SecTrans Joins Gas Tax Bashing

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
sectrans joins gas tax bashing

With HillRod and McNasty calling for a summer vacation from [s]reality[/s] gas taxes, populist posturing on the price at the pumps is hitting an all time high. It's one thing for presidential candidates to propose sweet, feel-good nothings. It's another when the sitting Secretary for Transportation disses the dollars that help fuel her agency's good works (and the rest). Although Mary Peters held short of weighing-in on the tax holiday proposal, the SecTrans did tell The Detroit News that "as family budgets strain under the burden of record gasoline prices, it is increasingly clear that fuel taxes are not only ineffective but also wildly unpopular. Increasing dependence on gas taxes to fund infrastructure makes zero sense when Detroit and other automakers are working so hard to make more efficient cars every year." Oh, so Detroit is going to solve the energy crisis, is it? Why didn't we see that one coming? Peters made no mention of what would be taxed so as to pay for such trivialities as roads and bridges. After all, if gas is cheap enough for us to all buy SUV's again, who needs the infrastructure?

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4 of 13 comments
  • Wolven Wolven on May 06, 2008

    How much did it cost to build all these roads in the first place? Answer; a hell of a lot less (even in adjusted dollars) than what we pay for now in all the taxes that are SUPPOSED to go for road work. The never ending cry for more tax money got disgusting decades ago. The question "How will we pay for (name your pet project) without the (name of your favorite) tax" just displays a lack of understanding of how money is created in the first place. What's the total number of U.S. dollars? Where did they come from?

  • Dangerous Dave Dangerous Dave on May 06, 2008

    Just a shot in the dark, but I would guess there are more cars manufactured in a year than there are scrapped. Also the driving population increases daily with more people getting driver's licenses than those loosing them for whatever reason. My point is, even if fuel efficiency does increase, fuel savings are canceled out by more vehicles consuming fuel. Fuel taxes are one way to maintain the highways, but if they could cut the waste in government spending fuel taxes wouldn't be necessary. Maybe the government should stop wasting money on projects like a million dollar study of ketchup viscosity and spend that money on improving the infrastructer.

  • Jjacob9105 Jjacob9105 on May 06, 2008

    How many here believe that gas prices would drop during the "holiday?"

  • Geeber Geeber on May 07, 2008
    polpo: the solution, then, if gas taxes do not provide enough revenue to fund roads, is to raise gas taxes. I’d rather see gas taxes go up than my income taxes. The money has to come from somewhere. Which will further depress demand, which will ultimately reduce revenue. What she is saying is that flat or declining gasoline consumption will result in flat or declining revenues. Meanwhile, the cost of building and maintaining infrastructure will NOT decrease (or even remain flat). She has a point. She is not saying that we should eliminate or even greatly reduce gasoline taxes. We may not, however, be able to depend on revenues from these taxes as much as we do now.