Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has recently revealed her economic plan as she prepares for the next GOP Presidential debate. Despite being a long-shot candidate who is currently trailing in the polls, Haley remains determined to pursue her agenda if elected as President. Her plan primarily focuses on the elimination of the federal gas tax, reduction of income tax, and the permanence of small-business tax relief.
Political experts have largely regarded Haley’s chances of winning the GOP Primary as slim. However, they note that her previous run for Governor in 2010 was also considered a long-shot until she received crucial endorsements from prominent figures such as Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. Despite her previous success, Haley currently faces a slightly less favorable perception among the general public. Additionally, her support among GOP Primary voters has been lackluster, with an average polling percentage of around 5% in the Presidential primary.
Nikki Haley began her political career in 2004 as a State Representative in the South Carolina legislature before being elected as Governor in 2010. She later secured re-election in 2014 but eventually resigned from her position to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 to 2018. Haley attributes her inspiration to run for office to Hillary Clinton, stating that Clinton’s empowering message encouraged her to pursue a career in politics.
During her tenure as Governor, Haley approved six state budgets for South Carolina from 2011 to 2017. She often utilized the powers of a line-item veto to eliminate funding for programs she disagreed with. It is important to note that none of Haley’s budgets involved significant cuts to existing programs. Instead, the state budget experienced consistent growth over the years, increasing from $21 billion in 2011 to $27 billion in 2017, with an annual increment of nearly $1 billion.
Unlike some other states, South Carolina does not currently employ “zero-based budgeting” when setting their state budgets. In 2011, there were two bills proposed, HB 3215 and HB 4549, that aimed to implement this process, but neither received a legislative hearing. Strikingly, there is no record indicating that then-Governor Haley expressed support for either bill. However, she did exercise her fiscal conservative views by line-item vetoing funds intended for election integrity in 2011.
We reached out to the Nikki Haley for President campaign for comment on her economic plan but did not receive a response at the time of writing. As Haley prepares for the upcoming GOP debate, she faces a formidable challenge to gain traction among voters. However, her determination and past successes may yet prove pivotal in her presidential campaign.