SC

SC Lawmaker Posts I-73 Selfie

Because America obviously has limitless money to print/ borrow/ spend …  Washington wisdom dictates we should continue to build roads we don’t need. Genius, right? Take South Carolina’s Interstate 73, which costs ten times as much as the responsible alternative to meeting our coast’s transportation needs. Couple thoughts here ……

Because America obviously has limitless money to print/ borrow/ spend …  Washington wisdom dictates we should continue to build roads we don’t need.

Genius, right?

Take South Carolina’s Interstate 73, which costs ten times as much as the responsible alternative to meeting our coast’s transportation needs.

Couple thoughts here … First, we’re not opposed to meeting those needs. Unlike a lot of pure “cops and courts” libertarians, we believe there is a role for government to play in select infrastructure enhancements.In our opinion it is entirely reasonable to expect taxpayers to provide funding for roads and bridges – and for government to efficiently build and maintain these roads and bridges as needed (ideally via a private sector contracts, not government bureaucracies).

That’s not what happens, though.

Despite the passage of “transportation reform” a few years back, South Carolina – which maintains one of the largest road networks in America (despite being one of the smallest states) – still makes transportation decisions based on politics, not public need.

Seriously … “conservative” lawmakers dispatch S.C. Department of Transportation officials to the gated communities of their wealthy friends while bemoaning the state’s so-called infrastructure deficit.

Meanwhile the SCDOT builds interchanges to nowhere … while at the same time stopping all paving and maintenance work due to a massive cash crunch (that somehow didn’t put a crimp in bureaucrats’ travel plans).

It’s insanity … yet roads and bridges continue to be built (and named) on the basis of favor-trading, not legitimate need.

Anyway … all this leads us to the Washington Metro from Reagan National Airport to Capitol Hill (a.k.a. the underbelly of the “Seat of the Empire”), which is where wanna-be Congressman and current S.C. Rep. Alan Clemmons (RINO-Horry) snapped this selfie …

i 73 selfie

Hot …

Seriously … Clemmons may be the second-sexiest bald man in the Palmetto State (and as luck would have it the first-sexiest doesn’t have Clemmons’ special underwear).

Anyway, Clemmons noted that he was visiting his “Congressional buddies” in Washington and was meeting with officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“(L)et’s all think positive I-73 thoughts!” he wrote in a note accompanying his selfie.

How cute …

But for the sake of future generations of taxpayers (American and South Carolinian), let’s not think positive thoughts about this boondoggle.

I-73 is a poster project for everything that’s wrong with how government approaches transportation – a costly, politically driven idea that should be fought, quite literally, at every turn.

More to the point, lawmakers need to stop passing “reform in name only” (like their contemplated ethics bill) and actually address the rampant corruption that exists with regard to state transportation funding.

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21 comments

Jesus H. Christ! December 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

“Seriously … Clemmons may be the second-sexiest bald man in the Palmetto State”

Get a ROOM, you two.

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The Colonel December 4, 2013 at 12:41 am

The first-sexiest man was Sol Blatt.

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More bridges to nowhere December 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Government might be tolerable if it was at least run on the principle of “user fees”, meaning you voluntarily used a service it provided by paying its associated fee.

I suppose you could view a gas tax under that lens despite the fact it catches people using lawmowers, chainsaws, etc. in its web.

I guess I could also accept the crony capitalism and government corruption involved with the funneling of money from a gas tax to legislators and their backdoor owned firms(or direct payoffs), associated with the graft of creating/maintaining roads if it weren’t for the fact that governments mix/co-mingle these funds in an effort to hide their graft and fund other stuff.

Even further, the moment you attack government in general, the first thing a statist does is bring up “roads”, like it’s some sacred issue that couldn’t be solved by the private sector-it’s the ultimate justification for government in most people’s minds(Sic included)-only ultimately due to their own inability to consider that a free market would come up with solutions if allowed to exist.

Regardless of whether you are a statist, “limited statist”, or not, government corruption is always and will forever be a constant in every affair it conducts.

So it is very difficult in that context for you to bitch much if you are looking for just the “right amount of corruption” in your statist arguments.

Unless of course you believe that an uncorrupted government could exist, which we all know is pie in the sky fantasy.

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vicupstate December 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Corruption doesn’t just exist in the public sector. Can you cite one example of a publicly accessible road built anywhere in the world with strictly private funds?

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More bridges to nowhere December 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm

“In the first three decades of the 19th century Americans built more than 10,000 miles [16,000 km] of turnpikes, mostly in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Relative to the economy at that time, this effort exceeded the post-World War II interstate highway system that present-day Americans assume had to be primarily planned and financed by the federal government”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_highways_in_the_United_States

Privately funded, publicly accessed(if you pony up).

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CNSYD December 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm

“”roads”, like it’s some sacred issue that couldn’t be solved by the
private sector-it’s the ultimate justification for government in most
people’s minds” Oh didn’t a private sector road (I-185) in Greenville County work so well!

