I was not aware of a movement in the South Carolina Legislature to change to daylight saving time year-round until recently. Most who want to shift to daylight saving time say that it helps save energy, which it doesn’t.
We and most other living beings on Earth are better adapted to standard time or, even better, to local solar time. We would be healthier without daylight saving time.
I did not like to fight my offspring on this matter. Having school-age children going to school in the morning when the sun isn’t up is not a safe practice.
We humans do not function well when it is dark outside in the morning. Driving at that time of day is not as safe as an hour later.
Instead, South Carolina should abolish daylight saving time and enjoy the healthy benefits of sleep. Those of us who perform potentially dangerous tasks should do them when we are fully awake.
Another way of having healthier lives is to avoid exposure to blue LEDs, which can disturb our diurnal rhythms.
Value state employees
In speaking about the importance of teachers, Gov. Henry McMaster recently said that “the best way to deliver the message that we value their excellence and we want them to be part of this great prosperity we have in South Carolina” is to give them $372 million ($213 million this year plus $159 million in 2019) in pay increases.
I translate that his offer of $33 million to the 60,000 state employees means he does not value their excellence, nor does he want them to be part of this great prosperity we have in South Carolina.
How insulting to our hard-working state employees.
Do the right thing
As I watched the swearing-in on Jan. 17 of senators for the president’s impeachment trial, there was breaking news of damaging information from Lev Parnas.
The Russian contributor is now acknowledging that he was the point man in the shakedown of the Ukrainian government, working with Rudy Giuliani for President Donald Trump to hold back funding approved by Congress for Ukraine’s defense.
Parnas needs to be called as a witness to validate his accusations or have the Senate dismiss them.
I ask that the Senate approve a motion that supports calling witnesses and demands the release of documents that will get to the truth of the matter.
After watching this solemn initiation and the oath taken, I cannot see how anyone would not want to call witnesses and require the release of documents to prove the case for or against the president.
This is beyond politics and requires that the information presented either exonerate the president so we can move on, or, based on facts and evidence, the senators can uphold their responsibilities and the oath they took in protecting the Constitution.
I trust they will do the right thing wherever the facts take us. If witnesses are not called and documents not released, any outcome will be overshadowed by the process. Depending on what side you are on, you may never accept the findings.
Reckoning is coming
President Trump has made the vibrant economy a key selling point in his campaign. Like his Republican predecessors, Trump has stimulated the economy through a combination of tax cuts and spending increases.
Deficit spending along with lower interest rates are traditional economic tools used by the government to repair the economy when a recession occurs. Unfortunately, Republicans have used these tools in good times to provide stimulation when the economy was already performing well. Giving Trump credit for the economy also gives him responsibility for the consequences of debt accumulated through his policies.
We will have to eventually repay these obligations. If deficit spending stimulates an economy in recession, logically the opposite will suppress economic activity and cause a recession. We have left our children with a tremendous debt while simultaneously depriving them of needed stimulus tools.
South Carolina state government, dominated by Republicans for decades, faces the same issue. Pensions have been significantly underfunded for years. Massive public obligations were created and are being left to our children to resolve.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, a Trump appointee, recently served notice on Congress that we are close to exhausting our resources for dealing with an economic downturn.
Let’s credit Trump for his role in our current situation. But Powell has indicated that we are close to a period of economic reckoning. Let’s remember who deserves credit for this.