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An open letter to whoever wins on Tuesday


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James B. Treece

Automotive News

November 3, 2008 - 1:59 pm ET

Dear Mr. President:

Please raise the gasoline tax.

The country needs to keep moving toward using less imported oil, which means less use of oil -- period. The federal government has mandated higher fuel economy standards. That's a first step.

But we tried that before in an era of cheap gasoline, and it failed. You can take fuel-efficient cars to the consumers, but you can't make shoppers open their wallets. They need a reason to want those cars.

For a while this year, we had that. With gasoline prices up around $4 a gallon (still a bargain by world standards), consumers wanted fuel-efficient cars.

But now gasoline prices are back at, or below, $2 a gallon. If it stays at that level, folks will go back to commuting in half-ton pickups, and we'll keep sending container boats full of cash to Saudi Arabia.

But if Americans know that fuel prices will keep rising, they'll shop for cars differently, and all the efforts that the Detroit 3 and other carmakers are putting into engineering high-mileage vehicles won't go to waste.

Congress may fight you on this. The folks on Capitol Hill may say that a recession is a bad time to impose extra fuel costs on a weary nation. And they're right.

So here's what you do.

Impose a 10-cent surcharge on the fuel price -- effective in 2010. That's when a wave of fuel-efficient cars and trucks will begin to appear in the Detroit 3's showrooms. No need to create demand before the supply is there, right? And we can cross our fingers that by 2010 we'll be past the worst of this recession.

Then up the ante. Raise the surcharge another 10 cents a year for each of the following four years, so that by 2014 it is 50 cents.

Car shoppers can shake off a one-time price increase. They'll behave differently if they know that prices are going to keep rising.

Also, do not promise to use the added fuel taxes on roads and highways. That just encourages more driving.

Oh, you can use it to repair some bridges, if you want. But mostly, use it elsewhere. Pay down the federal debt. Buy better armor for our men and women in uniform. Invest in those alternative fuels we need.

Personally, I'd spend it improving the railroad track for medium-distance travel. You know, the trips that used to be a one- to two-hour flight: say, Detroit to Chicago, Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, San Antonio to Dallas.

Today, with all the hassles of airport security, flights between those cities take three to five hours -- the same as driving. If high-speed rail service could make the trip in less than two hours, people would get on board. The government doesn't have to run the trains, but it does have to maintain the track, same as it makes sure the skies are safe with air traffic controllers.

But that's just one idea.

The main point is to give the American public a reason to want the fuel-efficient cars that are coming. They're going to be great vehicles. It will be a shame if Americans shun them in favor of more Hummer 3s.

Yours truly,

James B. Treece

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20081103/A...paign_id=alerts

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What happened to the whole "oil from algae" thing (or any other method that can reduce our dependence on foreign oil)? Then we can replace foreign oil with domestically produced oil, and not raise taxes.

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I can't really disagree with the idea of a gas tax, although I don't know what kinds of problems it could cause. I have thought it would be a good idea in the past.

With gas now close to $2, I don't think people will mind, as long as they know the revenue is being used for a purpose that will ultimately benefit them.

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I agree with WMJ 100% - excellent points.

I could see the point of the intial argument if all the money were to go to alternative fuel development / infrastructure, but to use it anywhere else besides that & roads is just fleecing the captive motorist.

Here's an idea : liberals should be more than happy with a percent tax on the purchase of vehicles over a certain level of economy; those people want to do something positive, let them subsidize those who can't afford to.

>>"It would be the most patriotic thing that we could do."<<{/i]

Hoo boy - if this phrase isn't getting whored out recently.....

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because the bridge he didn't want fixed collapsed.

While I understand your concern, to be fair to the author he did suggest using the tax revenue for bridge repair.

Several friends of mine have lost their jobs as OTR truckers because the price of fuel got too ridiculous and they weren't making money anymore.

My #1 son in-law is car hauler has been hit with a double whammy. Not only was the cost of fuel a bummer, but the business has been drying up. First the new car deliveries slowed to a trickle, then the car rental return business tried up, then the junk car transport to the crusher business died up as the price of scrap metal went south.

