U.S. Sec. of Trans: Ditch Gas Tax for Road Pricing

u s sec of trans ditch gas tax for road pricing

The Seattle Times reports that the U.S. Secretary of Transportation wants to lower federal gas taxes. The bad news: Mary Peter wants to replace the taxes with tolls. "Peters aired her views Friday to the Washington Roundtable, a group of business executives who have backed transportation campaigns. She argued that Americans lack 'investor confidence' in higher gasoline taxes, because she said the money is spent inefficiently and hasn't reduced congestion." Reduced congestion? Since when was that the point of federal gas taxes? Since… "Her department is offering $139 million to launch congestion-price tolling on the Highway 520 floating bridge by September 2009. Peters said the federal government will yank a similar grant from New York City if the state fails on Monday to approve a toll for driving into Manhattan. And there's another unstated reason for the policy shift: as U.S. vehicles become more efficient (by law) and/or cash-strapped motorists drive less, Uncle Sam's fuel excise income will tumble. And just in case you thought toll taxes are regressive (they are), how about this? She praised an experiment on Highway 167 that begins April 26, when solo drivers will be able to pay to enter the uncrowded high-occupancy-vehicle lanes." [thanks to Ryan Kauzlarich for the link]

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  • Geeber Geeber on Apr 07, 2008
    RedStapler: They have sparked something of a vehicle weight arms race where you a less safe in a run of the mill 3500lbs. car than you were a decade ago. Vehicles are getting heavier because of consumer and government demands for more crashworthiness, along with consumer demands for more refinement (i.e., less noise, vibration and harshness). Those require stronger structures (not to mention more air bags), and unless car makers use exotic materials that add cost (both to the purchase price and to accident repair costs, which will drive up insurance costs), those stronger structures will be heavier. Also, air conditioning, power door locks and power windows are pretty much standard on Focuses, Corollas and Civics. When I was growing up, a Pinto or Corolla was considered well-equipped if it had a radio and an automatic transmission, and only Cadillacs, Lincolns, Olds Ninety-Eights, Buick Electras and Chrysler Imperials and New Yorkers could be expected to have power windows, door locks and seats.

  • Wolven Wolven on Apr 07, 2008
    So Wolven, if liberals are all environazis in your book, how should liberals label people like you so that they can dismiss your rantings with a wave of the hand instead of listening to what you have to say? And how will this labeling illuminate any policy questions and further intelligent discussion on TTAC? First, while it could be construed as vague, the statement began with the word THESE... i.e. reffering to the people that are relentlessly expressing their hatred of SUV's and the people that drive them. As to how we should label people, how about first respecting peoples freedom to choose what they wish to drive without hurling a never ending stream of derogatory comments towards them? If people that dare drive a vehicle that liberals don't like are going to be subjected to all the "gas guzzling, bloated, unneeded, unnecessary, ego enhancing, phallic symbol, world destroying, child killing, efficient car crushing monstrocities, etc., etc.", what further need do the liberals have for a label? As to "how will this labeling further intelligent discussion on TTAC?", perhaps you could help me understand how the pointless hatin on SUV's is furthering intelligent discussion on TTAC? Personally, I believe the level of intelligent discussion would rise dramatically as soon as the anti-SUV crowd quits trying to IMPOSE their personal religion on everyone else.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Apr 07, 2008
    As to how we should label people, how about first respecting peoples freedom to choose what they wish to drive without hurling a never ending stream of derogatory comments towards them? You have a right to have your preferences, and others have a right to dislike your preferences. That's what freedom is all about. You really put yourself out on a weak limb when you try to compare a dislike of a given vehicle choice to racism. Nobody chose to be black, Hispanic, Asian or a female, but every SUV owner made a conscious effort to become one. If you like SUV's and those who love them, then you'd be more convincing if you'd defend them based upon their merits. Still, not everyone is going to agree with you, and you'll just have to learn to deal with it.

  • Jaje Jaje on Apr 08, 2008

    @ Wolven Are you the SUV owners of america president? If not then you must be a client. Drink that kool aid!