Increase the gas tax: A conservative proposal?

I was listening to Fox News on my way home from work tonight, and I heard a truly ignorant proposal from Charles Krauthammer for a $1 gas tax increase. 

Since he admits that it is a highly regressive tax, he advocates a $14-per-week refund from FICA taxes so no one is hurt.  So, essentially, he takes the already broke Social Security fund and shorts it money to give current politicians money to pretend they reduce the deficit today.  He absolutely screws future generations.  He suggests only part of the tax go for infrastructure (if that).

He says no one gets hurt, but he is 100% wrong.  People who don't work, but drive, get hurt.  People who have to commute significant distances – either because they can't afford houses near work or because they want to – get hurt.  Truck drivers get hurt, which means all people who buy goods that get shipped get charged more.

Here are a few ideas how to get more money for the roads without raising the tax.  Use the money as it was intended instead of diverting it to other stuff.  If you want bike trails, allocate money from operating revenues instead of gas taxes because bike riders don't pay the gas tax.  Get rid of the prevailing wage (David-Bacon) laws to get more bang for the buck.  Essentially, the Davis-Bacon Act was a racist law to prevent minorities from taking jobs from whites.  It is long past time to get rid of these laws that have oppressed minorities and taxpayers for almost 90 years. 

We should also start charging people who drive electric cars state and federal use taxes.  They use the roads yet allow the rest of us to subsidize them.  I would love for someone to explain to me why taxpayers give wealthy persons $7,500 to buy the Teslas and other electric cars and then why all of us who drive allow them to use the roads for free.  Isn't it great that the poor and middle-class subsidize the rich?

Krauthammer said he has advocated this type of tax for thirty years.  That is truly embarrassing.  He is listening to Thomas Friedman too much.

Thomas Lifson adds:

Krauthammer gave away the game when he cited high European gasoline taxes as his reference point. Europeans on average enjoy far less living space per capita because they tend to live in apartments, densely packed into smaller territory than would hold the same number of Americans living in single family homes in suburban settings. When taxes make driving too expensive for most people, that is the lifestyle that you end up with.

You also end up with falling birthrates, as living space is too expensive and too cramped for a bunch of kids. Cue the “Syrian refugees” being allowed into Europe, in large part because Europeans are extinguishing themselves on the time payment plan, though ultra-low birthrates.

The experience of California suggests that high gasoline taxes do not necessarily mean good roads. California already has one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation, a total 0f 27.8 cents per gallon.  But that tax gusher long has been harvested for non-highway-related purposes, including mass transit, and California’s roads are so starved of maintenance that they are collapsing.  The state has not built a single new mile of freeway in decades. California’s highways, despite sky high gas taxes, are crumbling.

Image from the San Jose Mercury-News

As result, a massive tax increase aimed at motorists has just been signed into law a few days ago that will add well over $5 billion a year to state coffers, with purported guarantees that it will be used for roads. But greenies have all the juice in California state politics, so when that next bike path or transit boondoggle (and don’t forget the “high speed” rail project from nowhere to nowhere) needs the cash, the state legislature will follow its own priorities.

I was listening to Fox News on my way home from work tonight, and I heard a truly ignorant proposal from Charles Krauthammer for a $1 gas tax increase. 

Since he admits that it is a highly regressive tax, he advocates a $14-per-week refund from FICA taxes so no one is hurt.  So, essentially, he takes the already broke Social Security fund and shorts it money to give current politicians money to pretend they reduce the deficit today.  He absolutely screws future generations.  He suggests only part of the tax go for infrastructure (if that).

He says no one gets hurt, but he is 100% wrong.  People who don't work, but drive, get hurt.  People who have to commute significant distances – either because they can't afford houses near work or because they want to – get hurt.  Truck drivers get hurt, which means all people who buy goods that get shipped get charged more.

Here are a few ideas how to get more money for the roads without raising the tax.  Use the money as it was intended instead of diverting it to other stuff.  If you want bike trails, allocate money from operating revenues instead of gas taxes because bike riders don't pay the gas tax.  Get rid of the prevailing wage (David-Bacon) laws to get more bang for the buck.  Essentially, the Davis-Bacon Act was a racist law to prevent minorities from taking jobs from whites.  It is long past time to get rid of these laws that have oppressed minorities and taxpayers for almost 90 years. 

We should also start charging people who drive electric cars state and federal use taxes.  They use the roads yet allow the rest of us to subsidize them.  I would love for someone to explain to me why taxpayers give wealthy persons $7,500 to buy the Teslas and other electric cars and then why all of us who drive allow them to use the roads for free.  Isn't it great that the poor and middle-class subsidize the rich?

Krauthammer said he has advocated this type of tax for thirty years.  That is truly embarrassing.  He is listening to Thomas Friedman too much.

Thomas Lifson adds:

Krauthammer gave away the game when he cited high European gasoline taxes as his reference point. Europeans on average enjoy far less living space per capita because they tend to live in apartments, densely packed into smaller territory than would hold the same number of Americans living in single family homes in suburban settings. When taxes make driving too expensive for most people, that is the lifestyle that you end up with.

You also end up with falling birthrates, as living space is too expensive and too cramped for a bunch of kids. Cue the “Syrian refugees” being allowed into Europe, in large part because Europeans are extinguishing themselves on the time payment plan, though ultra-low birthrates.

The experience of California suggests that high gasoline taxes do not necessarily mean good roads. California already has one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation, a total 0f 27.8 cents per gallon.  But that tax gusher long has been harvested for non-highway-related purposes, including mass transit, and California’s roads are so starved of maintenance that they are collapsing.  The state has not built a single new mile of freeway in decades. California’s highways, despite sky high gas taxes, are crumbling.

Image from the San Jose Mercury-News

As result, a massive tax increase aimed at motorists has just been signed into law a few days ago that will add well over $5 billion a year to state coffers, with purported guarantees that it will be used for roads. But greenies have all the juice in California state politics, so when that next bike path or transit boondoggle (and don’t forget the “high speed” rail project from nowhere to nowhere) needs the cash, the state legislature will follow its own priorities.

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