By Paul Gable
Gov. Nikki Haley was in Horry County Monday pumping the benefits of the I-73 project and her re-election campaign.
Speaking to the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors, Haley said I-73 is hugely important for this area.
It’s so important she said someone else would have to pay for it because the state wasn’t about to.
And that is the crux of the I-73 contradiction.
The state doesn’t have the money to pay for upkeep of the roads it has now and it isn’t about to raise the state gasoline tax.
Haley said funding I-73 is a federal responsibility and she said the S.C. Congressional delegation is fully behind the project. These would be the guys who voted 6-1 against raising the federal debt ceiling and re-opening the federal government. Lone Democrat James Clyburn was the odd man out on the vote.
The federal government doesn’t have the money to pay for the upkeep of the interstate roads already in place and it isn’t about to raise the federal gasoline tax.
Does Hakey really expect the six Republican members of the S.C. Congressional delegation, who are all voting the Tea Party line of lower taxes and less spending in Washington, to come up with the funding for a new interstate?
Of course not, but it sounds good on the campaign trail.
So, don’t hold your breath for the I-73 project. The governor wants it but doesn’t want to pay for it. The Congressional delegation wants it but doesn’t want to pay for it.
Maybe Sen. Lindsey Graham wants it and is willing to pay for it, but the Tea Party will be coming at him hard in 2014 for all his “liberal” positions.
We’ll hear a lot of hot air over the next year about bringing interstate access to the Grand Strand in the form of I-73. But, that’s all it will be – hot air.