NEW PROBLEMS … SAME OLD SOLUTION …
You knew it was coming …
The push to raise gas taxes in South Carolina in the aftermath of “Floodmaggedon” is officially on … and in an ironic twist it comes from a Democrat who was endorsed in her 2014 statewide race by a bunch of limited government advocates.
Ready for more irony? It comes from a Charleston, S.C. mayoral candidate … a woman whose city has been literally besieged in recent years by state infrastructure spending. In fact in referencing the infrastructure plan of Ginny Deerin, we recently noted how “Charleston has received a disproportionate share of state road funding in recent years.”
We also pointed out where one State Senator recently said lawmakers in Columbia, S.C. had been “force feeding asphalt to the coast, while the Upstate and many rural areas starve.”
Much of that money has gone toward totally unnecessary projects, too.
Nonetheless, Deerin is the first politician in South Carolina (that we’ve seen, anyway) to publicly declare her support for a gas tax hike in the aftermath of this week’s catastrophic flooding.
“It’s plain and simple: fixing transportation challenges requires the courage to raise the gas tax,” she said.
Expect to hear that a lot in the coming days, people …
“My comprehensive transportation plan, ‘Accelerate Charleston,’ enumerates responsible funding streams including a modest increase in the gas tax,” Deerin said. “Having a plan without identifiable funding isn’t leadership or courage. It’s playing Columbia politics.”
Deerin is attempting to score points against S.C. Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, the current frontrunner in the race for mayor of Charleston. We’re generally not fans of Stavrinakis, but we do appreciate that he voted against gas tax hikes.
Early estimates of infrastructure damage in the aftermath of this week’s flooding stand at $1.5 billion.
Can South Carolina afford that amount? Yes.
Assuming it stops building interchanges for Volvo … as well as interchanges to nowhere … and interstates it doesn’t need … and other wasteful multi-million dollar projects …. then yes it absolutely can afford to repair the damage done by the storm and shore up existing infrastructure needs without raising taxes.
In fact, the state could cover the entire shortfall – and have $900 million to play with – if its leaders agreed once and for all to abandon the fiscally reckless Interstate 73 project.
Beyond that, there’s more than $447 million currently sitting in the state’s two reserve accounts, and – as we noted earlier – the state has millions more in future projected surplus funds available. Also, the state currently has an estimated $1 billion in bonding capacity – and would have a lot more available if Gov. Nikki Haley hadn’t been doling out corporate welfare like Halloween candy.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has seen its annual budget soar by more than 80 percent – from $1.1 billion to $1.8 billion – over the last four years alone.
That’s a ton of new recurring money available in addition to the one-time options outlined above.
Wait … why didn’t all that money make a dent in the state’s infrastructure issues earlier?
Because South Carolina’s government (especially its highway commission) is hopelessly corrupt, that’s why …
But you knew that already …
Seriously, people: It’s a $26 billion budget. The money is there.
Oh, and all this back-of-the-envelope math is before we start discussing what percentage of road and bridge repairs the federal government is going to assume, and before we start contemplating what non-essential government bureaucracies, programs and expenditures can be eliminated as part of an effort to better prioritize state spending.
South Carolina has sufficient resources to repair and properly maintain its roads and bridges without raising taxes.
It always has. It’s just chosen not to … which is one reason this repair tab is so big.
Finally, something bears repeating: As we said numerous times during the gas tax debate earlier this year, South Carolina motorists – by virtue of their dirt poor status – pay more of their income on fuel than the residents of any other state save Mississippi or West Virginia. In other words they simply cannot afford to further subsidize another round of terrible choices by state leaders.
Finally, more tax hikes for the poor! Just what I always wanted! LMAO!!!
If you don’t like this tax hike you’re a socialist liberal hack! Oh my!
Never let a crisis go to waste…
Remember you liberal Bigots used the murder of 9 Christians to move a harmless flag. And your voters are still jobless – even the ones who want to work – and suffering…
You always want to jack up the working Americans…but the problems you promise to solve, just get worse…they more we elect Democrats..
