Woody Needham's Goal as Governor of SC:
What the People of South Carolina Need in 2010 is to Renew their Commitment to the 1776 Principle that Freed Colonies to Form a Nation and Determined People to Become Citizens:
Governmental and Personal Responsibility, Accountability and Self-Reliance
If You Also Believe in Self-Reliance, Please Write-In My Name on November's Gubernatorial Ballot
Major Planks in Woody's Platform:
Stabilization of Foreign Currency & Commodity Prices to Help SC Companies Compete in the Global Economy - SCFCCFA (SC Foreign Currency & Commodity Fluctuation Account)
• $100M pool to reimburse SC firms doing business abroad for ongoing currency and price fluctuations.
• The companies will contribute into the pool when they pay below their obligation rates, and pledge to keep their employment levels high.
• The SC Labor, Sales & Transportation Fluctuation Account (SCLSTFA) will similarly protect companies in interstate trade.
• In return, the State will receive dividend paying stock to finance the program.
Creation of a State Level Trust Fund Paid by Workers - SCUTA (SC Unemployment Trust Account)
• EmployERS pay the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) contributions for the benefit of workers.
• In the sprit of self-reliance, this SC program will enable employEES to finance their own unemployment benefits by sending a comparable percentage of their wages to the trust account.
• SCUTA steps in when FUTA runs out by continuing to provide benefits to the unemployed.
• The SCUTA trust fund will be underwritten by $100M from the State's $6.2B investment portfolio.
Fostering Research and Development through SCORE (SC Office of Research and Evaluation)
• SC needs to renew its commitment to finding practical solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.
• We will create SCORE, a new, state sponsored research and development center in an economically challenged county.
• $200M in funding and 100 staff positions will be allocated to this effort.
Relocation of 25% of Executive Branch Agency Functions from Columbia to Poor Counties
• Open positions will be filled by local hires.
• In addition to reducing unemployment, this program will generate additional business and attract investment.
• Create 2 academies in poor counties to house, teach and train special needs citizens to be self-reliant.
• They will learn to produce economically viable goods and services which will be sold to finance the program backed by a $300M bond issue.
• The goal is to teach these exceptional people to achieve and maintain dignity and self-reliance by being productive.
• $150M to underwrite 2 new private companies to produce and sell aluminum, sound-proof jail cells nationwide.
• The companies will be located in 2 SC counties with high unemployment.
• They will employ welders, electricians, plumbers and other staff.
Debt Reduction & Budget Reform
Utilize Portion of Investment Portfolio Reserves to Reduce Debt
• SC has $5B in debt with an annual debt service cost of $225M.
• We have $6.2B in reserves in an investment portfolio.
• We will use $1B of these funds to pay down the debt to $4B, thereby reducing annual debt service by $44M.
Stop Double Taxation of Income
• We will end the double (state and federal) taxation of income for individuals and businesses in SC by 2014.
• The 2009 SC income tax revenues from businesses and individuals were $207 Million and $2.327 Billion respectively.
• This combined amount ($2.527B) will be covered by raising the sales tax from 6 to 9%, increasing the state share of the gasoline tax from 16.75 to 20.00%, and strictly enforcing the Internet-based sales tax at the point of entry.
• We must permanently stop PAYING certain people (some 22% of SC's population) to REMAIN POOR. Woody says:
"No preparation, no payment."
• Those who work and bear an unfair share of the community burden resent the current welfare system. Long-term welfare is un-American—the antithesis of self reliance.
• We must tie welfare payments to each individual recipient's active participation in preparing and training to become financially self-reliant within 2 years.
Realize Additional Savings Through State Staff Reduction
There will be a 10% reduction in State staffing with an estimated savings of $1.2B
Public education in SC is a dysfunctional mess. We need to provide a free academic education (K thru graduate school).
Individual Knowledge Experienced Learning (IKEL)
• Eliminate 2 of the current years in the K-12 system and the freshman college year.
• Set, enforce and maintain rigorous academic standards at the local level. Parents will play a vital role in this reform. Students and parents will be required to sign an academic contract.
• Disorderly conduct will no longer be tolerated. Violations will result in the issuance of tickets requiring parents to appear before education magistrates.
• Introduce 3 new levels to replace the current structure: Fundamental, Necessary and Essential. Students will move through these levels at their own pace.
• Reduce the Dept. of Education by 80% and transfer curriculum development to the local districts.
• Home school teachers will be paid and supervised by the local districts. We shall institute academic teams and leagues to foster scholarship.
• New teachers and administrators will be required to have 3 years of vocational experience to earn their certifications.
• There will be no social promotion.
South Carolina Educational TVDistance Learning (SCETV-DL)
Creates and distributes academic and vocational-technical courses on various subjects.
Disabled Deaf and Blind Occupation Program (DIDEBOP)
Provides COLLEGE training to ensure these residents are able to realize their dreams by learning marketable professions.
Health Care & Other Programs
Self Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
• An Autonomous, Self-Governing, Self-Financing Community Consortium
• No deductible, no exclusions
• Replaces Medicaid AND saves $1.4B
• Provides huge employER savings and reduces employEE costs.
Home Ownership Program (HOP)
I propose a new, fair home mortgage financing plan that results in a more balanced ratio of interest and principal payments. It also offers better options for dealing with defaults and bankruptcies.
No Palmetto Patriot Left Behind
We shall implement a free $250K life insurance policy for all SC residents who work in emergency services or the military.
For full program details and additional info, please visit my Web site at: www.woodygov.net