A Jackpot for South Carolina

COLUMBIA – They say money can’t buy happiness … but I know some budget writers who are happy about $61 million more in state income taxes! [That is the amount the state will receive in tax revenue from the winning Mega Millions jackpot that was in the news this week.]

While it’s certainly great news, I’d argue that restraint is in order. Rather than spending it all, lawmakers would be wise to consider using some or all of the money to shore up the state’s reserve accounts or to pay down long-term obligations.

Let’s not forget that our retirement pension system is underfunded by a whopping $30 billion. It’s perhaps the most important issue we face, and one the Legislature can no longer afford to ignore. The pension crisis will require some painful decisions. But every little bit we pay now will help alleviate some of the pain which we’ll suffer down the road.

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