NO, THAT HEADLINE ISN’T BACKWARD …
Welcome to “Republican-controlled” South Carolina …
Here, a pair of powerful “GOP” State Senators are pushing a tax increase on gasoline, even though Palmetto State residents pay a higher percentage of income on fuel costs than residents of any other state (save Mississippi). But that doesn’t matter to these “Republicans.” They are all about sticking to the taxpayer every way they can …
This website adamantly opposes a gas tax hike. Always have.
But we are especially vociferous in our opposition after state lawmakers – and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – borrowed at least half a billion last year to pour into the state’s broken transportation system.
That’s even worse than a tax hike … it’s deficit spending. And this money is being pumped into a bloated, inefficient system that places political projects ahead of legitimate needs.
Consider this: South Carolina administers the nation’s fourth-largest highway system – a whopping 41,613 miles of state-maintained roadways. That’s absolutely ridiculous for a state that ranks No. 40 nationally in terms of size (and No. 24 in terms of population).
Now consider this: According to data compiled by the Reason Foundation, South Carolina ranked second in the nation in total taxpayer disbursements per mile in 2007. In 2008 and 2009 – the latest years for which data is available – the Palmetto State led the nation in tax money spent per mile of state-maintained roads. Meanwhile from 2007-09 South Carolina led the nation in taxpayer disbursements per mile of bridges.
But hey … the “Republican” way apparently consists of continuing to tax, borrow and flush new money on this broken system.
Standing in opposition to this failed approach? A Democrat – S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers – who has previously proposed a gas tax cut.
Sellers announced this week his intention to oppose any plan to raise the gas tax in South Carolina – Democrat or Republican.
“We don’t need a gas tax increase. What we need is a serious plan to modernize and streamline our transportation delivery system – and a dedicated source of new revenue to meet prioritized needs, not political favors,” Sellers said in a statement. “It’s not lack of funding, or taxes that are too low that have caused our roads to fall in disrepair, it’s politicians who have their priorities out of whack. And now, instead of solving the problem they want to place the burden of fixing our roads on individuals who can least afford it along with small businesses.”
“We cannot take money from South Carolinians – who already spend a disproportionately high amount of their paychecks on fuel – and throw it into an unsustainable system that isn’t meeting their needs,” Sellers continued. “What we can do is fix the system first – and then fund top priorities.”
Sellers isn’t just talking the talk, either, he’s reportedly preparing a funding plan in the coming weeks to address spending priorities across state government … something that’s been sorely lacking in “GOP-controlled” South Carolina for decades.
Yeah … if you’re scratching your head right now, stop. You didn’t misread anything. A black Democrat (named Bakari) is fighting against a massive tax increase being pushed by a pair of good ‘ol boy “Republicans” (named Hugh and Ray) – one of whom makes bank off of the proceeds of that tax.
Which is the party of limited government again?
Props to Sellers for engaging this battle. Let’s just hope he gets some support in his efforts …