Skip to comments.Will the gas tax be the next DC showdown? (next target on the radar -- renewal of the highway bill)
Posted on 08/10/2011 5:29:52 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Who’s ready for another endless fight across the aisle in Washington this fall?
In addition to the debt ceiling debate, we recently saw the FAA hit a temporary shutdown after Congress couldn’t agree on extending their marching orders. (They’ll be sending out apologies notes to all of you who got airline tickets for sixty dollars less any day now, I’m sure.) But the fun isn’t over yet, sports fans!
The Hill is reporting that the next target on the radar is the renewal of the highway bill – a behemoth package with hundreds of billions in spending and revenue buried in it. In case you missed that bit of secret code, the “revenue” portion includes the gas tax. You don’t suppose anyone currently serving in the legislative branch would turn that into a bone of contention to gnaw on, do you?
With the chambers far apart on their proposals for a long-term highway bill, and transportation advocates in Washington still reeling from the FAA fight, at least one Democratic aide in the Senate expressed concern that congressional Republicans would attempt to use the gas tax as leverage in the fight over the competing transportation proposals.
Theres widespread support to maintain the current rate, and there has never been serious objection in the past, the aide said. But with [Rep. John] Micas [R-Fla.] recent actions on the FAA bill, who knows whether House Republicans will once again compromise jobs and the economy to make a political point?
Mica is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The bill that authorizes the gas tax to be collected, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) bill, is currently on its seventh short-term extension, which expires Sept. 30.
There are two very important aspects to the highway bill, which – much like it’s kissing cousin, the farm bill – is one of those unwieldy, expensive pieces of business-as-usual which normally sail on through the chambers. On the one hand, the purpose of the legislation falls under an area that even most conservatives agree is part of the federal government’s constitutional mandate: interstate commerce. It’s also a “pocketbook issue” which directly impacts a large number of blue collar jobs.
But on the other hand, we have entered the era of shrinking the government, cutting taxes and examining every penny of spending. If anyone is willing to take the time, there’s probably some substantial savings to be had there.
When the FAA authorization failed, travelers found themselves saving a fair amount of coin on their tickets. So how much would you put in your pocket if the government lost its authority to collect the federal gas tax? Perhaps not quite as much as you might think. The tax is currently 18.5 cents per gallon. The rest of the taxes and fees can be blamed on various state and local functionaries.
So, is this a hill worth dying on for fiscal conservatives? The total amount of spending we’re talking about really isn’t huge compared to things like entitlement programs. The Republicans are talking about a bill that spends $230 billion over six years. The Democrats are countering with a more expensive, shorter term plan costing us $109 billion over two years.
The revenue in question is significant. The current level brings in $100 million a day, and that adds up fast even in Washington terms. This should be a good open question for the commentariat. Do you want to fight this war in September?
Not only gas tax but electricity rates are climbing. With the Smart Meters they are installing, your rates will go up. Ours doubled, one neighbor said his went up by a factor of four and another neighbors has doubled. If you can, look up Smart Meters and the EMF they put out. Have your counties and cities opt out of using them.
Great - something else for the Republican leadership to increase tenfold then tell us “it’s the best deal we could get. Wait till after the next election.”
Amen! Republicans have proved themselves as accomplices with democrats in spending ever increasing amounts and in increasing “revenues”.
the highway bill -- a behemoth package with hundreds of billions in spending and revenue buried in it. In case you missed that bit of secret code, the "revenue" portion includes the gas tax. You don't suppose anyone currently serving in the legislative branch would turn that into a bone of contention to gnaw on, do you?
Not a gas tax....but the mileage tax.
The Obama administration wants to spend $556 billion over the next six years on transportation projects, but they may have to get creative to pay for them. One “practical option” could be taxing drivers based on their mileage, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is reporting
Obama administration floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile
By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/05/11 07:45 AM ET
White House Wants to Track and Tax Your Mileage
Thursday, 05 May 2011 05:43 PM
By David A. Patten
Conservative economists, commentators, and politicians are blasting a draft Obama administration plan that envisions using Big Brother-like tracking devices on private cars to tax drivers on how many miles they travel.
The new tax scheme, designed to help fund transportation spending, would determine your mileage by installing electronic equipment on your car. This would involve monitoring your location and how far youve traveled.
5000 Years Ago, Moses Said To Israel, “Pick Up Your Shovels,
Mount Your Asses And Camels, And I Will Lead You To The Promised
When Welfare Was Introduced, Roosevelt Said, “ Lay Down Your
Shovels, Sit On Your Asses, And Light Up A Camel, This Is The
Today The Government Has Stolen Your Shovel, Taxed Your Asses,
Raised The Price Of Camels And Mortgaged The Promised Land To
Doesn’t this bill just expire if they don’t do anything and the Federal gas tax just goes away?
The US consumes about 138 Billion gallons of gasoline per year ...
I would be willing to pay $0.01 MORE per gallon to go into a federal fund [$1.38 Billion dollars], BUT ONLY IF ALL the money went to the states to fix roads ...
My car is getting HAMMERED by the potholes that have NOT been repaired ...
You betch ya. A dedicated trust fund for the gas taxes. We have that already but it’s like the SS trust fund. The rulers have plundered it.