NY Times: Raise The Gas Tax, Cause Republicans Are Mean

Quite a bit of the “lost” revenue for the Highway Trust fund is due to Government, especially Democrats, particularly in the last 10 years. With rising gas prices and Democrats blocking exploration of our own oil reserves, blocking construction on new, more modern refineries, along with blocking retrofitting existing refineries, and pushing for higher CAFE standards, they’ve created a situation where more and more citizens are driving vehicles with better fuel economy. Which means they use less gasoline (just to be clear, I have no problem with fuel efficiency. I’m looking at a few compact SUVs that get higher MPGs myself), hence, less collected through the gas tax.

There are actually a few honest answers to this: fix the above issues. Deal with the inherent issues of government bureaucracy, which is wasteful with the money they involuntarily take from the citizens. Return much of the power for fixing roads to the States, which would know better how to fix the roads, rather than taking the money and redistributing it around the country. Let big travel states like NY, NJ, Florida, etc, deal with their own issues, rather than have The Central Government be in charge. Alas, the NY Times Editorial Board goes down the road Liberals always travel

Highways Need a Higher Gas Tax

About 10,000 motorists die each year because of inadequate road conditions, and millions of other Americans waste large portions of their lives stuck in traffic or stalled trains. The enormous cost to society of poor infrastructure grows every year, and most of the blame can be placed directly on a Congress that refuses to collect and spend enough money to fix it. (snip)

This crisis was entirely foreseeable and was brought about by the ideological refusal of Congressional Republicans to raise the gasoline tax — the traditional method of paying for road projects, because it allows those who benefit from better roads to pay for them. The gas tax has been stuck at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, and during those 21 years it has lost 39 percent of its value to inflation. But Republicans, afraid of violating a no-tax-increase pledge they made to an extremist group, won’t touch it. “I’ve never supported raising the gas tax,” Speaker John Boehner said last week.

Without an increase, the trust fund will continually run out of money, jeopardizing one of the most basic functions of government. If the fund were allowed to run dry next month, it would cut federal transportation financing to the states by 28 percent, and slow or stop 100,000 projects that employ about 700,000 workers at the height of the construction season. That would be fine with hard-right Republicans who want Washington to get out of the transportation business and leave the states on their own; they have overseen an unprecedented 20 percent cut in construction spending over the last five or six years.

This editorial dovetails nicely into the White House push for more infrastructure spending, a notion they pivot to every few months. If only there had be some sort of Stimulus to fix the roads and bridges since 2009.

If transportation is a basic function of government (missing that in my Constitution, but, I’ll grant that this is something that government should be doing), then let’s fix the issues as I mentioned. And spending from the Central Government is inherently wasteful. Fix it. Return the powers to the States where it should be. If a state needs more revenue, let the State raise their own gas tax.

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One Response to “NY Times: Raise The Gas Tax, Cause Republicans Are Mean”

  1. Saturday morning links

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