SC Capital’s Growth: Out Of Control

GROWTH OF CITY GOVERNMENT FAR OUTPACES POPULATION, INFLATION || By FITSNEWS ||  It’s officially been one year since this website moved out of the City of Columbia, S.C., although we continue to follow the rampant corruption and fiscal mismanagement of its ethically challenged leaders. Why?  Because we feel sorry for the…


|| By FITSNEWS ||  It’s officially been one year since this website moved out of the City of Columbia, S.C., although we continue to follow the rampant corruption and fiscal mismanagement of its ethically challenged leaders.

Why?  Because we feel sorry for the taxpayers of Columbia, who continue being bled dry by their leader – Steve Benjamin (a.k.a. “Mayorhood”).

Benjamin’s latest ploy?  A massive tax hike (disguised as a tax cut) which is apparently intended to subsidize an NBA developmental league franchise.  Yeah … this after cost overruns associated with his government-subsidized baseball stadium (which itself is part of an even bigger “redevelopment” boondoggle).

And let’s not forget the scandal he pushed on the city prior to becoming mayor … or his “smashing” entry into the job.

Anyway, in researching Benjamin’s various athletic endeavors (which are clearly not core functions of government), we stumbled upon some interesting historical context for the recent growth in the City of Columbia’s budget.

According to a spreadsheet compiled by a local city councilman, Columbia’s spending has soared by a whopping 196.1 percent over the last twenty years.  That’s more than twenty times the rate of its population growth over the same period – and more than four times the rate of inflation.

Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)

city of cola

(Pic: Provided)

Yikes …

Does that look like sustainable spending growth to you?  Of course not … and while it’s obviously not all Benjamin’s fault, his reckless policies are making matters much worse.


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Guest June 2, 2015 at 1:48 pm

10% population growth in 20 years? That does not sound healthy.

GinormousTau June 2, 2015 at 1:57 pm

love to see that number in comparison to some of the towns around columbia

35TWW June 2, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Look at the traffic leaving Columbia for Lexington County every afternoon. Lower taxes and much, much better schools (with only a few exceptions). Although Lexington County has its own problems, they pale in comparison to those created by the corrupt cabal in control of the City government. Steve Benjamin is bad news. It’s a shame he landed here when he came South.

Ward 24 June 3, 2015 at 8:51 am

They’ve rigged the Richco election office so effectively, there’s virtually no way he will get voted out.

35TWW June 3, 2015 at 8:56 am

It’s not just the office. It’s demographics. With the black voting block voting 100% for Benjamin and his cronies, the chances of change are slim. The old coalition between the Shandonistas and the blacks that kept Coble in office so long has broken down, and the blacks have decided that they can go it alone and elect their own.

Ward 24 June 3, 2015 at 9:00 am

Community organization will certainly ruin this capital city.

Leaving Out Other Factors June 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Population growth isn’t the only thing being ignored here, how about 20 years worth of inflation or the growing city itself?

E Norma Scok June 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Who really wants to live there?

Just Another Guy June 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Sic, Why do you not run stories on Richland County Council? I am sure their spending is just as bad. Also, once the website is back up, I recommend you google How money walks and it uses IRS data to show where money is moving around the US. Very interesting.

Asstounded June 3, 2015 at 9:46 am

You mean The Lillian McBride school of public administration?

All about da Benjamin June 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm

What you talkin’ bout Will(is)?

I have only once concern as mayor of Columbia:

shifty henry June 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm

now cut that out..!!

All about da Benjamin June 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm Reply
Torch June 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm

How can the city grow with USCe taking up all the housing. Tax the students.

erneba June 2, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Every time I even get close to the city limits of Columbia, my hair stands straight up, chill bumps, the farts, teeth chatter , and my wallet jumps out of my pocket and the money starts flying out.. Takes me days to recover.

Krazy Kat June 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm

And in my mail today I have a letter signed by City Manger Teresa Wilson, shilling for a shady “insurance company” selling water and sewer insurance–in case something catastrophic should happen to the 13 foot pipe from my house to the street.
What the Hell is a city manager doing shilling for this scheme?

Just saying June 3, 2015 at 12:06 am

The city gets 7 % from the “service company.” Check out the negative reviews linked on their website.

May want to check the math June 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Not to rain on the black mayor hate party, but the budget numbers you have produced show the exact opposite of the main premise of this article., The only way to determine the budget growth is to use a per capita budget analysis. If you do that you will find that over the last 15 years the per capita budget for the City of Columbia has grown at a little over 3 times the rate of inflation as measured by the CPI. That said I am not sure the CPI is the correct measure to use. That is mainly a measure of consumer inflation. The inflation rate in the cost of operating a city could be higher than consumer inflation.
But even if we assume over 15 years the per capita budget has groan at 3 time the rate of inflation, most of that growth occurred before Benjamin was Mayor. Since the main point of this article was to criticize the current mayor, we can only look at he past 5 years. If you do you will see the rate of increase in the per capita city budget has been a little less than 1.1 times the rate of inflation. So the increase in the city’s per capita budget net of inflation over the last 5 years is lower than the increase in the city budget net of inflation over the ten preceding years. ..

All about da Benjamin June 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Dats right! You got da maths to back me up!

You honkey’s need to listen to the man. My budget is only running slightly ahead of inflation. If you honkey’s would stay put instead of moving out to Irmo or Lexington then things would have been even better.


