House Republicans believe that marriage is an essential foundation of our society. We do too.
They believe that we should encourage and support marriage, particularly among parents. We do too.
They believe that we need to give married couples an extra tax break in order to accomplish this goal. We ... well, we find it hard to believe that even they believe that, at least not as envisioned in their latest proposal. They're smarter than that. ...
The plan, unveiled last month, would reduce the income tax bill for a married couple filing jointly by a grand total of $7 next year. The windfall would rise to $14 the year after next and $22 when it's fully phased in in 2010. (GOP leaders say the tax break would apply to all married couples, but the bill they filed clearly says it applies only to couples who file a joint federal return and a joint state return.) ...
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There is no reason to see this as anything other than pure, unadulterated, election-year pandering.
Drinks for troops
Perhaps the silliest part of Rep. Fletcher Smith's defense of a proposal to give soldiers who are 18 to 21 years old the right to drink alcohol is this quote from him that appeared in The Greenville News: "It (the proposal) treats our military personnel like the adults and heroes they are. If you can take a shot on the battlefield, you ought to be able to take a shot in a bar."
So the best part about being a hero is the right to have a celebratory drink? What a gross minimization it is of the sacrifices some of our soldiers make to defend this country to say that service merits them the right to slam shots in a bar. ...
Drinking a beer -- or, as Rep. Smith says, a shot -- has no direct correlation to a soldier's service. ...
This idea also is loaded with pitfalls for owners of establishments that sell alcohol. They would have to differentiate between 21-year-olds, 18-year-olds, and 18-year-olds who are in the military. And it could potentially strip South Carolina of much-needed federal highway funds that are tied to states keeping a 21-year-old drinking age. ...
There's a lot of important business to take care of in Columbia. This is not among it.
Tougher DUI laws
Of all the deaths that are preventable, one that results when someone drives drunk must be at the top of the list.
On the list of the state with the worst record, not just in DUI fatalities but in removing those drunken drivers from the road, South Carolina is at the top of the list.
Gov. Mark Sanford has toughening DUI laws at the top of his list.
We encourage lawmakers to make it No. 1 on theirs. ...
Now Mr. Sanford has taken his fight to cyberspace, putting a video on YouTube that dramatizes just how important this issue is -- or should be -- to the people of South Carolina.
In the video, the mother of a 5-year-old who was killed by a drunken driver, a repeat offender, asks people to call their lawmakers to pass legislation that passed the House last year, but didn't make it through the Senate, not because of the legislation, say senators, but because of the short time they had to review it.