Skip to comments.Of Bridges and Taxes - A study in the politics of transportation spending
Posted on 08/17/2007 9:06:13 PM PDT by gpapa
Some things in politics seem to be inevitable--and one of them is that any road or bridge tragedy will be followed by an argument to raise the gasoline tax. That's what is now happening in the wake of the terrible Minnesota bridge collapse, but that state's transportation and tax record shows precisely why voters are skeptical.
The gas tax pleas are coming from the usual suspects, in both Washington and St. Paul. James Oberstar, the Minnesota Democrat who runs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recently stood beside the wreckage and recommended an increase in the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gas tax, as a way to prevent future bridge collapses. His wing man, Alaska Republican and former Transportation Chairman Don Young, agrees wholeheartedly.
As it happens, these are the same men who played the lead role in the $286 billion 2005 federal highway bill. That's the bill that diverted billions of dollars of gas tax money away from urgent road and bridge projects toward Member earmarks for bike paths, nature trails and inefficient urban transit systems.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
$286 billion 2005 federal highway bill. That's the bill that diverted billions of dollars of gas tax money away from urgent road and bridge projects toward Member earmarks for bike paths, nature trails and inefficient urban transit systems.
Oberstar was front and center when the camera’s started rolling after the bridge collapse.
“If you can’t afford another nickle for gas, well, then God help you. You have no sense of the future.”
It’s a nickle PER gallon, you prick.
When the U.S. Department of Transportation provides funding for a major project in a specific jurisdiction (state, county, municipality, or any combination of these), it does so with the explicit understanding that THE JURISDICTION IN QUESTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE.
All that Beltway talk about how the war in Iraq has some relation to a collapsed bridge in Minneapolis is a lot of sh!t. The USDOT simply does not pay for maintenance and upkeep of existing infrastructure that lies in a state or local jurisdiction.
Milton Friedman is spinning in his grave.
Today’s reckless spending and Big Government is slowly leading us into Socialism
Let’s not forget that money WAS being spent on the bridge, quite literally, as it was going down, in spite of all the money being expended in Iraq. Of course you could argue the money should have been spent on it’s structure rather than its surface...........
Clinton already raised it a nickel per gallon (actually 4.3 cents) way back in 1993, and that didnt stop the bridge collapse.
The gas tax was originally intended to be a "user fee" -- a quasi-toll for using roads, bridges and highways. But for more than a decade the federal highway trust fund has been accumulating billions more from the tax than has been spent on roads. In fact, the revenues from Bill Clinton's 1993 gas tax hike were explicitly dedicated to reducing the deficit, not fixing roads.
dONT LET ANYONE FOOL YOU INTO BELIEVING AMERICANS ARE SO STUPID AS TO SUPPORT A NEW FEDERAL GAS TAX INCREASE.
Here is one poll. Please check google (enter: gas tax polls) for many, many others that say the same thing. Even MN citizens don’t approve of a new gas tax (see kstp.com).
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
What do you think?
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