DeMint calls for ‘constitutionally limited government’
By Nikie Mayo
Monday, August 23, 2010
ANDERSON — U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint said Monday that the best thing the federal government can do to help people recover from the recession is to get out of their way.
DeMint, a Republican from Greenville, was in Anderson to give an update on activities in Washington, D.C. But he said the people who have the most influence in what the county and state become are the leaders at the local and state level.
“When you send out the message that South Carolina is the best place to do business,” he said, “the roads, the schools, the other problems take care of themselves.”
Speaking to a group at the Civic Center of Anderson, DeMint said he supports a “constitutionally limited government” that has less of a regulatory reach.
He said people are attracted to Anderson because of its quality of life and because it is midway between Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C. It is legislators’ responsibility then, he said, to make sure the “weight to live here — the tax weight and the regulatory weight — is as minimal as possible.”
Of the happenings in Washington, DeMint said, “I guess the update is: It’s worse than you think.”
He said regular people are “riding a roller coaster” as they wait to find out whether their taxes will go up or down and how health-care reform will affect their businesses.
He said he believes health-care reform measures will be repealed in the coming months.
“If we allow the federal government to take complete control of health care,” he said, “I feel that you won’t recognize it in five years.”
He said federal stimulus money really amounts to a loan that will have to be paid back by future generations.
“There is not a county in South Carolina that does not need money for roads and infrastructure,” DeMint said. “You have to kind of balance that with: What do you want to do to your children and grandchildren?”
State Sen. Billy O’Dell, a Republican from Anderson, credited DeMint with calling leaders at First Quality Enterprises to woo them to come to Anderson.
Leaders of the New York-based business announced in May that they would make a billion-dollar investment during the next decade to build a paper products plant in Anderson.
“When a U.S. senator calls a CEO, he listens,” O’Dell said. “He is one that can move mountains, you might say.”
Tommy Dunn, the chairman of the Anderson County Council, said he thought Washington would be in better shape if there were more leaders who thought and worked like DeMint.
“I wish,” Dunn said, “that we had a few more like him.”