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Until another DEDICATED source of transportation infrastructure revenue is GUARANTEED, the only real, viable option is to raise the gas tax. I can't put a price on a single life, let alone multiple lives, so closing the massive funding gap that began in 1981 with Ronald Reagan is of utmost importance; we can't have another bridge collapse due to deferred maintenance resulting from a lack of funding. We cannot afford to play catch up with our nation's infrastructure any longer.

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While I understand your concern, to be fair to the author he did suggest using the tax revenue for bridge repair.

Gas tax revenue is nearly the sole revenue source for transportation infrastructure repairs. Small portions are allocated toward improving public transit and freight movement, but the vast majority goes to road infrastructure. This money cannot be used for anything else, as the gas tax was implemented so motorists paid approximately proportionally to the amount of miles of roads they used. Now, with increased MPG, this is no longer the rule, but the basic principle generally holds true: drive more, pay more in gas taxes.

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Until another DEDICATED source of transportation infrastructure revenue is GUARANTEED, the only real, viable option is to raise the gas tax. I can't put a price on a single life, let alone multiple lives, so closing the massive funding gap that began in 1981 with Ronald Reagan is of utmost importance; we can't have another bridge collapse due to deferred maintenance resulting from a lack of funding. We cannot afford to play catch up with our nation's infrastructure any longer.

An important, but separate, issue.

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An important, but separate, issue.

How is the gas tax a separate issue? When the primary source of revenue for transportation infrastructure lies squarely with the gas tax (by a very large margin), there is but one issue.

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How is the gas tax a separate issue? When the primary source of revenue for transportation infrastructure lies squarely with the gas tax (by a very large margin), there is but one issue.

If you read the above "open letter", it has very different motivations for admonishing the next chief executive to increase the gas tax. Those motivations (and the assumptions behind them) are the issue here.

Infrastructure itself is the "separate issue" I'm refering to, we will have to do more on that front damn soon than the gas tax could ever support.

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A small increase seems ok, but continued increases to the tune of 50 cents is pretty ridiculous. At that point I feel it will do more harm than good, as the price of food and other goods that require transportation (so pretty much everything) will increase. Plus, everything that requires someone to drive a truck (not fuel efficient) will also increase, because there is a demand for those things and the people doing them for a living aren't going to want to lose money doing so.

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You are all bastards.

^

Totally agree the goverment gets enough of my money. Do you folks really want to see high gas and GM suffer because of it? Or do you want to kill any kind of performance car? Do you want to hurt people in the transpertation industry? Goverment doesn't need more of our money to piss away. We need more of it. Paying extra for gas because Uncle Sam says so is so stupid! If you want to criple folks like WMJ and many others go ahead. But honestly it should not come from goverment mandates like CAFE that some around here hate or high gas taxes. It should come from consumer demand for different vehicles and alternatives. The private sector needs to do more the goverment less. I can see less lots of problems with a high gas tax. For those of you whom believe it in I am with WMJ, Balthazar and Camino on this one. The goverment needs to learn to make do with less and not more. Hard times are upon us and this will cripple industry and cause job loss. I can't believe people whom are into cars and namely performance ones around here the RWD vs. FWD debate would want such. I think alot of people honestly don't connect a with b or think of anyone but themselfs. Can I afford $3 a gallon gas sure for now but when I was 25 I couldn't. If it hits $6....7......&#036;h&#33; 10 I will be talking differently. People have no idea what happens when taxes on anything or anyone go up. Honestly for any of you that think good will come about from this besides smoother roads and the goverment doing more with alternatives which they should to a certain point then your hood-winked. I think if you honestly agree with this you are smug bastards. Who in the hell gave you the idea that raising taxs on gas is good for folks and people that need trucks to make a living. What a bunch of ass-wholes. This kind of thinking hurts everyone! Including our beloved GM and the big three along with the rest of industry. People should drive what they want and if you want to do a gas guzzler tax that is fine (I wish it wasn't around tho) but a tax on the gas is stupid. Mark my words if either president put this into action I will be writing him and it will kill buisness and not only those that have a fleet of pick-ups.

Edited by gm4life
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I'd be more comfortable with a one time increase than with rolling increases, but I do favor the idea. Once OPEC cuts production because worldwide demand has been dropping we're going to see higher prices again, so we need to do something to encourage investment in alternatives. Offshore drilling would be like pulling a Band-Aid off slowly, raising the gas tax would be more of a tug.

