There’s been a great deal of debate over the Heritage Golf Tournament here in South Carolina, and the many funding woes that it has encountered. For at least the last two legislative sessions in Columbia, lawmakers on both sides of the party isle have proposed bailing out the tournament, using taxpayer dollars, as they believe it is an inestimable blessing to our state’s economy. These flawed arguments ought to serve as a reminder of why government shouldn’t be planning the economy in our State, or any other in this Nation.
Government feeds on inefficiency. It moves in to fill the void when free markets deem a product or service inadequate to survive and thrive. Take, for example, this annual golf tournament on Hilton Head. It has failed to attract enough private sponsorship to successfully operate independently. Now, some Columbia politicians have decided they’d like to try their hand at bringing in adequate sponsorship…from the taxpayers of South Carolina. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why this is a bad idea, and isn’t a role for government. If the free market doesn’t support this tournament, it must not be as important to our state economy as some in Columbia would like to think. Or, perhaps those advocating a state bailout realize that it may not be important for the economy as a whole, but good for headlines. The latter is what most politicians seek.
South Carolinians, however, are seeking a better economy. Folks from Hilton Head to Spartanburg, and every town in between, want to see an economy that translates not only into headlines and state domestic product growth, but real, tangible improvements in their standard of living. This can only be realized in an economy free of big government meddling. Bailing out golf tournaments isn’t good for the people of this State; it’s good for Columbia’s efforts to micro-manage our economy and gain greater power over commerce in South Carolina. We must not let this happen.
The great heritage of our State, of our Nation, is freedom. This means the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In short, the preservation of natural, or God-given, rights incumbent on our humanity. Allowing government to take from millions of taxpayers in our State, to hand out to a hand full of well-connected business lobbies associated with the Heritage Tournament ought to be unconscionable.
In the Scripture, we find God’s warning, through the prophet Samuel, of how a king (representative of central control) would abuse the people over whom he reigned. God warned His people that the king would take from the people to give to his friends and attendants. Well, by the looks of it, times haven’t changed much. Freedom-loving Americans must push back against our government’s attempt, at the state and federal levels, to create a savior-based economic model, whereby only the well-heeled and well-connected have a seat at the table.
We must stand for faith, freedom and free markets, and refuse to give up our heritage…especially over something like the Heritage Golf Tournament.