SC

The Human Cost Of Politicizing Road Funding

IT’S TIME TO STOP TALKING AND DO SOMETHING … We’ve written till we’re blue in the face(s) about road funding issues in South Carolina – about how powerful politicians and their appointed bureaucrats (often family members) dictate the subsidization of totally unnecessary projects at the expense of needed repairs.  Then…

IT’S TIME TO STOP TALKING AND DO SOMETHING …

We’ve written till we’re blue in the face(s) about road funding issues in South Carolina – about how powerful politicians and their appointed bureaucrats (often family members) dictate the subsidization of totally unnecessary projects at the expense of needed repairs.  Then they claim these wasteful projects are part of a “shortfall” – while conveniently ignoring the massive funding increases provided to the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

And the massive borrowing undertaken to subsidize unnecessary corporate infrastructure.

Again … at the expense of real needs.

The result of all this politicization and mis-prioritization?  Terrible roads … which is unacceptable under any circumstance, but especially in a state where the average motorist pays a greater share of his or her income on fuel costs than a resident of any other state.

It’s madness … yet the politicians and bureaucrats responsible for this ongoing failure want to take more of your money to continue doing a terrible job.

Make sense?  No … it doesn’t.  Which is probably why the tax hike supporters have been struggling so mightily to make their point.

The good news?  One lawmaker – S.C. Senator Tom Davis – has stood up and said “enough is enough.”

Davis’ impassioned filibuster last year singlehandedly blocked an $800 million tax hike, and he’s vowed to keep fighting this year – including educating the mainstream media about the cost of this failed system.

Occasionally they get it …

In other cases, they have to be jarred to their senses by tragedy … like the one that occurred on Wednesday morning in Jasper County, S.C.  That’s where 52-year-old Sharon Toomer – a lunch lady at a government-run school – slammed her car into a tree along Interstate 95.

Previous reporting by The (Hilton Head, S.C.) Island Packet has revealed that this section of road is in dire need of being cleared in the interest of vehicular safety (massive timbers are in some places just ten feet away from the road).  SCDOT even committed to “a safety project” for the area last year.

It didn’t come fast enough for Toomer, unfortunately.

How come?

David Lauderdale, a columnist for the Packet, pulled zero punches in offering his explanation for the situation.

“In this state, a handful of senior legislators make highway decisions for political gain and, unfortunately, poor little Jasper County hasn’t had the political clout of the good old boys needed (to) improve I-95,” Lauderdale wrote. “For years, locals have begged for some money to cut trees or install barriers to reduce the outrageous rate of fatalities on I-95 in Jasper County.  But the facts don’t matter in South Carolina. I-95 rides like the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Funeral after funeral are held. It doesn’t matter. Nothing changes.”

“Nothing changes.”  Indeed … that ought to be South Carolina’s new license plate motto, come to think of it.

Except it’s not entirely true. One thing does change (in transportation, education, health care, etc.).  The cost of failure keeps getting more expensive.

In fact state lawmakers will add a whopping $1.2 billion during the coming fiscal year to the $26 billion they are spending this current fiscal year (which was roughly a billion dollars bigger than the budget before that).

Think all that cash will make a difference this time?  Don’t be silly.

“South Carolina could do better, but it won’t,” Lauderdale continued.  “Senior legislators have the power of Zeus, and they won’t give it away for the good of the state.”

Nope … and they never will.

Lauderdale singled out powerful S.C. Senate leader Hugh Leatherman, who is profiting in all sorts of ways from all the waste and inefficiency.  And whose son-in-law is on the committee approving all the money.

But he’s not alone … dozens of liberal lawmakers empower him.  And when they retire, they anoint hand-picked successors (who are often even more corrupt) to keep the scam going.

So even if Leatherman dies (which almost happened a little over a year ago), another corrupt enabler of the system will take his place.

And laugh all the way to the bank …

Sick of all this?  Then do something.

