To that end, Duncan has been holding non-traditional town halls – what he calls “Listening Sessions” throughout the Third District this week.
Monday afternoon found him at Joe’s Ice Cream Parlor in Easley.
“This has been a trend we’ve had since I became a Congressman, going in to the district to and meet with the voters, try to hear what they think about what Washington’s doing, what I’m doing.”
Duncan said his constituents are concerned with “taxation, regulation and litigation.”
“The anti-business climate,” Duncan said. “We’ve got an administration talking about job creation but he’s starting about creating more government and most people that I’ve talked to around my district, they realize the federal government needs to get out of the way.
“We’ve got not only the EPA regulating air quality standards and other things that are going to hamper business, they’re denying an air quality platform to a drilling platform in the Arctic Sea to meet our energy needs through domestic production … we’ve got the de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico,” he said.
Another factor hindering job creation in the US is the country’s corporate tax rate, which Duncan called “the highest corporate tax rate in the world.”
“You can’t continue to think we’re going to have businesses operate in the United States of America, when we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. You saddle on not only that, but the fear of litigation,” Duncan said.
He referenced the National Labor Relations board’s lawsuit against Boeing, which alleges the company illegally shifted work from union plants in Washington to non-union plants in South Carolina.
“They made a business decision to come to
South Carolina because we’re a right to work state,” he said. “The labor cost is less, the land’s less, than where they were.
“We’ve got these policies that are anti-business,” he said. “If the government would just stop what they’re doing and get out of the way, the economy would come back,” Duncan said.
Air-quality standards are a big concern to business and government leaders in the Upstate.
Pickens County Administrator Chap Hurst told the Sentinel that such regulations could hinder both efforts to recruit new industries to Pickens County and projects such as the county’s effort to link Simms School Road with U.S. 123
Duncan said Congress could cut funding from the EPA to rein them in.
“That’s one thing we’re trying to do,” he said. “The other thing I’m looking at is where these air monitors are, the stations that monitor the air quality in Upstate South Carolina, at least in the Third District. A lot of them are in the Western side of the state, right down the Savannah River. If you just look at natural weather patterns, you know our air is affected by what comes from the west. To the west is Atlanta, to the west is Georgia.”
“There’s no policies that you can impose on South Carolina businesses that are going to change that air, because it’s been created, because it’s been created and affected on the other side of those monitors.”
Pickens County Council has asked the EPA to let the location of the county’s air-quality monitor be moved, but to no avail.
“The EPA’s accountable to somebody,” Duncan
said. “If they want to see how the air in Pickens Count is affecting the state, they can put the air monitor on the Greenville County line or down in Anderson County, so they catch that air that’s coming out of Anderson or Pickens or Oconee County businesses to see what they’re doing to affect air quality.
“It’s just common sense. We’ve got to make a bunch of changes there,” he continued.