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“Post And Corruption” Launches Latest Assault On Taxpayers




|| By FITSNEWS || The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier newspaper loves to brag about its Pulitzer Prize, but at the end of the day the publication is as status quo as they come.

This website has repeated exposed the shameful corruption that exists at South Carolina’s largest, oldest mainstream media outlet (HERE, HERE and HERE), noting it is “in the business of establishment protection – not investigative journalism.”

“It exists to coddle and spin on behalf of powerful elected officials and institutions – not challenge or expose them on behalf of its readers,” we added, noting how its news and editorial coverage has veered “wildly to the left in recent years.”

The paper had a great investigative reporter as recently as three years ago – but ran her off because she challenged the status quo (something she continues to do in her new job).

Anyway, all of this is leading up to the paper’s double-barreled advocacy on behalf of an increase in the state’s gasoline tax.

Unhappy with the surprisingly successful pro-taxpayer efforts of S.C. Senator Tom Davis – who is filibustering an ill-advised gas tax hike – the paper’s editorial board is spouting some familiar half-truths.

“South Carolina’s gas tax, one of the nation’s lowest, hasn’t been increased since 1987,” the board wrote.  “Meanwhile, motorists pay increasingly high costs for car repairs and accidents caused by deteriorating and inadequate highways.”

Yeah … what the Post and Courier doesn’t say is that South Carolina motorists are dirt poor – and because of that they spend more of their income on fuel costs than residents of any other state save Mississippi or West Virginia.

Why don’t they tell you that?

Because they want you to believe you can afford this tax increase …

And while we won’t argue the argument about vital infrastructure needs going unaddressed, the paper refuses to identify the real culprit for our “deteriorating” roads and bridges – namely the hundreds of millions of dollars that go toward unneeded, politically motivated projects.

Which they then claim as part of a so-called “shortfall.”

It’s bullshit.  And it’s hypocritical.

Seriously, it takes a special kind of arrogance for a paper whose newsroom beat the drum in favor of the totally unnecessary Interstate 526 expansion to now bitch and moan about a shortfall affecting real needs – like the crumbling Interstate 85 in the Upstate.  Apparently The Post and Courier is just fine with vital Upstate thoroughfares going to pieces – so long as its wealthy commuters are spared a few extra seconds of traffic.

In fact Davis made precisely this point himself in responding to The Post and Courier editorial.

“Charleston has received most of our state’s transportation money over the past decade, and its appetite for dollars is huge,” he wrote.

It is … but let’s also not forget about those “interchanges to nowhere” (in the middle of nowhere) for roads which don’t even exist.  Or the $100 million earmarked by Senate president Hugh Leatherman to widen a sparsely travelled two-lane road from Florence to Pamplico, S.C.

(Leatherman … who has some skin in the game, by the way).

So Davis is absolutely correct in stating that The Post and Courier‘s “shortfall” claim is bunk.

“Absolutely no one who’s studied our transportation system credits that figure,” he wrote.

We’ve been covering this debate for the last five months now and our position remains consistent: Government doesn’t need to raise gas taxes, it simply needs to do its job and prioritize spending – especially transportation spending.

Lawmakers don’t want to do their job, though.  They want to keep throwing money at the very system that’s produced all the potholes and deficient bridges – the same system that lets lawmakers pick up the phone and get the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to come troubleshoot issues inside their ritzy gated communities.

Tom Davis deserves credit – not criticism – for holding state government accountable.  For his advocacy on behalf of taxpayers he deserves to be applauded, not attacked.  And any lawmaker who votes to end his filibuster (without first pledging to vote against any gas tax hike) is a lawmaker that you should not vote for in 2016.