Sen. Tim Scott speaks to a group of business and political leaders at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Center in Greenville. (Photo/Liz Segrist)
By Liz Segrist
Published Jan. 14, 2013
Sen. Tim Scott, the state’s newest and unexpected addition to the U.S. Senate, said he wants to reduce national spending and debt, while focusing on tax reform.
Scott aims to lower both corporate taxes and personal tax rates, which he said will increase revenues coming in and help the economy grow at a faster pace.
During his tour of the Upstate, Scott made a stop in Greenville to speak to roughly 200 business and political leaders at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Center. Scott shared his background and kept the attendees laughing before fielding questions from constituents about his views on gun rights, health care, small business and spending, among other hot topics.
A traditional supporter of small business and entrepreneurs, as well as the owner of an insurance agency himself, Scott said less regulation is crucial for small business to grow.
“We need to put the focus back on family-owned businesses, which is incredibly important and the focus has not been there,” Scott said. “When I started my business, I started with very little cash and had to go door-to-door to make sales happen, so the grit and opportunity is still available. We need to make sure that the government doesn’t create a bigger impediment to growth.”
Scott said there’s room for job growth in the energy sector. As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he said that South Carolina could capitalize on its nuclear, gas and biofuels industries in the state to lead the nation on the energy exploration front.
The North Charleston native’s record shows Scott is both fiscally and socially conservative, advocating for smaller government, lower taxes and Second Amendment rights. He has earned a reputation as a conservative in support of tax reform, less regulation for small business and entrepreneurs, and state’s right-to-work laws.
He strongly and openly opposed the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to sue Boeing for plans to build a 787 assembly facility in North Charleston. Scott also opposes the president’s health care law.
“We are going the wrong direction in health care,” Scott said. “The cost of health care is getting ready to explode.”
Scott said a focus on preventative health care — specifically diabetes II, high blood pressure and cholesterol — would substantially reduce the cost on the health care system.
Prior to being elected to the state House of Representatives in 2008 and again in 2010, Scott served on Charleston County Council for 13 years, including four terms as chairman.
Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Scott to fill the unexpired term of former Sen. Jim DeMint last month after DeMint announced plans to become president of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. Scott will fill DeMint’s term until the general election in 2014, at which time Scott intends to seek re-election.
Scott spoke of growing up with his mother, a single-parent who worked 16-hour days as a nurse assistant. Scott was struggling in high school and failing four classes when John Moniz, a Chick-fil-A owner in North Charleston, began mentoring him. The relationship profoundly impacted Scott.
“He taught me that I could think my way out of poverty,” Scott said. “It set me on a mission to positively impact the lives of millions of people.”