SPOILER ALERT: A GAS TAX HIKE ISN’T GOING TO FIX THE PROBLEM
|| By FITSNEWS || The dirty little secret in Columbia, S.C. is that there’s plenty of money to fund the core functions of state government. Our “Republican” leaders just don’t want to.
They’d rather continue blowing cash on raises for University presidents who already make more than $800,000 a year. Oh, and for “higher education” in general, which last time we checked was not a core function of government … but rather a for-profit scam. A very, very costly one.
Lawmakers also continue to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending on South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system, its soaring socialized medicine bill, bailouts for wealthy corporations, shady ‘economic development‘ deals and … lest we forget … dozens of exorbitantly expensive and totally unnecessary highway projects.
Also, the S.C. Department of Transportation continues to be colossally mismanaged and eternally corrupt – even though lawmakers ostensibly “reformed” it seven years ago under the administration of former governor Mark Sanford.
Anyway … the contemplated budget for the coming fiscal year is $25.7 billion (not counting several hundred million in proposed deficit spending). That’s a whopping $590 million more than lawmakers appropriated last spring for the current fiscal year (which ends on June 30). It’s also roughly $5 billion more than was spent five years ago.
Have South Carolina income levels seen similar growth? Hell no …
Apparently this orgy of government growth is not enough for the “Fix Our Roads” crowd … whose liberal leaders are demanding the passage of a massive gasoline tax (and other fee hikes on motorists) to address a so-called “shortfall” in highway funding. And “Republican” leaders have dutifully capitulated to their demands, with the “GOP-controlled” S.C. House offering up a $427 million tax hike and the “GOP-controlled” Senate proposing an $800 million tax hike.
South Carolinians simply can’t afford that – especially seeing as they already pay a higher percentage of their income on fuel costs than residents of any other state save Mississippi or West Virginia.
Even if they could afford it, though, would higher taxes really “fix our roads?”
Don’t be silly. The only thing more predictable than South Carolina’s tax-and-spend approach to “fixing” a problem … is its inevitable failure to fix the problem.
Enter the S.C. Policy Council – a libertarian-leaning think tank which is opposing the gasoline tax hike. This week, the organization posited a simple question to South Carolinians (which it urged them to ask their elected officials): “If this tax and fee increase becomes law, can you assure us that our roads will be fixed?”
Seems like a reasonable ask, huh?
Indeed … especially in light of the glaring, growing disconnect between “more government” and “better outcomes.”
If you’d like to put this simple question to your elected representative, here’s the link (oh, and the group has also included governor Nikki Haley on the list seeing as she supports a gasoline tax hike as well).