As a counter for truck drivers and others whose job relies on their car or truck, would an increased mileage credit or fuel subsidy make it more palatable? A person who drives 30,000 miles a year while averaging 10mpg would pay an extra $1500/year (or about $29/week) due to a $0.50 increase in fuel tax. A $1500 tax credit would offset this, would it not? Some things would have to be juggled around, but it evens out for the taxpayer and the government gets the benefit of people finally seeing the need for alternatives.

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The best option would be to convert the flat gas tax to a percentage-based gas tax, similar to a sales tax. This would solve two problems: 1) the diminished value of a flat gas tax (the gas tax bought a hell of a lot more in 1965 than in 2005) due to inflation and 2) the need to raise the gas tax to combat inflation-driven diminished buying power. A percentage-based tax would never need to be adjusted to the CPI as its revenue would be based on the fluctuating value of fuel.

A small increase seems ok, but continued increases to the tune of 50 cents is pretty ridiculous. At that point I feel it will do more harm than good, as the price of food and other goods that require transportation (so pretty much everything) will increase. Plus, everything that requires someone to drive a truck (not fuel efficient) will also increase, because there is a demand for those things and the people doing them for a living aren't going to want to lose money doing so.

If you're referring to a truck in the sense of diesel truck traffic, the gas tax is different for commercial vehicles. If you're referring to the average construction worker, or someone else who tends to require pickup trucks, vans and SUVs for their job, then your argument is weak as nothing would stop them from getting a hybrid truck. Hell, give them a tax deduction to encourage a switch to a hybrid truck and I'd be fine with that.

Edited by Croc
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The best option would be to convert the flat gas tax to a percentage-based gas tax, similar to a sales tax. This would solve two problems: 1) the diminished value of a flat gas tax (the gas tax bought a hell of a lot more in 1965 than in 2005) due to inflation and 2) the need to raise the gas tax to combat inflation-driven diminished buying power. A percentage-based tax would never need to be adjusted to the CPI as its revenue would be based on the fluctuating value of fuel.

If you're referring to a truck in the sense of diesel truck traffic, the gas tax is different for commercial vehicles. If you're referring to the average construction worker, or someone else who tends to require pickup trucks, vans and SUVs for their job, then your argument is weak as nothing would stop them from getting a hybrid truck. Hell, give them a tax deduction to encourage a switch to a hybrid truck and I'd be fine with that.

I'm with you my brother from another mother!

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I'm with you my brother from another mother!

We don't say that at our chapter.

But seriously...transportation infrastructure is my field. Thankfully CA is the only state that has a percentage component to the gas tax. It still needs to go all percentage, though...it just doesn't fund anything these days.

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Gas taxes trickle down and have price effects on anything shipped by truck.

If you introduce a gas tax, food prices will go up. Clothing prices will go up. Etc, etc, etc...

The gas tax difference is the main reason why the basic cost of living is lower in the US than it is in Canada.

I've been noticing less and less California produce as the gas prices go up, there's more local Ontario food being sold in supermarkets here. That's part of the effect the gas tax has as well. Expect California farmers to get hit pretty hard by this, as they depend strongly on exports from their state.

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Gas taxes trickle down and have price effects on anything shipped by truck.

If you introduce a gas tax, food prices will go up. Clothing prices will go up. Etc, etc, etc...

The gas tax difference is the main reason why the basic cost of living is lower in the US than it is in Canada.

I've been noticing less and less California produce as the gas prices go up, there's more local Ontario food being sold in supermarkets here. That's part of the effect the gas tax has as well. Expect California farmers to get hit pretty hard by this, as they depend strongly on exports from their state.

So what are you saying, we should just stop funding transportation infrastructure because things may cost more? That's ridiculous. Sure, trickle-down occurs. But with gas low again (who wants to take bets on how long this will last?), and the prices of goods not dropping, what's the deal?

As I already said, CA has a percentage component to its gas tax, and the world didn't end. Prices on basic items haven't skyrocketed, and in fact, my grande iced coffee at Starbucks is cheaper in LA than it is in Indianapolis!

I know this happened back in 2007, but it's important that we don't forget what happens when necessary repairs aren't made because the gas tax hasn't kept up with inflation:

MinneapolisBridgeCollapse.jpg

Is saving $0.13 on that cheeseburger REALLY worth it?

