SC

Gas Tax Poll: Don’t Believe The Spin

MISLEADING POLL RESULTS DO DISSERVICE TO PALMETO STATE DEBATE … || By FITSNEWS || One of the big revelations contained in the latest edition of The Winthrop Poll was that South Carolinians support a gas tax hike. Wait … what? Didn’t we just publish poll results indicating the exact opposite was the…

MISLEADING POLL RESULTS DO DISSERVICE TO PALMETO STATE DEBATE …

|| By FITSNEWS || One of the big revelations contained in the latest edition of The Winthrop Poll was that South Carolinians support a gas tax hike.

Wait … what? Didn’t we just publish poll results indicating the exact opposite was the case? Yes.  And hasn’t FITS own poll on this issue demonstrated the opposite is true as well?  Yes … by a hefty 56-44 percent margin.

Apparently we weren’t asking the question the right way, though … at least that’s what Winthrop says in its tortured gas tax survey question, which has more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel.

And which the notoriously sensitive pollsters are already working overtime in an effort to justify …

First, here’s what Winthrop asked …

There is currently a proposal in the South Carolina Legislature to increase the state gas tax by up to 10 cents a gallon. This would increase the cost of gas in the state, but a gallon of gas in South Carolina would still be cheaper than a gallon of gas in North Carolina or Georgia. The money raised would be restricted to use for infrastructure, such as repairing roads and bridges.

Based on that description, 55.4 percent of respondents said they would support the plan – compared to 41.7 percent who opposed it.  And yes, you’d better believe tax hikers in the S.C. General Assembly are tripping all over themselves to get those numbers publicized.

Because after all, raising taxes and throwing more money at problems is the South Carolina way …

Has this approach worked?  Hell no … not for our roads, our schools, our prosperity, our health, our safety … nothing.

But people keep falling for it …

Anyway, sensing the criticism they’d receive for asking such a loaded question, Winthrop’s pollsters stated that their survey “gave an accurate portrayal of the (gas tax) proposal … AND full context.”

Okay … but what’s their definition of “full context?” Well, the pollsters said they provided respondents “with two things that proved to decrease support in the past (an actual dollar [cents] amount and the restatement that the cost of gas would RISE) and two things that proved to increase support in the past (money restricted to infrastructure and gas still cheaper than NC and GA).”

Hmmmm …

First of all that’s not “full context.”  Nowhere near it.  In fact it’s misleading as hell – making Winthrop’s poll much like the gas tax “coverage” provided by liberal legacy media outlets like The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.

As regular FITS readers know, “full context” means looking at gas prices as they are … not in a vacuum.

What do we mean by that?  It’s simple: Because South Carolinians are so poor – we pay a disproportionately high percentage of our income (nearly eight percent) on fuel costs.  Only residents of Mississippi and West Virginia pay more.

So while gas prices in the Palmetto State may be lower than they are in North Carolina and Georgia, our citizens are still paying more of what they earn on fuel.

And cannot afford to pay more …

Also, we hate to break it to Winthrop’s pollsters but trusting state legislators to spend taxpayer money on a stated purpose is like trusting Ike Turner to craft domestic violence legislation.

Seriously … remember the whole “Lottery for Education” scam?  Or all those tobacco settlement funds?

Just because lawmakers promise they will use a specific revenue stream for a stated purpose does not mean they will make good on that promise … in fact history has demonstrated such promises are almost always broken.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how Winthrop’s question should have been worded …

There is currently a proposal in the South Carolina Legislature to increase the state gas tax by up to 10 cents a gallon. This would increase the cost of gas in the state, where citizens already pay more for fuel than residents of any other state save Mississippi and West Virginia. Lawmakers say the money raised would be restricted to use for infrastructure, such as repairing roads and bridges, but they have historically lied about such earmarking.

That is “full context,” people.

And if you think that question would result in 55.4 percent of Palmetto State residents supporting the gas tax, well .. .you may have been educated in one of South Carolina’s government-run schools.

An honest debate on the gas tax in South Carolina must address economic and political realities – not ignore these realities in favor of status quo talking points.  We would encourage The Winthrop Poll to bear that in mind the next time they address this issue.

