The price of crude dropped to $45 a barrel yesterday. A gas station in Texas posted a pump price of $1.499 a gallon. We all rejoice at the lowering prices. Long-haulers see their costs dropping, and the economy begins to pick up. ‘Course, Washington takes credit of all of it while doing nothing but talk.
Oh, they are talking. Talking about raising gasoline prices by at least another 12¢ as gallon. Why? Because consumers can afford to pay more since they aren’t paying as much per gallon!
Incredible! But, not completely unexpected from the crazed spending lusts of those in Congress and in the administration. I expect our local congresscritter, Vicky Hartzler, who supports massive welfare spending in her voting for the yearly Ag bill (SNAP/Foodstamps), will get in line with her rubberstamp.
It’s not as if the taxes collected has decreased. No, in fact the gas tax revenues has increased. With the lower gas prices, people and businesses are driving more, buying more gas. The federal gas tax is 18.4¢ and 24.4¢ for diesel fuel. It is a fixed tax per gallon. If the tax was a percentage of the cost of a gallon, then a lowering price would reduce the tax revenue—but it is not.
The Daily Signal, a news website and newsletter of the Heritage Foundation posted an article today that delves deeper in the push for more taxes. Surprise, Surprise! It’s not just democrats pushing for a higher tax.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and even Republicans such as Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee have linked arms with the entire road-building industry and green groups that want the cost of fuel to go up.
Pelosi won’t even hide her cynical motivation: With gas prices low, maybe motorists won’t notice that we’re gouging them.
“If there’s ever going to be an opportunity to raise the gas tax, the time when gas prices are so low—oil prices are so low—is the time to do it,” she explained.
That’s rich coming from Pelosi, who has done everything she can to stop the shale oil and gas revolution that made prices fall in the first place.
Apparently if OPEC can’t keep prices high, the feds will. And these are the folks who say they want to help the middle class.
Every penny increase in the gas tax will take about $1 billion out of the wallets of consumers. So a 10-cent or 20-cent gas tax will take about $10 billion to $20 billion from consumers.
The politicians like to point to studies by road builders and civil engineers that insist America’s infrastructure is crumbling and we must spend hundreds of billions of dollars to fix our roads, highways, bridges and airports. Now there’s an impartial jury. Who do you think is going to get all this money?
Corker adds that we are “just stealing from future generations out of the general funds to pay for infrastructure because Congress is going to fund infrastructure but not in the appropriate way.”
Corker is right that America needs more roads and needs to fix the ones we have to reduce congestion and potholes. But this isn’t because the 18.4-cents-a-gallon gas tax raises too little money—$34 billion a year should be plenty and infrastructure spending is near an all-time high.
The “stealing” that is going on is from the trust fund. Congress siphons tax dollars away from roads to worthless mass transit systems with tiny ridership.
Why should motorists see their gas tax dollars go to transit projects they don’t use?
If Washington would simply devote all gas tax dollars to roads, we wouldn’t need a tax hike.
Don’t be surprised if gas tax hike dollars help fund California’s $68 billion high-speed rail white elephant. The program has been so riddled with cost overruns, it may go down in history as one of the most absurd transportation projects in U.S. history.
There’s no bigger hypocrite when it comes to infrastructure than President Obama. He wants $300 billion for a federal infrastructure fund even as he announces he will veto a bill to create needed pipeline infrastructure and some 42,000 jobs at virtually no cost to taxpayers. Pelosi and Durbin are against Keystone, too.
Rather than raise the federal gas tax, a better policy would be to repeal the federal tax and let states pay for their own road projects.
The interstate highway system was completed 30 years ago, and there is no more need for a national tax at 18.4 cents a gallon to fund bridges and high-speed rail projects to nowhere. Devolving transportation projects back to the states will ensure that gas tax money is used for the highest value-added projects.
The column continues at the website. You can read it in it’s entirety here.
“Don’t Get Stuck on Stupid!”
That was a quote from Lt. General Russell Honeré from the Katrina cleanup when the military had to come in to help state and federal officials in New Orleans. While the circumstances and reasons for the quote has been forgotten, the quote itself has not.
The dems in Washington have not taken that advice. No, they, after their massive losses last November, continue with their failed agenda. Only now, they are pushing that failed agenda harder.
– The Washington Times – Monday, January 12, 2015
House Democrats, fresh off massive election losses, say the problem is they didn’t make a bold enough case for tax increases and wealth transfer to the poor. They rectified that Monday with a speech by Rep. Chris Van Hollen proposing tax increases on the wealthy with the money going straight to tax cuts for the poor and middle class.
The plan uses tax laws to encourage employee wage increases, reduce tax breaks for Wall Street and slap another fee on financial transactions. The government would dole out $1,000 tax credits for most workers and increase a slew of other tax credits for poor and middle-class families.
“This is a plan to grow the paychecks of all, not just the wealth of a few. This proposal attacks the chronic problem of stagnant middle-class incomes from both directions. It promotes bigger paychecks and lets workers keep more of what they earn,” Mr. Van Hollen, the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, said in a speech announcing the plan at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington.
The Maryland Democrat said the proposal would restore balance to a tax code that “is now skewed in favor of people who make money off of money and against those who make money off of work.”
The plan built upon the liberal populism that dominates the Democratic agenda for confronting a Republican-controlled Congress, such as the push to raise the minimum wage and reducing student loan debt. But it went further by offering workers a direct cash payment. (The column continues at the website.)
The scheme will probably be DOA in Congress. At least it should be. With the current push by the establishment GOP for accommodation with liberals, who knows, really, if this is dead, or, like Frankenstein’s monster, will suddenly gain life again.
It’s time for a resurgence of those, currently out of favor by the establishment, to gather again under the name of, “Taxed Enough Already!”