QUESTION: Even as the economy slowly improves, South Carolina faces a budget deficit for next fiscal year. Some estimate it could be $1 billion. What program would you advocate cutting or eliminating to balance the books?
|Nikki Haley, of Lexington, Republican nominee||Morgan Reeves, of Irmo, Green and United Citizens parties' nominee||Vincent Sheheen, of Camden, Democratic Party nominee|
|ANSWER: One of the first things I will do as governor is audit every cabinet agency in my administration to find inefficiencies that cost taxpayers money. I then want to implement zero-based budgeting to ensure that wasteful programs are much harder to create in the future. We have a serious spending problem in state government and the best way to fix it is to force state government to operate like a business.||ANSWER: We are $2 billion short for current vital needs as House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen all voted to cut taxes by 40 percent. Federal stimulus made up some of the difference, but teachers were laid off or furloughed and the funding of many agencies was slashed. By raising taxes on large corporation profits, corporation capital gains, we can recoup the revenue needed to balance our state budget. Increases in my budget will be for growth in green jobs and occupations for our taxpayers to earn a living wage.||ANSWER: I would require every agency to submit a yearly "programmatic budget" to justify each department's respective programs so we could fund what is working and weed out the programs that waste tax dollars. I believe we should conduct regular reviews of each state agency so that the legislature can ensure they are meeting their obligations. We should eliminate duplicative accounting and human resource departments across state government and consolidate these departments to provide the services in a more efficient and cost effective manner. We should move administrative functions from the budget and control board and place them under the governors authority for accountability.|