RAPID REACTION >>>

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21 comments

rwwllms March 4, 2015 at 12:20 pm

History has shown that any time a South Carolina politician or bureaucrat promises that a certain tax increase will only goes toward a specific program it never does. Never. Ant and all tax increases just end up in the usual pork barrel that all SC politicians and bureaucrats will take from for their own little personal pet projects or simply just wind up in their pockets.

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Nölff March 4, 2015 at 12:31 pm

You said what I was going to say. Have you been reading my Facebook?

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rwwllms March 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Nope. Should I? I know most of the people here wouldn’t like reading mine. I’m super critical of all politicians. No matter what letter may be by their name.

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Politics and Facebook March 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Like oil and water.

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Nölff March 4, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Nah. I was joking. Your comment looks like one of my Facebook rants.

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GrandTango March 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm

As long as you BASH Republicans (see FITS) they’ll all eat from your hands…But if it were not for Republicans, it would be TEN times worse…

Democrats are DESTROYING this country. They are a hateful DISEASE, and Obama is political Ebola….but if you say that on FB, or just about any mainstream (liberal) Forum…you’ll get banned, post-haste. The State newspaper HATES any criticism of them, or their Democrat gods…

Because it’s true…they cannot tolerate it…the truth is too damaging…

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GrandTango March 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Lobbyists, attorneys and consultants are already ordering their new Lexuses and large boats…in anticipation of Nikki giving them a GARGANTUAN pot of money to live lavishly with…

She is a Dumb@$$…with the idea that she does not have to get elected in SC again, so she can now F*#k the people…

I’d be Glad for her to get plucked out of our government for a cabinet post, or something like that…

Wonder what Henry thinks of a gas tax? …I hope he is not that stupid…

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E Norma Scok March 4, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Funny…below you’re complaining about Fits bashing republicans…

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GrandTango March 5, 2015 at 6:23 am

You are the epitome of a Dumb@$$…

FITS is an @$$-hole in his ignorant assault against Republicans, just because they are Republicans. It’s relentless.. . Haley is doing something very Democrat w/ this gas tax idea, and needs to be called out on it…

Are you THAT f*#king stupid…

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southmauldin March 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Blah Blah Blah. Liberal this and liberal that. Is Grand T now ghostwriting?

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GrandTango March 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

He’s learning, is all…

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euwe max March 4, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Republicans really seem to care…. about themselves.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein March 4, 2015 at 12:41 pm

ITBGRC, years ago one of our esteemed legislators commented on some project by stating bluntly something along the lines that “no tax dollars will be used…it will be paid for with ‘State Funds’.”
TBG advocates doing away with all taxation then financing projects this way. Essentially, that’s what the FedGov does with “deficit financing”. What could possibly go wrong?

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Jonny Logic March 4, 2015 at 1:50 pm

ENOUGH Already!! Raise the tax and FIX the @#@$# Roads!!!

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Its Time March 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

You must be confused. Remember how cutting taxes was supposed to make all of us more wealthy? Grow the economy and makes lots and lots of great paying jobs?? And since you radicals started cutting taxes almost 2 decades ago…so by your own logic..we must be all rich now …oh wait..it sounds like its time for yet another tax cut.

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No bias there March 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm

So how much taxpayer money does Winthrop get anyway?

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James March 5, 2015 at 10:46 am

What a dumb comment. So your position is that a professor at University that receives maybe 15% of its total funding from the state will be biased, because ????. I guess if we reverse that, any pollster whose company does not receive any state funding will be biased against the tax, so the poll cannot be trusted?

Typical Republican. Never discuss the issue, attack the messenger.

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Rick March 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm

The PPP poll, which is an independent poll as opposed to state sponsored schools like Winthrop or the poll paid for by the pro-gas tax people, has the anti gas tax at ABOVE 65%. That is substantial!

The General Assembly should reform the DOT and Infrastructure Bank this year, making them accountable, then take up the gas tax next year.

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E Norma Scok March 4, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Don’t call it a tax.

Call it the “vehicle use fee”

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belva March 5, 2015 at 8:46 am

Not to worry! Curtis Loftis has this under control with his comprehensive plan to fix our infrastructure. Let’s see…what was that again??? Oh yes, treat the roads with hot air and wind.

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okay March 5, 2015 at 9:25 am

Funny what scientific polls will tell you compared to a website poll. All the real polling that’s been made public shows support for a gas tax hike to pay for roads. Its what people care about and want right now.

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