Edited by Croc
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So what are you saying, we should just stop funding transportation infrastructure because things may cost more? That's ridiculous. Sure, trickle-down occurs. But with gas low again (who wants to take bets on how long this will last?), and the prices of goods not dropping, what's the deal?

As I already said, CA has a percentage component to its gas tax, and the world didn't end. Prices on basic items haven't skyrocketed, and in fact, my grande iced coffee at Starbucks is cheaper in LA than it is in Indianapolis!

I know this happened back in 2007, but it's important that we don't forget what happens when necessary repairs aren't made because the gas tax hasn't kept up with inflation:

MinneapolisBridgeCollapse.jpg

Is saving $0.13 on that cheeseburger REALLY worth it?

Your premise is deeply flawed.

Reliance on gas tax revenue to maintain and improve our infrastructure is a proven failure. You are asking for more of the same. To fix the countless substandard, aging, and inadequate bridges, roads, rail systems, dams and so on will take a far greater commitment of resources - one that is long overdue. In fact, the entire practice of tying the gas tax to infrastructure needs to go away. It doesn't work now , and it won't work in the future. It is typical wasteful inefficient government foolishness that is used as leverage to pit the interests of one level of government against another.

The exploration and implementation of alternative fuels, as well as infrastructure maintenance and improvement need to be high priority items not tied to yet another condescending, manipulative, social experiment. We need to get real about this and just fund what needs to be done directly without all of the asinine social engineering politicians are so insultingly fond of.

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>>"It is typical wasteful inefficient government foolishness that is used as leverage to pit the interests of one level of government against another."<<

Nutshelling 101, Instructor- Mr Camino, 3 credits.

Now is the time, economically, to take a deep, harsh look into the grotesque inefficiency of government. There's 100s of billions to be realized. The time where a state, county or federal job is a place to grow one's wallet fat needs to be over. Far too many of these upper positions are still making way too much money for doing mediocre (or downright criminal) work, and we can no longer afford the Wining, Dining & Pocket-Lining Era. The taxpayer is alread being crushed- it's the government's turn to contribute.

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Your premise is deeply flawed.
Then enlighten me, please.

Reliance on gas tax revenue to maintain and improve our infrastructure is a proven failure.
Worked quite well as long as the tax kept being raised to keep up with inflation. Worked well until 1981.

You are asking for more of the same.
No, I'm advocating for a percentage-based tax instead of a flat tax.

To fix the countless substandard, aging, and inadequate bridges, roads, rail systems, dams and so on will take a far greater commitment of resources - one that is long overdue.
Can't disagree there, but where will the money come from? Until you can identify a reliable, alternate source of funds, the gas tax is it.

In fact, the entire practice of tying the gas tax to infrastructure needs to go away. It doesn't work now , and it won't work in the future. It is typical wasteful inefficient government foolishness that is used as leverage to pit the interests of one level of government against another.
Really? It seems to me that it came about as a way for drivers to pay for the cost of roads. If the gas tax were to go away, what would you propose in its place? Drivers use roads, contributing to wear and tear. This needs to be paid for.
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Really? It seems to me that it came about as a way for drivers to pay for the cost of roads. If the gas tax were to go away, what would you propose in its place? Drivers use roads, contributing to wear and tear. This needs to be paid for.

It came about as an underhanded way to make some voters believe that other voters were paying for the roads - and that's how it should be.

It's a scam.

An unnecessary level of deception.

Infrastructure should be part of the budget coming out of the general fund as a line item, adjusted as required.

The gas tax is a wasteful way to get to the same place.

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It's more than just the drivers though - every time you buy groceries you are indirectly using the roads. Let's not entirely punish the farmer for that.

It's not unusual for farmers to have their own underground fuel tanks for farm equipment. They pay no road use tax on this fuel and just happen to fill up their personal vehicles too. Everyone's got a scam. :AH-HA_wink:

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It's more than just the drivers though - every time you buy groceries you are indirectly using the roads. Let's not entirely punish the farmer for that.

Everytime you buy groceries, you drive to the store. You use the roads. Even if you walk, you're using road infrastructure: the sidewalk. But if you walk, you never pay the gas tax. So tell me how California is punishing its farmers so unfairly, and why they haven't revolted. I'd be fascinated to know.