Vote against one of these bastards.  Show up in their office.  Write a letter to their hometown paper and demand it be published.  Run against them. Donate to people who are running against them.  Donate to the people with the balls to stand up against them – like Davis.

Throw a brick through a window.  Yell.  Scream.  Raise hell.  Scare the sh*t out of them.

Oh, and whatever you do … don’t listen to the politicians telling you to shut up.

Call them out.  Today.  Keep calling them out.  And don’t stop calling them out until there’s real change – not more “reform in name only.”

If not for you or your kids and grandkids (who are paying the price for all this corruption and incompetence), do it for the people dying as a result of what’s happening.

Seriously … do something.

***

Related posts

SC

Charleston Legal Drama Erupts

Will Folks
SC

How Pastor John-Paul Miller’s ‘Memorial Service’ For His Dead Wife Went Viral

Jenn Wood
SC

Missing Macaque Shot And Killed

Will Folks

34 comments

Whatever February 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

That’s nice and all, but FitsNews supports the biggest fraud to ever run for President, Trump.
Knowing that, it’s impossible to take seriously anything this site says.

Reply
Torch February 5, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Trump will make Florida pay for our roads. Hell, they could generate enough money to fix all the roads by just stopping the people doing 80+ from FL, GA and NC. Guess they are in a hurry to get the hell out of SC.

Reply
Bible Thumper February 5, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Worse than Fits support of Trump, is his trashy hit articles on Rubio. How can this article be taken seriously as it possibly should be when he publishes garbage like that.

Reply
Ed February 5, 2016 at 4:38 pm

It’s simple really, SC has twin towers of deferred long term liabilities that will wreck the state if not addressed: the massive pension/OPEB liabilities and the additional $1.2B needed per year to fix the roads/bridges. Most surplus monies and future budgetary growth should be devoted to these items, as well as other infrastructure needs. So yeah, that would be less for K-12, crony capitalism, CHE, HHS, DSS, DDSN, etc,. etc. And no, I have no problem with such surpluses going to pensions/OPEB and roads/bridges/insfrastructure FOLLOWING massive changes to the State’s pension plans and severe restructuring/audits of SCDOT.

Reply
Al February 5, 2016 at 6:08 pm

State get around their “balanced budget” arrangements by using pension liabilities and debt. We are billions in debt and are about to pick up a gas tax for $43 billion in extra road work.

Reply
Rocky Verdad February 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm

I-95 in this state is a joke. A complete freakin’ joke. Florida is finishing now between Titusville and Daytona having it three lanes from WPB to the GA line. GA has it three lanes all the way to SC. Wanna see traffic back up? Check out 5 miles before SC as it goes from three lanes to two. I’ve witnessed countless near disasters between GA line and 17 by constant brake crunching on that highway. I heard of people at the end of the Holidays say they spent 5 hours traveling through our state on I-95 because it was so badly under capacity. And BTW – 26 from Jesus town to the merge near Clinton ain’t much better. We’ve wasted years of funds on roads we didn’t need, and now can’t fix what we need? Christ – now I know why cruise ships come to Charleston – it’s the only freakin’ way people can get there. And who on 95 has three lanes, Florence, the one place all these people want to stop so they can eat something after four hours in the sticks from Savannah to I-20. And you want to know who I really want to blame. DeMented and Lady Lindsey. They never did shit to get federal funds to widen 95. Not a damned thing. Why? Because they’re too busy living in DC to give a rats ass.

Reply
truthbetole February 5, 2016 at 5:42 pm

i have to agree with you there, rocky…not a rats ass.

Reply
stumpknocker February 5, 2016 at 6:04 pm

yeah and you should see what 21 looks like from columbia to beaufort, the traffic on it has probably tripled and not just cars, i’m talking tractor trailers, all of them trying to avoid that fucking i95 parking lot from 26 to savanah, hell there are pot holes on 21 that could rip your front end out, the 21 overpass over 95 is nothing but a dirt road it is so worn out. 2 things will and i agree on, fags are fine and our roads suck.

