party driven debacle

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Teen pregnancies, HIV and AIDS skyrocket in Jim DeMint's South Carolina

Poor education, poverty, conservative attitudes towards sex education and lack of access to health care and health insurance mean more teen pregnancies (13th in the Nation according to the Center for Disease Control) and skyrocketing increases in HIV, AIDS and other STDS and a high teen age death rate.

It's hard to understand Senator Demint's hostility to better access to health insurance when South Carolina is: 
No. 3 in U.S. for gonorrhea. Source
No. 4 in U.S. for chlamydia. Source
No. 5 in U.S. for stroke deaths
No.6 in U.S. for death by cervical cancer
No. 8 in U.S. for AIDS cases U.S. States and the District of Columbia. Source
No. 10 in U.S. for AIDS related deaths in US. Source
No. 10 in U.S. for syphillis. Source
No. 9 in U.S. for teen deaths. Source

Poor health: a fact of life in Jim Demint's South Carolina

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

South Carolina public schools among worst in US but Nikki Haley rejects spending $105 million of state surplus on education

Govenor Nikki Haley will veto South Carolina budget surplus for education even when the State's public schools perform worse than nearly any other schools in the Nation.

South Carolina public schools are among the worst in America. 

With 75% of students non-proficient and public high school drop out rate of 59% (46th in the Nation) the young people of South Carolina find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage not just for the jobs of the future but those of the present.

Yet South Carolina Govenor Nikki Haley claims she wants to return the State's current budget surplus to taxpayers rather than invest it in South Carolina's suffering schools that will lay off teachers if they fail to get financial relief.

Haley's economic development strategy: money for corporate subsidies and a cheap, non-union labor force

Apparently, Nikki Haley would rather invest in huge corporate subsidies like the $900 million the State gave Boeing in order to lure its new airplane plant to Charleston rather than in South Carolina's children. The conservative formula is an uneducated work force remains a cheap and compliant workforce.

Get the facts: neglect of South Carolina Schools means low wages
Senator Demint and South Carolina Congressman Clyburn clash over money for education
Is poor sex education responsible for high rates of teen pregnancies, HIV and STDs in South Carolina?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

South Carolina: highest violent crime rate according to US Census Bureau

High incarceration rates don't help South Carolina reduce violent crime

According to the US Census Bureau, South Carolina has the highest violent crime rate of all 50 states ( despite having the 9th highest incarceration rate in the US( the fact that according to the FBI violent crime has been dropping nationally.

DeMint has voted for more juvenile prisons and prosecution and against funding programs for kids like Boys and Girls clubs. but violent crime levels in South Carolina remain the highest  in the nation.*

Columbia, South Carolina's capitol city falls victim to crime wave
South Carolina rape and sexual assault statistics

*The US census bureau defines violent crime as: murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery.

Monday, July 4, 2011

5th in the US for stroke deaths, South Carolina may also rank high for memory impairment

High infant mortality is not a thing of the past in South Carolina. The State currently ranks 6th highest in the Nation for infant deaths according to the US Census. Its time to take a stand on behalf of Russell Dill, buried in a neglected Spartanburg, SC cemetary and all past and present victims of failed conservative health policies.
Along with residents of other States in the stroke belt (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas and Missouri) all of which happen to dominated by conservative "Red" politics, South Carolinians may also be suffering from increased rates of mental impairment and other forms of cognitive decline. For details read the New York Times Article here.

With 53.34 deaths per hundred thousand, South Carolina ranks 5th in the US for stroke deaths according to the statistics furnished by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

South Carolina 8th most obese state in the USA
In a related story, South Carolina ranks 8th in the US for obesity. With nearly 31% of the population suffering from a health problem that translates into heart disease, diabetes and many other serious and expensive problems.

In fact South Carolina is:
No. 7 in the U.S. for diabetes.
No. 10 in the U.S. for high blood pressure (hypertension)
No. 30 in the U.S. for physical exercise

South Carolinians need health insurance and health education to help with high incidences of stroke, HIV and other health problems
South Carolina ranks 13th from the bottom in the number of people with health insurance (US Census).

So why would South Carolina conservatives like Jim Demint and Nikki Haley trash "Obamacare", consider privatizing the State health insurance exchange and endorse huge cuts to Medicaid under those circumstances?

Poor health: a fact of life in Jim Demint's South Carolina
South Carolina teen pregnancies, HIV and AIDS
Elderly and dying face Medicaid cuts in South Carolina
Senator Demint trashes Medicare
More on South Carolina's uninsured