NEAL COLLINS BLAMES BLOGS, “CONSERVATIVE TALK” FOR AGENCY’S PROBLEMS …
S.C. Rep. Neal Collins – a liberal “Republican” from Pickens County, S.C. – certainly picked a curious time to rush to the defense of the notoriously-corrupt S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT).
Of course that’s what status quo hacks like Collins do … they fall in line when they’re told to do so.
And if there’s any agency in South Carolina’s results-challenged government in need of a pick-me-up right now, it’s SCDOT.
The agency responsible for building and maintaining a network of roads and bridges in the Palmetto State has been badly exposed this year on multiple fronts: Failed leadership, abysmal results, shoddy work, late work, lack of project prioritization, chronic complaining, and (last but not least) gratuitous self-dealing.
Wonder where they learned that from? Hmmmm …
Bottom line? This agency is an abject failure … despite the fact its base budget has more than doubled over the last seven years.
Nonetheless, SCDOT continues to demand tax hikes in pursuit of more revenue – namely a 125 percent increase in the state’s gasoline tax.
Collins – who represents S.C. House District No. 5 (map) – wants that to happen sooner rather than later.
“With Senate seats safe and a brief window before gubernatorial campaigns begin, 2017 is the year,” he wrote in an opinion editorial for The Greenville News.
Translation? Let’s raise taxes now before voters have the chance to hold us accountable.
Collins’ propaganda piece goes on to stay that SCDOT is “the most financially efficient transportation agency in the United States” and that there is “near unanimity among state officials that SCDOT is woefully underfunded.”
Woefully underfunded? Really?
Let’s take a look at the S.C. General Assembly’s own numbers, shall we?
(Click to enlarge)
(Pic via SC Senate)
Oh, and these massive increases don’t include the hundreds of millions of dollars contained in a questionable borrowing scam approved by lawmakers earlier this year.
Gotta love those “balanced budgets,” right?
Collins is clearly using the political definition of “woefully underfunded” – in which multi-billion dollar boondoggles are included in a so-called “shortfall.”
Anyway, the Upstate lawmaker – who boasts that he is “one of the most fiscally conservative House members” – claims that the blame for SCDOT’s many problems lies not with the agency (or state leaders), but rather with its critics.
“Elected officials’ have been unable to break through the noise of social media, blogs, conservative talk, advocacy groups, and an understaffed press corps,” he wrote.
In other words, according to Collins the increasingly costly problems at SCDOT are not the fault of its corrupt leaders – or the lawmakers enabling them – but rather those of us who have had the audacity to try and hold them accountable!
“The arrogance of the liberals in Columbia is astounding,” political observer Justin Evans wrote on his Facebook page this week. “The sharks smell blood in the water and will literally do anything to raise your taxes … even intentionally leave roads in disrepair to help build up public anxiety for the pro-tax narrative.”
Evans is absolutely correct. That’s exactly what’s happening …
After failing last year (and again this year) to raise the gas tax thanks to the herculean efforts of pro-free market S.C. Senator Tom Davis – fiscal liberals like Collins are pulling out all the stops for 2017.
In addition to their “damn the taxpayers, full speed ahead” propaganda push – and their deliberate neglect of critical needs – an effort is also underway to change the rules of the Senate so that lawmakers like Davis will be unable to block the proposed hike.
The status quo is playing for keeps this time, in other words.
One way or another, these big government goons are going to force dirt poor Palmetto State motorists – who already pay a disproportionately high percentage of their income on fuel – to cough up even more money for their corrupt bureaucracy.
Will they ever actually “fix our roads?”