Skip to comments.Time for Congress to get out of transportation (gas tax to expire!)
Posted on 07/07/2014 6:06:29 AM PDT by cotton1706
The Highway Trust Fund is about to run out of money. The federal gasoline tax is set to expire in September. Too many federal transportation dollars have gone to ridiculously expensive projects that do little to support the movement of people and goods.
All of these facts point to one conclusion: It is time for Congress to get out of the transportation business and return highway and transit funding to state and local governments. At the very least, Congress should simply give federal transportation dollars to the states with no strings attached and let them decide how to spend them.
In 1956, Congress approved the construction of the Interstate Highway System and funded it by dedicating federal gas taxes to those roads. This led to construction of one of the greatest and the most successful public works projects in history.
The Interstate Highway System was successful because it gave the states a simple mission: build interstate roads. Moreover, that mission was funded out of user fees on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that if no one drove on the roads there would be no gas taxes to pay for building them. Today, the interstates make up just 2.5 percent of the lane-miles of roads in this country, yet they provide 20 percent of all passenger travel and 15 percent of all freight movement.
The highway bill was written to sunset after six years, requiring Congress to periodically reauthorize it. In 1982, when the interstate highways were largely complete, instead of sunsetting the gas tax, Congress celebrated by raising the tax and dedicating a share of that increase to non-highway projects.
Today, gas taxes go to everything from bike paths to transit boondoggles to the writing of urban plans designed to reduce peoples mobility.
(Excerpt) Read more at ocregister.com ...
I say, let the damn gas tax expire and let the states be responsible for all roads and bridges within their borders. There should be no such thing as a federal road or bridge.
So much of government could just go away if we just let these things expire, but the idiots in Congress will panic and save it to keep the gravy train flowing.
Imagine the extortion going on here.
Curious as to where all the STIMULUS cash ended up? I thought it was to be used for shovel-ready jobs repairing roads, bridges and other infrastructure?
I’d check the Union and DNC coffers!
While the current rate for federal gas tax purposes is 18.4 cents per gallon (24.4 cents per gallon for diesel), a rate that hasn’t changed since 1993, state gas taxes have much more volatility and range.
Obama is actively standing in the way of a second bridge over the Detroit river that Canada is paying for. We still have to come up with $250 million for the customs plaza but Obama refuses to release it at the same time he’s demanding that $100 million in transportation funding go to union pensions in Detroit.
Would this be as simple as instructing the owners of the gas stations to send their “federal” tax on any gallon sold to whatever state is receiving the “state” tax due on the same gallon?
Think of the administrative costs saved!
Think of the corruption avoided!
I know this isn’t popular, but I am in favor of a gasoline tax that would be dedicated to roads. I realize that it hits the poor, women, children and minorities hardest. But it more along the lines of a “user fee” which is somewhat preferable to stealing income according to Byzantine IRS codes.
You’re absolutely right about the tax being a user fee. An indirect tax is always preferable to a direct tax.
But keep in mind that there still can be a gas tax, just at the state and local level. Say you live in Wyoming. Why on earth should money come from your wallet to build a bridge of fund a road project in Oklahoma, that you will NEVER use??
The national highway system was for the benefit of all, and it was appropriate for all the people to be taxed for that purpose. But a local bridge or road should be funded and maintained locally and the Federal Transportation Department shuttered permanently.
I believe that roads, highways, bridges, tunnels and DMVs should be controlled by Driver Associations setup like Bridge and Port Authorities except the officers are elected by drivers,the people that pay for and use the transportation system, and not appointed political cronies.