It came about as an underhanded way to make some voters believe that other voters were paying for the roads - and that's how it should be.

It's a scam.

An unnecessary level of deception.

Infrastructure should be part of the budget coming out of the general fund as a line item, adjusted as required.

The gas tax is a wasteful way to get to the same place.

Uh, no. I get it, you don't like taxes of any kind. But you're not offering any alternatives. "Come out of the general fund" OK cool...but from where is the money coming INTO the general fund?

Also, infrastructure needs steady maintenance, or else we have Minneapolis all over again. Wouldn't putting infrastructure as an adjustible line-item in the budget leave it more vulnerable to funding irregularities than it already is now?

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How about a road usage tax, based on miles driven, like that is being proposed in the UK? This would impact everyone that uses roads--farmers, truckers, ordinary drivers. It seems like it could be the fairest way to pay for the infrastructure...

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How about a road usage tax, based on miles driven, like that is being proposed in the UK? This would impact everyone that uses roads--farmers, truckers, ordinary drivers. It seems like it could be the fairest way to pay for the infrastructure...

A mileage-based tax would be one of the best ways to fund roads and highways. However, the privacy issues of in-vehicle black boxes need to be overcome. As vehicle fuel economy improves, and alternative energy sources become more mainstream, the funding shortage will only get worse, and paying per mile traveled would be the most fair way.

Transportation is one of the fundamental services of government, and it needs to have an adequate funding source that cannot be siphoned off for other purposes. The Highway Trust Fund has largely worked well. The amount going in has just not kept up with inflation and the needs. With the huge drop in demand for gas from the increased cost, the amount of money going into the Highway Trust Fund decreased, leading to unfunded highway projects. That's why the Congress had to put $8 billion from the general fund into it recently.

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ok, similar thing in missouri that got voted in.... casino taxes got raised, but also will never get new competition. anyway, the taxes raised will be in the neighbor hood of 100million....this is supposed to go to education.... it will, but other money will leave it education that can be allocated elsewhere. this is what has happened to the gas tax here. it has been stolen away from it's supposed use...

we don't need more taxes, we need better use of it. like how someone said or i read somehwere, toronto went low water use, but was so succesful that it had to raise the tax on water. this is the same until we truely start to move on, and we still need new roads for those vehicles too.

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It's a false choice to assume that less 'gas tax' means less taxes in general. And, every gas tax opponent here seems not to realize that there are many mechanisms available to make such a tax 'fair'---from tax deductions to a waiver of tolls (another 'tax' unfairly burdening low-income individuals and businesses).

If the government is simply borrowing more to pay for things now, when do you think that bill comes due? Or would you rather pass that on to the grandkids?

It's fairly self-evident that even if you don't believe in global warming, there is another, compelling reason to influence consumer behavior with a gas tax: Our Oil comes from people who hate us---eliminating our utter dependence on foreign oil from a$%#holes like Venezuela, Iran, et al will help us secure ourselves well into the future.

I'd love to drive as much as possible, but there are other factors that must be considered--economists call those 'externalities'---which we collectively pick up the costs on anyway---whether its the environmental cleanup for an oil spill off the coast or expensive asthma meds for your grandpa or kids.

It's incredible how selfish and self-serving the 'get big gov't off our backs' people are---there's simply no choice at this moment---as evidenced here, people don't make the rational, intelligent choices when left to their own devices.

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>>"...toronto went low water use, but was so succesful that it had to raise the tax on water."<<

This has happened numerous times in the U.S. also; municipalities preached conservation of a utility and saw a reduction in revenue, forcing them to increase rates.... which is likely to force further conservation.... etc etc.

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It's incredible how selfish and self-serving the 'get big gov't off our backs' people are---there's simply no choice at this moment---as evidenced here, people don't make the rational, intelligent choices when left to their own devices.

No kidding. Transportation infrastructure is my field. And unlike many other fields with their issues, there is a real consensus on the gas tax.

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No kidding. Transportation infrastructure is my field. And unlike many other fields with their issues, there is a real consensus on the gas tax.

Speaking of transport issues, I see the $10B California bullet train rail program passed. That is exciting news...

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Speaking of transport issues, I see the $10B California bullet train rail program passed. That is exciting news...

