Over the holiday weekend an editorial in The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier – a.k.a. the “Post and Corruption” – embraced the establishment of a “badly needed gas tax hike” in South Carolina.

The paper also chided “hardheads in the Legislature” for refusing to embrace such a tax hike.

“By passing up a gas tax increase, the state’s leadership is passing up a good deal for road funding,” the paper claimed.


It’s not surprising the Post and Courier  is adopting this view – and refusing to embrace long-overdue reforms to the way infrastructure is funded in South Carolina.

After all, Charleston is home to the costly Interstate 526 expansion – one of the biggest, most expensive unnecessary transportation boondoggles in state history.

The Lowcountry loves the current, corrupt system … and their main media microphone is clearly intent on keeping that gravy train flowing.

Seven years ago, state leaders claimed to have “reformed” transportation funding in South Carolina.  Turns out that was yet another example of “reform in name only.”  Hundreds of millions of dollars are still being blown on wasteful projects, while nothing has been done to shrink the nation’s fourth-largest system of state-maintained (or non-maintained) roads.

FITS has been exposing South Carolina’s highway funding issues for years. To read one of our more recent reports, CLICK HERE.  Under S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, a bad situation has gotten worse – culminating in the drunk driving arrest of former S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) director Robert St. Onge, who resigned his office in disgrace earlier this year.

Compounding the problem, Haley has proposed replacing St. Onge with a fiscally liberal Washington insider.

We’re not denying that there are critical infrastructure needs in South Carolina.  And unlike some strict libertarians, we’re not disputing government’s necessary involvement in meeting those needs.  Funding for legitimate infrastructure improvements is a core function of government, in our estimation.

Having said that, there’s no way taxpayers should be forced to pay new taxes and fees at a time when our system is unnecessarily bloated, politically driven and inherently wasteful.  And at a time when government is subsidizing so many non-essential items – like higher education or crony capitalist “economic development.”

Throwing new money at South Carolina’s transportation system is the easy answer.  But no matter where that money comes from, it’s never going to accomplish anything unless the system itself is truly reformed.

That means reducing the size of the network we maintain, saying “no” to unnecessary projects like the Interstate 526 expansion and establishing a project scoring system for future appropriations that’s based on actual, not political, needs.