“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” That comment is from more than a half a century ago, attributed to a US Senator* when he was talking about rampant spending.
Billions are real money. Especially when the billions are customer money.
Santee Cooper owes more than $7 billion. Well, Santee Cooper customers owe more than $7 billion. Billions have been owed for years. Debt could be a decades-long issue.
A simple loan calculator says that $7 billion dollars of debt for 20 years, at 3%, costs more than $2 billion in interest. Do customers have an extra $2 billion in addition to $7 billion?
Borrowing has its important place in business and government. Carrying debt is for a distinct payoff, a benefit, a positive result. With no product, like carbon-free nuclear power, what is the payout for customers as they pay?
How much capacity do customers have to absorb the rates that would increase under the current Santee Cooper structure? Why struggle when a solution is available through a sale of the organization?
This has already added up to real money. Do customers want to add more of their real money, too?
*Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois has this quote attributed to him while criticizing undisciplined federal government spending in the 1960s.