YES IT IS!! And it looks like Measure R did as well in LA County. .5% in sales tax now goes to transportation, and LA County sales tax is now 8.75%. It was nice to see decisive support in the end--the San Gabriel Valley and East LA were against it because the initial projects were all for the Westside...well where is the infrastructure deficit located?

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Yeah... ONCE AGAIN I'm 100% with Camino and Balthazar on this one.

I'm with Bobo on the privacy issues the milage tax would raise.

How about this?

Let's stop wasting billion$ on big, ineficient gov. and put those dollar$ to

good use. Why do we spend $4,000,000,000 dollars a year of OUR tax

money to feed/"help" people of Africa when their own evil regimes that

slaughter and enslave their own people are in many cases taking the

money & buying weapons used for genocide, armored Bentleys & other

evil plots... while the people whom the money is supposed to be helping

would rather spit on our flag and dance like a bunch of soul-deprived

animals at the "success" of the 9/11 terrorist plot.

WTF, can you PLEASE explain to me, don't we take care of our own 1st?

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To the people advocating higher gas taxes:

You are all bastards.

Eloquent, truthfull, simple & quite polite.

+1 :)

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Everytime you buy groceries, you drive to the store. You use the roads. Even if you walk, you're using road infrastructure: the sidewalk. But if you walk, you never pay the gas tax. So tell me how California is punishing its farmers so unfairly, and why they haven't revolted. I'd be fascinated to know.

Uh, no. I get it, you don't like taxes of any kind. But you're not offering any alternatives. "Come out of the general fund" OK cool...but from where is the money coming INTO the general fund?

Also, infrastructure needs steady maintenance, or else we have Minneapolis all over again. Wouldn't putting infrastructure as an adjustible line-item in the budget leave it more vulnerable to funding irregularities than it already is now?

Croc, I think you simply don't understand where I'm coming from on this.

I place the importance of our infrastructure nearly on par with national defense.

What I don't want to see is the social manipulation intended by this notion of a high gas tax. It is an insanely negative way to govern, and I deeply resent it.

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What I don't want to see is the social manipulation intended by this notion of a high gas tax. It is an insanely negative way to govern, and I deeply resent it.

I respectfully ask how its social manipulation to have a per gallon gas tax. Those who use the roads more, pay more. Those who don't own a car still pay some through general bond measures and still gain some use of the roads through efficient transport of commodities that they buy.

It is analogous to the National parks. Those who visit pay a fee plus general funds. The rest of only pay the general funds part of the equation but benefit still through pictures, etc.

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I respectfully ask how its social manipulation to have a per gallon gas tax. Those who use the roads more, pay more. Those who don't own a car still pay some through general bond measures and still gain some use of the roads through efficient transport of commodities that they buy.

It is analogous to the National parks. Those who visit pay a fee plus general funds. The rest of only pay the general funds part of the equation but benefit still through pictures, etc.

The intention behind raising the gas tax is to force people into small efficient cars, not to fund infrastructure (see the open letter that began this topic). That is nothing but an attempt at social engineering.

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I don't have a problem w/ a gas tax--I'm using the streets and roads, I should contribute towards their upkeep. No different than all the taxes I pay on an airline ticket.

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Does your 500SEL do twice as much wear and tear to the roads/bridges

as a Toyota Corolla and by extension does a Peterbilt 379 do five times

as much damage as your Benz?

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Does your 500SEL do twice as much wear and tear to the roads/bridges

as a Toyota Corolla and by extension does a Peterbilt 379 do five times

as much damage as your Benz?

A fuel tax is a consumption tax, like sales tax. The more you use, the more you pay...that's fair--- I'd pay more than a Corolla driving a similar distance (since the Merc uses more gas). Though the Merc weighs a lot more than the Corolla, and the Pete weighs a lot more than any car, so theoretically the heavier vehicle does do more wear and tear to the roads.

Perhaps a better system probably would probably be a tax on the # of miles you drive....maybe determined yearly when you register a car (i.e. the # of miles this year minus the number of miles last year * a percentage)? That would indirectly impact consumption.

However it happens, this country needs to invest a lot more than they are now in infrastructure--roads, bridges, etc.

Edited by moltar
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The intention behind raising the gas tax is to force people into small efficient cars, not to fund infrastructure (see the open letter that began this topic). That is nothing but an attempt at social engineering.

