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Nikki Haley: Government 'Never Intended to Be All Things to All People'

4 years ago
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In her first State of the State address, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley promised to make the "tough but right decisions" to overcome challenges that include budget shortfalls of close to $1 billion. While she offered some specific policies -- and said more would follow in the coming weeks -- Haley also reiterated the familiar themes of smaller government and spending reform that helped her become South Carolina's first woman governor.

At the state house in Columbia on Wednesday evening, Haley echoed Ronald Reagan's sentiment that "as government expands, liberty contracts." The role of government, she said, is "to secure the rights and freedoms of our people." It was "never intended to be all things to all people."

Haley has always opposed the federal health care reform law, which the House on Wednesday voted to repeal. She said she would support the South Carolina attorney general's legal action against the legislation, which she called a "looming disaster," and recalled a conversation she had recently with President Obama in Washington, asking him to consider repealing the law. "He quickly told me 'no,'" she said.

Among the challenges the state faces is a $228 million budget shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicaid. It has said it will have to stop making payments to doctors in March. In her address, Haley asked that the state strike the proviso prohibiting the HHS director from setting rates paid to providers through Medicaid, and proposed that Medicaid be allowed to use generic medications for AIDS, cancer and mental health treatment.

Haley also suggested cutting $2.5 million used to fund an arts commission she said the state can no longer afford, and $9.5 million to ETV, the public television station that was live-streaming her address.

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Nikki Hailey is the first Republican spokesperson who has articulated a position that is classically Libertarian, and also backed it up with a two-year track record of accomplishments in her state. And, of course, she is the youngest governor by far of any state in the USA, which means she can wait out Obama's two terms as President and enter the national sweepstakes with a considerable resume. She's one to watch for the future, and my bet is that she'd be a shoo-in for the 2018 election if she continues on her present course.

January 20 2011 at 8:38 AM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

I am not a SC citizen, and thought I might throw out some questions for SC residents to answer:
Haley's financial status? Is she, like most politicians, independently wealthy? If yes, is she collecting her paycheck and willing to take the taxpayer funded pension? There are some savings...
Repeal healthcare reform, yet asks the SC HHS to ensure there are no cuts to state Medicaid and the wants the state to dictate rates? Uh, both sides of the fence??
Good luck neighbors

January 20 2011 at 6:54 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to teckeedee's comment

If you reread the artical it allready has a $228 million deficit on the goverment run medicare program on the states side with more to come in 2014. The states had better start taxing people now for the extra healthcare cost in the near future!

January 20 2011 at 1:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I thought that moral societies were supposed to help those who are less fortunate. I am deeply saddened to live in a country where the we fail to understand our role. I can envision South Carolina pulling a Jan Brewster and cutting funds to transplant patients on their death beds. While our infratructure crumbles about our heads, we "rich" and "international" corporations refuse to cough up the funds essential to our future prosperity. How sad for us.

January 20 2011 at 1:01 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to grant06's comment
Ann Suhl

grant06, Over the years the less fortunate have become reliant on our assistance. It is now time to ween them. For many, we need to have them help themselves. We have bread the feeling of entitlement. We need to find a way to make people contribute to this society if they are physically able. It has never been the goverments job to provide for us from cradle to grave. If we weed those that are capiable of working from our welfare rolls, then we may be able to take care of those that are actually less fortunate. Thank this through. Our present system can not be substained. Decisions has to be made and they are going to be tough. This is the time to do what is right for the nation.

January 20 2011 at 1:03 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

How do you cut funds your state or federial goverment doesnot have .

January 20 2011 at 1:34 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Well she will have to find money to pay those private entities she lovingly like to quote for housing our military. Why would you go and demolish perfectly good homes to build new ones at the expense of the tax payers?? I get it because she owed the contractors some pay back for their contribution to her lame campaign. This woman is a joke and I hope all you loony toons that voted her in pay dearly for your ignorance.

January 19 2011 at 11:42 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to msmichlee's comment

If possible....try to actually read real information about a candidate before slandering them. (yes...this is slander). Try to join the "new democrats", ones that READ the WHOLE BILL and actually get their information from credible sources not just the daily talking points handed out. The democratici party is losing credibilty with this these "old ways"...cmon.......

January 20 2011 at 9:11 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Pretty weak cuts she has proposed. With a budget gap that big she better get to work, then see what the people think of her.

January 19 2011 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Yes, people say this, until they need government to help them, then of course the purpose of government changes. Is this governor willing to reject the government health care plan she gets for being the people's representative? Why should she get guaranteed healthcare and not her constituents?

January 19 2011 at 10:44 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

Haley right. And worse yet, many in Congress seem to see themselves as deserving of lavish lifestyles and view we the people as just a source of money for their wild spending sprees.

January 19 2011 at 10:15 PM Report abuse +27 rate up rate down Reply

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