Reply
Alishavvargas3 February 6, 2016 at 2:51 am

?my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet?….A few days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here;b185????? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsSave/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:::::;b185…….

Reply
shifty henry February 6, 2016 at 9:17 pm

(see my new post above)

Reply
erneba February 5, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Like many of the woes in SC, this one can be traced back to to the apathy of the voters. I am willing to bet that you could walk down the street in SC town, large or small, and the majority of the citizens that you would encounter do not know who represents them in the SC House or Senate. I would bet that most of them don’t even vote.
I have lived in California, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and SC. The voters here appeared to be the most apathetic and uninformed of any place I have ever lived.
Will it change anytime soon? Regrettably, I don’t think so. If people had to pay state taxes in one lump sum every year instead of a dollar or two when they buy gas, a bag of groceries, and have it taken from their paycheck every two weeks, they might start paying attention. And we have not addressed the folks that pay no taxes at all.

I stopped caring about apathy a long time ago.

Reply
idcydm February 5, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Just think how bad it would be if SC held a caucus instead of a primary. Think we could get 1% participation?

Reply
erneba February 5, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Good point. Probably not.

Reply
stumpknocker February 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm

but do we really want even that many voters carrying concealed guns talking politics, armageddon man yep armageddon

Reply
idcydm February 5, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Wouldn’t even be enough there to make it a mass shooting let alone armageddon.

Reply
soxinsc February 5, 2016 at 6:04 pm

The only interstate highway I’ve driven on that’s worse than I-95 in SC is I-440 south of Nashville. Fortunately you can’t drive fast enough on I-440 to do real damage to your car.

Reply
Lone Ranger February 5, 2016 at 6:09 pm

It’s Friday so of course Will WILL go down into the Vista and drink enough to bring his blood pressure back down to 140 over 80

And when he does—tell him not to worry about any of these patriots’ flag-ripping legislators—that singing he hears IS the…fat lady !!!

Reply
Mr. Helper February 5, 2016 at 6:10 pm

You forgot to give yourself a thumbs up.

Reply
Lone Ranger February 5, 2016 at 6:32 pm

mr. helper liked to drink mr clean when he ran out of that bad crystal meth
And when President Trump cut off his unemployment it scared him to death !!!

Reply
Flip February 5, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Today on Bad Poetry Hour…

Reply
Lone Ranger February 6, 2016 at 12:25 pm

hililman and flip would often shoot off their lip and brag about YOUR paying for their SNAP
And they also delighted in YOUR paying their Section 8 rent because they were full of crap !!!

Hi lil Man! February 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Not as much as Lone Ranger loves black drag queens.
He likes to be their slave. Isn’t that right, boy?

Lone Ranger February 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm

hililman thought slavery was grand and with fellow grifters jumped right in the pool
Took every Dimwit and OTHER RINO handout because with them he WAS a fool !!!

Hi lil Man! February 5, 2016 at 10:17 pm

Ignore the Lone Ranger. He used to hangout at a gay joint on MB called Time Out. He was extra sweet on the black queens.

Reply
shifty henry February 6, 2016 at 10:18 am

For all of you who say SCDOT is the worst, read this excerpt about the ALDOT. Especially interesting to me is how it is written. Occasionally I’ll have the opportunity to ride with Cousin Judge to Birmingham and it is a bitch on traffic on I59 – I20 – I65 especially at the big conjunction at I65. Maybe you can get an idea to throw at SCDOT. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

———————————————————————–

You probably know the two classic Alabama blunders.

Never try to reason with a politician when money is
on the line. And… Don’t assume the Alabama Department of
Transportation does anything it doesn’t want to do.

Just ask Birmingham. Ask the moneyed and influential people who have tried to fight ALDOT in recent months about the
I-20/59 bridge. They convince more and more people that widening the river of asphalt through downtown Birmingham is bad for business and for the city, and for Birmingham’s pursuit of … pleasantness.

But they run smack dab into the wall of ALDOT. Like always. ALDOT Director John Cooper argues that the bridge
must be replaced for safety reasons, that other alternatives have been studied and rejected, and this project must go on.

