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The video above shows the tragic Minnesota bridge collapse. There were many calls for an increase in gas taxes then and people like Representative Dingell have also called for an increase. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports a Congressional commission will call for a $.40 increase in gas taxes over five years. The report will be made public next week following a two-year study period by the commission. The commission is called The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission and is made up of a 12-member board made of people from the public and private sector and is chaired by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.

The report will have an emphasis on the "environment and safety" and even talk about the role the private sector can play. The Journal notes that gas taxes have not increased since 1993 while traffic and cost of road construction has increased dramatically. The report will conclude that if we do not increase gas taxes to support road infrastructure and mass transit, congestion will soar and economic growth will suffer.

These are all very good, logical arguments but PEOPLE HATE TAXES. Even some on the commission admit a 40 cent increase has about the same odds as a snowball does of surviving in heck.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I say we argue about it until another bridge collapses and let embarrassment force the decision no one wants to make. Isn't that the way laws are usually passed?
      • 7 Years Ago
      1. inflation has reduced the actual federal gas tax over the last 15 years
      2. CAFE just increased 50%!!!

      This means if we do nothing, 5-15 years from now, there will be less than 1/2 (and probably less than 1/4) the adjusted revenue than there was in 1993. A 40 cents increase sounds to me like it would offset this pretty close, so it wouldn't really be a tax increase, but a tax preservation.

      The short term solution is a gas tax increase as it's very easy and fast to implement (and won't be significantly affected by the supposed electric/PHEV freeloaders yet because there are practically none on the road yet).

      The long-term solution will probably end up being toll roads or GPS tracking systems though because of the inevitable long-term disparity between internal combustion and electrified vehicles... both have some big brother/privacy issues (even the non-electronic toll roads paying with cash have cameras). For those that believe efficient/lightweight vehicles should pay less, they could charge based on weight class. Either way, you people that fear and despise tax increases should be aware that this type of system could end up having BOTH gas tax AND toll/per-mile tax, so you could end up paying more if you still have a hydrocarbon burner.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The gas tax is still the best way to fund roads and give incentives to increase fuel economy. The problem is that inflation has eroded away the buying power of the 18.3 cents gas tax so when you say they are raising it that is not necessarily true because then you could argue that other taxes like sales tax increase every year with the increase of the price of goods.

      I don't know what the numbers are but that 18.3 today considering about 3% inflation per year times 15 years make for a ~45% reduction in the adjusted cost of the tax. Meanwhile the cost to build roads has increased much more than the general inflation rate. Just ask you state DOT about these increases and they will tell you that it is on the order of a 50% increase over the last 5 or 6 years.

      Also on the subject of waste I have not seen anything in the way of proof that this tax is being wasted. What I have seen are congressional earmarks for dubious projects, but that applies to a much larger picture than just transportation.

      The federal gas tax is distributed to the state DOTs on the basis of population, and then the state distributes it to the local MPOs or their own DOT districts also based on population and a little politics (latter is Texas example).

      I do disagree with the idea that the gas tax would have to be raised 40 cents for road and bridge improvements - I think it would be much less.

      And while we are on the topic of making gas more expensive via taxes what about the fact that taxpayers subsidize the oil industry (royalty-free drilling, tax breaks, exploration incentives, etc.) and the taxpayers may never see those savings if the boards of those companies choose to steer those extra profits into shareholder dividends? See you are being gouged and you didn't even know it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      haha your now gonna cop what we in other countries have for years
      • 7 Years Ago
      Electrics should be free of All Taxes until we At Least need not import 1 gallon of oil from anyone.



      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes, raise the gas tax and let Electrics not pay that tax increase. This is exactly the type of incentive to benefit AMERICA. Get Off OIL

      Also, allocate more of that tax to TRAIN and Public Transit to get more people off Roads. We can't continue to build more highways to solve auto congestion problems. We need other transport solutions.

      Some kind of income tax rebate to the lower 60% of the population should also be a part of the solution.

      But, to cut taxes we could ask our Next Government to take a long look at all the Golden Big Business Nanny State Wealth Transfer paying for Business costs.



      • 7 Years Ago
      I think we should get Dingell to pay for it. He's grifted plenty over the years. Cough it up Dingell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Throwback,

      Exactly. How about instead of raising taxes, the govt. stops diverting the money that was supposed to go to infrastructure in the first place?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Count me as someone who hates taxes. Not because I don't think they are needed but because I don't trust they will go for what the politicians claim they will. How much of this .40 do you think will actually go for infrastructure improvement? I would be shocked if more than 50% actually went for road improvement.
      • 7 Years Ago
      dhofmann, That is actually recommended but it's apart of a dissenting report and not the conclusion of the whole commission. There is actually quite a split and how to deal with it. The Journal article has more on that. I could have gotten more into the state and national tax thing too. Even taxing with GPS because electric cars don't use gas. Those are old debates and the real news is a commission will return with the recommendation. I think most people know we have a problem and just don't want to deal with.
      • 7 Years Ago
      MORE TAXES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

      Congress is ADDICTED to spending!! They can’t say NO!

      Why can't congress just stop wasting over $TRILLIONS each year on maintaining a global empire and “entitlements” for the non-productive when we could use that money instead to rebuild America?

      If you want MORE of something, you REWARD it. Want more people in welfare? Give them more welfare benefits. Want more illegal immigrants? Give them free education, free medical care and free welfare!

      We MUST stop giving benefits to illegal immigrant criminals and jail those who hire them. We must close ALL foreign military bases and end ALL foreign "aid."

      Policing the world is bankrupting us! The Soviet Union was NOT destroyed by military means! The cost of their stubborn liberal social policies and maintaining a global empire forced them to print money and debase their currency. They collapsed economically.

      The U.S. is following the U.S.S.R. into economic oblivion. Once there NOBODY can be helped.

      All Congress can talk about is MORE TAXES on the productive who must travel back and forth to work so they can pay MORE taxes. Want LESS of something (like productivity), TAX IT!

      Are liberal Democratic-Socialists and Neocons brain dead? Yep, we have a one party system all right!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This should have been packaged with the increase in CAFE requirements. By not increasing the gas tax to compensate for improved fuel economy a finacial time bomb is ticking away for future leaders to grapple with.
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