Awe – your wittle flag is gone. Let’s all have a pity party. Awe poor flag.
Boo Hoo, sob, sob
And so are the jobs…which is the biggest crime you have committed against America.
Boo hoo hoo, what a shaaaaaame!
South Carolina has it made. The state match is only 10% or 20% for federal disaster relief funds that go to repairing roads. Just kill the 526EXT boondoggle, which is in permanent limbo anyway, and use the $420 million.Then we just don’t tell Uncle Sam that all those potholes were there before the flood….
Don’t go countin’ those eggs – Fed budget only funded through Dec. 11.
I agree. South Carolina is in for a “Broken window” economic boost.
“As we said numerous times during the gas tax debate earlier this year, South Carolina motorists – by virtue of their dirt poor status – pay more of their income on fuel than the residents of any other state save Mississippi or West Virginia. In other words they simply cannot afford to further subsidize another round of terrible choices by state leaders.”
Very simply, the majority of those elected regardless of party affiliation don’t care about the poor, let alone most of their constituents. That why taxes always go up on the middle class & poor while big corporations get exemptions here in SC.
Special/moneyed interests run the asylum.
yep, don’t forget the sacred cow, sales tax on cars
why don’t well sell Santee Cooper as some have suggested? Wasn’t the estimate of the sale some 10-11 billion?
Why aren’t libertarians and republicans demanding that the government get out of power production?
“Why aren’t libertarians and republicans demanding that the government get out of power production?”
Well, I think I know why Republicans aren’t, usually it has to do with crony capitalism.
As far as libertarians go, it depends on what flavor you refer to. So many people call themselves libertarians it’s hard to tell who is or isn’t. Bill Maher claims to be a libertarian for example.
The core tenet of libertarianisn is the “non-aggression principle”, or NAP for short. If anyone claims to be a libertarian but can’t explain to you what the NAP is, be suspect.
Basically, the NAP, which includes respect for property rights and recognition of self ownership should direct any libertarian…but basically it doesn’t.
This is why Cato kicked it’s founding member/idea man, Murray Rothbard out. When the Koch’s found out that there would be no room for crony capitalism and the natural logical conclusion to the NAP would end with statelessness(which most people think is “silly talk”, especially most Cato members), that’s when they illegally confiscated Rothbard’s shares and kicked him out.
So in short, you are right, libertarians SHOULD be demanding government get out of power production- but like many things today, libertarianism has been watered down/sacrificed on the alter of PCism.
“future projected surplus funds available.” – Will do we need to point out the rather non-fiscal conservative underpinnings of that statement?
Expecting the usual gas pumping picture on Fitsnews, I got aroused just by seeing the pump. The nozzle not Bo bad either.
They dont maintain what they have. Why give them more?
Going from $1.1 billion to $1.8 billion is a 64% increase. Do math much?
Second time, second comment. No correction.
Dear Ms. Deerin
You do realize that the core of the City of Charleston sits atop a peninsula that juts out between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers at the point they converge to create the Atlantic Ocean
In other words if you don’t want flooding in Charleston then move the damn city inland about 200 miles
They raise gas taxes, they will have 10s of thousands in South Carolina showing up at their front doors with pitchforks. Come on you dumbasses … raise the tax and watch mobs form and come after you. HAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!! Love it!!!
Wes Hayes will be on board soon I’m sure.
Brilliant plan! SC delayed spending SC tax money to fix our roads, and waited until a disaster wiped them out. Now we get to use Fed $$ to pay to fix the roads, and won’t have to raise the gas tax or open our own piggy bank. Just brilliant stealth planning!
Anyone know why gas prices in the midlands have been 20 – 25 cents per gal. more than elsewhere in the state since Sept 1st.? I paid $1.72/gal in York SC the other day. It’s never been this much of a gap in price. Perhaps were having a local pre-tax float?