Members of the advocacy group Move I-20/59 argue that ALDOT gallops ahead with blinders on, that widening the
highway from six lanes to 10 in the freshly bustling downtown is like setting up a barrier to progress.

Many in Birmingham have bought in. Because – let’s face it – it is a convincing argument. A group opposed to the bridge came to Birmingham City Council this week to show support for a
resolution opposing the plan. But council members were divided. Some said the work should proceed because the bridge is unsafe. Which is a good point. Others simply said ALDOT knows best. Which is not.

In the end Council President Johnathan Austin – who has called this project the “Berlin Bridge of Birmingham” — withdrew the resolution, promising to bring it back later. Not that it will matter. Because if you haven’t gotten it by now, ALDOT does what
ALDOT is going to do. But that is not the only problem.

The sad fact – for a Birmingham that would love to meld Uptown to Downtown without a concrete moat in the
middle – is that the horse is out of the barn and bulldozers are on the entrance ramps. Barring a miracle, ALDOT wins. Again.

Which is not to say folks should just go home with their heads between their legs, muttering how butting heads with ALDOT is like fighting a land war in Asia. No. Instead praise those who
fight the futile fight against the unmovable bureaucracy. And learn.

For it’s not just because of ALDOT that this 10-lane river will run through downtown, perilously close to the museum of art and our brand new Uptown. It’s also because Birmingham did
not act soon enough.

City leaders knew 20 years ago that this bridge would need replacing, but they didn’t do anything to stop it and precious little to make it more palatable. Planners spoke of consequences,
and civic groups raised some questions. But for the most part discussion of how interstates shape cities in great or horrible ways eluded all but the most thoughtful.

We weren’t thoughtful enough. The Metropolitan Planning Organization failed us, largely because it is made up of
mayors and other city officials who call it a good day when they can stay out of each others’ ways.

So we suffer for our lack vision. We again suffer for our structure, for divisions that cause us to focus on our
individual parts and prevent us from seeing ourselves as a network of mutuality.

And we suffer because ALDOT does what ALDOT wants to do.

I suppose it’s to be expected. ALDOT is in the business of moving cars. Not invigorating cities. But it puts the cities in a tough spot. ALDOT makes plans first, and listens later, if at
all. So most people – like Birmingham — never know what’s coming until it’s too late. We let the road builders decide
the course of our cities. That’s the real Alabama blunder.

Reply
tomstickler February 6, 2016 at 10:52 am

Never fear. Rep. Stephen Goldfinch informs his constituents:

TOLL ALONG I-95 AT LAKE MARION:

This bill directs the Department of Transportation to impose a toll along Interstate Highway 95 where it crosses Lake Marion in either Orangeburg County or Clarendon County. The revenue collected from the imposition of this toll must be used initially for the replacement of the northbound and southbound bridges that cross the Santee River at mile marker 100 along Interstate Highway 95. Once this project is completed, all future toll revenues must be used for the maintenance, upgrade, and expansion of Interstate Highway 95 and its interchanges.

Reply
Bible Thumper February 6, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Wasn’t it you who suggested we close the bridge, all together?

Reply
tomstickler February 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Not me.

Reply
Bible Thumper February 6, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Sweatman’s has great mustard style on the South side, but I was raised on vinegar and pepper on the North side. Until this dispute can be settled, without bloodshed, I say close the bridge.

Reply
shifty henry February 6, 2016 at 9:13 pm

the gauntlet has been thrown…

euwe max February 6, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Too much money is being funneled to the outhouse industry in South Carolina.

Reply
Bible Thumper February 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm Reply
ELCID February 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm

SELL SANTEE COOPER BEFORE TAXING SC CITIZENS TO PAY FOR ROADS OR LOST SCHOOL LAWSUITS.

Reply
Todd February 8, 2016 at 7:52 am

Don’t forget that the price of asphalt tracks the price of oil, so road work is now cheaper than it has been in over a decade.

Reply

Leave a Comment