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Donít Raise the Gas Tax: Sen. Bob Corker's Idea is Bad Policy and Bad Politics
National Review ^ | 06/20/2014 | The Editors

Posted on 06/20/2014 6:53:27 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The federal Highway Trust Fund, historically, is a fund that the government can’t be trusted to spend on federal highways. Unfortunately, Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) is proposing to put more money in it by raising the federal gasoline tax, a proposal he’s concocted with Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.).

Corker’s idea is bad policy and bad politics. The politics: Gas prices are rising rapidly, taxes on fuel are regressive, and Americans, rightly, really don’t like when you raise any kind of tax at all.

There’s no pressing policy reason to increase the tax. The trust fund has plenty of money to fund highway priorities that the federal government needs to address — especially if federal money were spent more efficiently. But the fund is running dry because, instead, Congress has repeatedly lavished spending on non-highway priorities and on intrastate issues. Drivers across America shouldn’t have to pay for projects that House appropriators like, but that’s the way the trust fund works now. Corker is proposing to let this continue.

Corker is bound by a pledge he’s made to voters not to raise taxes, but his plan has a way around it: Package the gas-tax hike with renewing a bunch of tax breaks called “extenders” that expired at the beginning of this year. This more than adds up as a fiscal matter, but not an economic or political one. The result would be to cut taxes on particular corporations and for particular kinds of consumption and investment (producing wind energy, for instance) while raising taxes on almost all consumers. Moreover, it’s expected that most of these tax extenders will be renewed at some point anyway, as they are every year, so Corker can’t really claim that they’ll make up for the new tax increase he’s proposing.

We have a better idea: Cut the gas tax and let states pay for the highways within their borders. Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Representative Tom Graves (R., Ga.) have proposed a bill that would do essentially this, and it makes a number of other important improvements to highway policies.

Some American infrastructure needs improvement, and some taxpayer-funded projects eventually pay for themselves, but states are in a far better position to decide which projects are worth financing. American infrastructure is also so expensive that many projects that might be economically sensible are not. This is especially true of federal projects, and Congress should work on that — the requirement that all federal contractors pay an excessive “prevailing wage” is one problem — before it digs its hand deeper into the taxpayer’s pocket.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bobkorker; energy; gasoline; gastax; tax; taxes

1 posted on 06/20/2014 6:53:27 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The very first and only question I’d ask of CORKER is “What in the hell are you life-stealers doing with the revenue from the existing Federal Tax on every gallon now?”


2 posted on 06/20/2014 6:54:59 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer

Second Question — What ever happened to the nearly one trillion dollar stimulus we gave Uncle Sam? I thought this was going to shovel ready infrastructure projects?


3 posted on 06/20/2014 6:56:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Thanks for posting the entire article.


4 posted on 06/20/2014 6:57:42 AM PDT by upchuck (... honesty is the never-ending rehearsal for those who want to be the friends of God...)
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To: SeekAndFind

All the country’s gold is now encrusting the bureaucracies inside the beltway. Start mining some of that.


5 posted on 06/20/2014 6:57:59 AM PDT by DManA
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To: SeekAndFind

In truth, what they want all this extra money for is to pay for the anticipated increase in entitlement costs for new and existing illegals, those beneficiaries who have determined they want to exist forever on entitlements, more ObamaPhones, more EITC, more WICs for the Mexican babies, more SNAP, more Section 8, more more more for anybody who will vote Democrat.

They could give a crap about roads and bridges.


6 posted on 06/20/2014 6:58:47 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: SeekAndFind

This not a good time for the government to take more discretionary income from the electorate. We need to have a functioning economy and this not the way to do it.

These people are so out of touch with the country it boggles the mind.


7 posted on 06/20/2014 7:05:13 AM PDT by buffaloguy
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To: buffaloguy

“This not a good time for the government to take more discretionary income from the electorate. We need to have a functioning economy and this not the way to do it.
These people are so out of touch with the country it boggles the mind.”

Actually they know exactly what they are doing. They’ve all studied Cloward Piven. The nation’s culture, economy, and government is being overwhelmed purposefully and with no resistance.


8 posted on 06/20/2014 7:20:44 AM PDT by Soul of the South (Yesterday is gone. Today will be what we make of it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Just called Corker’s office (I voted for him) and asked them if the Senator was in touch with the people in TN. If so, why in the world would he be pushing more taxes on us with gas already high and food going up every month. I told the Corker staffer that I wasn’t interested in any more taxes but I was interested in Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS Scandal, Immigration mess, etc. I told him that people need to go to jail over these and also that Obama should be impeached. Staffer said he would tell the Senator.


9 posted on 06/20/2014 7:28:33 AM PDT by upbeat5
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To: SeekAndFind; All

Corker is a vile RINO we’d all love to remove, but it can’t be done now. However, his accomplice, Lamar Alexander, is running in a primary scheduled for August 7 and is opposed by Joe Carr, a strong conservative with heavy Tea Party backing. I’ve contributed several hundred dollars to Joe’s campaign, plan to vote for him, and urge everyone here who can do the same to do so.


10 posted on 06/20/2014 7:31:32 AM PDT by libstripper
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To: SeekAndFind

Corker endorsed Lamar Alexander, two peas in a pod. Vote for JOE CARR in the Tennessee Republican Senatorial Primary.


11 posted on 06/20/2014 7:44:35 AM PDT by duffee (NO poll tax, NO tax on firearms, ammunition or gun safes. NO gun free zones.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I was talking to an ‘old-timer’ last year and he was telling me of how in this part of Kentucky it was a requirement that each male adult put in three days a year in working on the roads in maintaining them. He also mentioned that if he brought along a horse and a wagon that they would account for one day of his required three days.

Considering that in my county alone over sixty percent are on Welfare or disability that paying for that with road work would be a item to explore more seriously.


12 posted on 06/20/2014 7:54:35 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: SeekAndFind

GOPe has a LOOOOOONG history of being bought-and-psid for by the paving mafia.


13 posted on 06/20/2014 9:40:49 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Gaffer
Sounds like Corker has a bad case of Beltway Illness. If the Trust Fund doesn't have enough money to pay for maintaining highways, then the Congress should quit using the money for bike trails and light rail and other such boutique bullsh*t.
14 posted on 06/21/2014 8:01:18 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

Boutique Bullsh!t.....doggonit! I LIKE THAT!


15 posted on 06/21/2014 8:17:58 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Buckeye McFrog

There’s an old saying: don’t stand between a politician and asphalt. Big, expensive construction projects are easy pickings for corrupt politicians.


16 posted on 06/21/2014 8:27:18 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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