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March 2019

Final Thoughts with Joe Cunningham


Final Thoughts

Joe Cunningham
1st District, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina

What are your thoughts about how the golf industry has long been singled out in the tax code as a “sin industry” unworthy of disaster relief or economic stimulus legislation in the past?

Wholesale judgment about the golf industry like this is wrong — it’s an anachronism.  Golf courses should be treated no differently than businesses like hotels and restaurants when it comes to recovering from hurricanes or development opportunities in regions that could use a shot in the arm.
How should Congress and the White House approach environmental policy that impacts small businesses, especially when it comes to water-related permitting?

I think being pro-environment and pro-business are not mutually exclusive. On water issues, if how you treat or use water impacts others, proper regulation is warranted. Which agencies of government — from local to federal — should get involved or have oversight can certainly be complicated. If local or state agencies are not providing healthy oversight, there is a role for the federal government to play. But if those local agencies are doing a great job, then the federal involvement may not be necessary. It can really be case-by-case, issue-by-issue.
Do you believe golf is a form of physical activity that should qualify as exercise under the PHIT Act?

If you swing the club as many times as I do when I play golf, you bet it’s exercise! My father-in-law has witnessed it first-hand — he’s a caddie. But seriously, if more Americans were out playing golf and making their way around hundreds of acres outdoors with friends and family, that would only be a good thing. Of course, golf is exercise, and more should do it. And be sure the Lowcountry of South Carolina is where you do it!


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March 2019 Issue

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