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More bridges to nowhere December 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm

We’ve gone over this before, the only reason it was funded is because SCDOT backed/guaranteed the loans!

No true private venture would have slopped out money for that pig to start.

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CNSYD December 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I agree we have. My purpose is to remind the “private sector” touts how well it works on roads.

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More bridges to nowhere December 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

You somehow missed that the venture was never “private” to start. The taxpayers were on the hook from the beginning.

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CNSYD December 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

The private investors were no fools. They only invested IF SC backed the venture so that they could not lose. That will never change even if the libertarian utopia comes into being.

More bridges to nowhere December 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I highly doubt this “libertarian utopia” you reference ever does come into being. You simply are glossing over the fact that it wasn’t a “private” venture via red herring. Anyone using government backing by definition isn’t engaged in “private” business. You can call them a variety of things, but not “private”.

Maybe “crony capitalists”, etc. But you just like you can’t call a pig a donkey you can’t call a fascist business arrangement a “free market” or “private” enterprise. It is privatization of profits with socialized risks.

Not withstanding, the even bigger point you miss is that if government wasn’t able to use taxpayer money in such a manner the crony capitalists would be held personally responsible in a truly private venture(free market).

So it is the very existence of the government power to do so that enabled the whole fiasco to start.

BigMommasFormerHouse December 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

The Affordable Care website is an example of how you have to be careful when you outsource to private companies. The website was not designed by the US government; it was put together by a private company, CGI Global, not by government employees.

Professional guvmint contractors know how to game the system and they add that cost to the overall package. CGI ripped us off. They should be sued.

As for the I-185 in Greenville, few people use it because people do not want to pay to travel. But If you get private companies to build roads, they will make taxpayers one way or the other. You pay with private and you pay with government. There is no free ride.

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More bridges to nowhere December 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm

“The Affordable Care website is an example of how you have to be careful when you outsource to private companies.”

There was no bid process-so the process was corrupted to start and didn’t resemble anything that occurs in a free market.

The job was awarded to Michelle Obama’s buddy. Not only that, there’s no profit incentive for gov’t(as all gov’t ventures), so it would never work anyway. While there was a 1 private company involved, the whole process was instituted & delegated and followed up on by government.

You’d think that even government would check up on a private contractors work 1/2 way in to see some semblance of progress rather than waiting for the deadline to come and go without even functionality and then pointing fingers.

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CNSYD December 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Obviously you do not understand naval ship design and shipbuilding. What did not happen with ACA happens there.

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More bridges to nowhere December 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Yes, I’m sure unlike almost every other government program, ship building/design has no such cronyism and/or failings. It is as pure as the driven white snow.

Reagan: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

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The Colonel December 4, 2013 at 4:22 am

For the most part it is – Navy ship building not included. For most civilian purposes, a ship builder can do (within some regulation) whatever thay can afford to insure.

More bridges to nowhere December 4, 2013 at 10:54 am

“For the most part the ship building is free from the idiocy of governmental procurement”

I’ll I can assume from that statement is that they are functioning on a “cost plus” basis. If that is the case, I can assure you from personal experience that there is graft.

Unless of course you are distinguishing true private sector ship building versus that orchestrated for defense/by government.

The Colonel December 5, 2013 at 12:01 am

Never been involved with Naval ship procurement but was peripherally involved with some civilian ship construction. Basically a potential ship owner can build anything he can find a naval architect to sign off on and an underwriter to insure. Of course if he intends to use the ship for passengers…he has to meet USCG/NTSB/OSHA standards but those are fairly well interpreted at this point.

Absolutely agree that the milcon “cost plus” method of procurement is idiotic and invites abuse.

More bridges to nowhere December 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

In an industry very close to naval ship building I once tried to prevent a major (and I mean major) defense contractor from adding $25K to a simple job that I was doing for them. The response was, “Well, everything is cost plus, so don’t worry.”

I just can’t do business that way, my ethics prevent it. I worked 7 years to get them on board and flushed them down the drain after 3.

I could’ve made millions of dollars if I played ball. It was a very difficult decision for me. Especially because I have young kids.

tomstickler December 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Let us not forget that the I-73 boosters are basing their support on a “study” that I debunked more than two years ago.

https://www.fitsnews.com/2011/10/19/stickler-i-73-study-riddled-with-errors/

Since then, I have done more extensive investigation on the basis for the claim that I-73 will create 29,000 jobs — a claim I am sure Clemmons repeated in DC. While the Chmura report claimed that just the time saved by travelers using I-73 would result in the direct creation of 12,669 tourism-related jobs in the Myrtle Beach area, plus 6,187 more jobs created by the “ripple effect around South Carolina”, my analysis — based on the actual time savings and the probable number of tourists who would actually use I-73 shows that the total number of tourism-related jobs could not exceed 1,305.

I personally gave Clemmons a copy of this analysis this past May, and invited him to challenge my calculations.

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unclewillie1 December 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

Alan Clemmons is a Koch Brothers ALEC sock-puppet who survives locally as a Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce sock-puppet.

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