South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has had his moment in the Presidential sun. He finally declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Both the national and local media bought his rosy view of an American future under his folksy, "bipartisan" leadership.
His speech on May 22 at Charleston Southern University was filled with trademark personal stories and worn slogans. Absent were actual accomplishments from his charmed legislative career, stretching from Charleston County Council to his gift appointment as a Senator. He is just a man in a hurry.
Scott peddles a "we can work this out" line. Except that he never does "work it out." What works out helps only his big donors, not the voters.
So before his Presidential campaign likely fizzles, let's set the record straight on the real "accomplishments" of Senator Scott.
He claims he wants to improve the economic conditions for seniors.
But last August he voted against a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that would have capped the cost of insulin in private insurance plans. Even the radical Senator Josh Hawley voted for that! Not Scott. Lowering drug costs would help seniors considerably. But among Scott's biggest donors are Big Pharma, and he carries their water faithfully.
Scott claims that the economy is weak and jobs are scarce for his struggling constituents. Nonsense. He won't admit or doesn't know that the unemployment rate among Black Americans is at a RECORD LOW (4.7 percent).
Nevertheless, Scott pushes his pet project--"opportunity zones"--to boost employment and development in poorer areas. These zones have produced almost no tangible benefits for South Carolina, but they HAVE provided a capital gains tax break for wealthy investors. That was always Scott's goal in selling this scam to his buddy Donald Trump, who stuffed it into his ruinous 2017 tax cut bill.
If Scott was really interested in improving the economic life of average Americans, he wouldn't push union-busting legislation, but he does. He wouldn't be an opponent of a living wage. But he is.
After the murder of George Floyd, Scott embarked on his big initiative to show he could work with Democrats to improve police-public interactions. He failed, miserably.
He was interested only in providing more carrots to police departments for training.
He refused to touch the truly difficult issue of "qualified immunity" for police officers that protects them from liability in all but the most egregious cases of violent behavior against citizens. Scott blew up the negotiations with Senator Cory Booker and took his marbles home.
Finally, Scott whines about the size of the federal budget and the mounting debt. Yet he cast an important vote for Trump's steep 2017 tax cuts that added trillions to the very deficit Scott wants to tame. He also attacked Democrats for providing more money to the IRS to collect taxes owed, which should reduce the deficit by billions a year.
The bottom line on Scott is this: Don't confuse his affability with honesty. What he says is meant to mislead voters; what he does is deliver for his big donors.
David M. Rubin