In fact, I feel another victory party coming on. Someone mind calling me a cab this time?

May want to check the math June 2, 2015 at 4:06 pm

I feel no need to engage in debate with a racist. You can tell your jokes at next months KKK meeting.

Wrong June 2, 2015 at 4:14 pm

“I feel no need to engage in debate with a racist. ”

Apparently you do.

May want to check the math June 2, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Actually that 1.1 is wrong. Its 2.5 times. I was looking at the wrong number, But the point still stands. The current mayor’s per capita inflation adjusted rate of increase is not as high as his predecessors inflation adjusted rate of increase.

Toneski June 5, 2015 at 11:03 am

Thank you for that reply to the article and responding to some of these comments on here. Very lame of the article’s author to use 20 years of data to criticize Benjamin. But beyond that, it would be one thing if the city was spending a ton of money and there was no growth and nothing to show for the spending. But instead, we have the most growth in the downtown core than any of us have seen in our lifetimes, no matter how old you are.

Some of the spending has been spending that was put off for decades as the city has been required to upgrade its sewer system or receive fines and lack of funding from the federal government. It’s unfortunate for Benjamin that such a large capital expense has to come during his term in office, but that’s politics. Still, this tremendous growth will lead to more revenue for the city. Part of this growth is the many student housing projects currently being built. These projects are the result of Benjamin working to get the county to agree to a 50% tax cut over 10 years for such projects. The growth builds on itself……more people downtown means more business and services will locate there, meaning more people will be attracted to living there, meaning more businesses, and so it goes.

Weak, weak, weak for the article and so many in these comments to imply this mayor has done nothing but overspend. I’m not a proponent of the new baseball stadium or the city being so involved in the development of the State Hospital property, but there is a massive amount of growth going on downtown and whatever spending is questioned now has apparently resulted in a future Columbia that will be much different and much better than the one we’ve had for decades.

Krazy Kat June 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

We can’t cover the bill for basic public services but we stack on more and more taxpayer extortion to pay for baseball, basketball, recreation centers, whatever.
These people have no shame and no accountability.

All about da Benjamin June 2, 2015 at 3:31 pm

I have planned to have extra bathrooms installed in our new arena’s to accommodate the lack of quality water service to homes.

All the good people of Columbia need to do is drive to their closest arena when they take a shit.

Oops! That wasn’t politically correct. I meant when they have to pinch a loaf.

Burt June 3, 2015 at 2:18 am

Because they can always get you into the arenas! Until the tailgating stops and the stadiums are empty why wouldn’t the city and USC take your money and run? That’s ALL Columbia still has: willing spectators! And until they demand fiscal restraint and ethical behavior all you’ll get is Benjamin, Pastides, Pinson and their band of raiders.

GinormousTau June 3, 2015 at 9:22 am

then how come all of the city league teams have gone elsewhere, and USC has its own facilities

scotty June 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm

The Mayorhood and Bob with the merry band of spenders on City Council have drained the utility fund dry for all kinds of BS. Remember the broke ass music weekends and the flying turd aka AirSouth. Now with more worthless spending oops the sewer and water lines are busted, WTF just tax and continue to rob the fund.

Elfego June 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

This is typical of all Democrat sp called Leaders!

FastEddy23 June 2, 2015 at 9:59 pm

It might not be nearly as bad as this if Columbia City government had or would send these jobs out for bid.

One might also suggest five year or ten year financial plans and budgets accordingly.

Out here in Taxifornia, 95% of city governments plan and operate year to year, budget wise. A few exceptions actually have budget surpluses. These are generally because of long range planning and budgeting.

Of course, when faced with a surplus, like all other Taxifornia cities, they find ways to spend it.

BillyR June 3, 2015 at 2:09 am

Mayorhood is doing exactly what his mentor Pastides advised him to do: grow and enrich yourself in professional sports deals. Same thing: since when is professional college sports a core function of higher education? But y’all are willing participants in this scams.

Asstounded June 3, 2015 at 9:33 am

It has become mighty clear that Mayor T-Bone is in this for his personal enrichment and aggrandizement at the tax payer’s expense. I wonder what the white girl with the brown teeth thinks about his “One Columbia” scam now…

Tit for Tat! June 3, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Just revisited T-Bone’s One Columbia commercial. The white girl with the brown teeth is none other than his private little whore water and sewer lawyer. She just works hard for the money. That would explain the brown teeth.

Ward 24 June 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm

You’d think with all the dirty money she’s been paid, she could fix herself up just a smidgen.

tisk, tisk June 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

Humpin’ the root of all evil will do that to a person…

YodaPants June 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

MT.LLC: To turn away from the Dark Side, too late, it is yet not!

Ward 24 June 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm

My god, it’s hard to tell who the larger imbecile in this clip is.

Gerbil for hire June 4, 2015 at 8:08 am

Quinton looks like he got his coat off the Goodwill $1.00 rack. It also looks like he’s ready to crawl right up T-bone’s ass and have a party.

Ward 24 June 4, 2015 at 9:00 am

I’ve never seen a man look so enamored with another man. The way Quinton cocks his head as Steve responds to his amateurish questions, is precious.

Thomas June 3, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Taking tips and talking points from Cameron Runyan and Greg Foster, huh? Cool.


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