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!

The sole purpose of raising the gas tax is BECAUSE THE GAS TAX IS NOT TIED TO THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX AND THEREFORE HAS NOT RISEN WITH INFLATION OVER THE YEARS; AS A RESULT IT DOESN'T PAY FOR JACK &#036;h&#33;!

I don't give a rat's ass what some random guy with a column says, THIS IS THE REAL REASON AS SOMEONE IN THE TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE FIELD.

Want to know how I know? Because smaller cars get better fuel economy, and when the overall fleet gets better fuel economy, less gas tax revenue per mile driven. Simple economics. You can bet there will be a comparable gas tax on alternative fuels in the post-gasoline era, though I'm sure the gas tax will be less initially as an incentive to "socially manipulate" consumers to buy alternatively-fueled cars.

Edited by Croc
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NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!

The sole purpose of raising the gas tax is BECAUSE THE GAS TAX IS NOT TIED TO THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX AND THEREFORE HAS NOT RISEN WITH INFLATION OVER THE YEARS; AS A RESULT IT DOESN'T PAY FOR JACK &#036;h&#33;!

I don't give a rat's ass what some random guy with a column says, THIS IS THE REAL REASON AS SOMEONE IN THE TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE FIELD.

Want to know how I know? Because smaller cars get better fuel economy, and when the overall fleet gets better fuel economy, less gas tax revenue per mile driven. Simple economics. You can bet there will be a comparable gas tax on alternative fuels in the post-gasoline era, though I'm sure the gas tax will be less initially as an incentive to "socially manipulate" consumers to buy alternatively-fueled cars.

So you've proven my point that you misunderstand my position. My posts in this thread are reactions to the idea espoused in the original article.

As for infrastructure funding going forward, I believe that it has to be a national priority at a level far above any gas tax revenue. A dedicated portion of the national budget should be applied to it in the same way that defense and other critical functions are funded. This should be done at a level that replaces the gas tax.

I will concede that both sources of funding will be needed until the abysmal condition of our infrastructure is brought to a minimum level of viability.

Infrastructure needs to be its own issue independent of the gas tax and the social agenda of the manipulators.

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I still don't see the 'social agenda' angle..that just sounds like paranoid musings.

No kidding.

So Camino, please tell us about these "social manipulations." When did they begin? Did the "social manipulation" begin in Oregon in 1919? Or was it when all the states and DC adopted a gas tax within the following decade? Or was it in 1932 when the gas tax went federal?

Clearly the gas tax has hampered auto manufacturers and manipulated consumers' buying decisions since 1932. What an evil tax...paying for all those interstate highways and maintaining the nation's road network as car ownership grew. Shame on it for killing the muscle car, the pillarless hardtop convertible, for bankrupting Chrysler in the 1980s and GM in the 2000s...oh wait, it didn't.

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Don't be dense guys, this idea has been proposed by the letter that opened this thread!

It has been repeated many times by many people as a way to force consumers to choose small fuel efficient cars.

The future is what I'm talking about here, not the history of the gas tax!

What is being proposed now is what I'm objecting to as manipulative and social engineering!

Sheesh!

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Don't be dense guys, this idea has been proposed by the letter that opened this thread!

It has been repeated many times by many people as a way to force consumers to choose small fuel efficient cars.

The future is what I'm talking about here, not the history of the gas tax!

What is being proposed now is what I'm objecting to as manipulative and social engineering!

Sheesh!

Again though, the reality would be the more you consume, the more you pay. That's fair... if drivers choose to move to more efficient cars, that's a side effect.

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Again though, the reality would be the more you consume, the more you pay. That's fair... if drivers choose to move to more efficient cars, that's a side effect.

Not when the tax is raised with that intent, that's premeditated, artificial, and punitive.

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Not when the tax is raised with that intent, that's premeditated, artificial, and punitive.

You are reading too much into things. The gas tax hasn't been raised since a while back, IIRC.

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You are reading too much into things. The gas tax hasn't been raised since a while back, IIRC.

No, I'm not. The author of the letter intends just what I say, others advocate raising the tax for the same punitive effect. What I am talking about has nothing to do with the funding base for roads and bridges! It is this attitude that the tax should be raised to keep the price of fuel artificially high so that mass numbers move toward small cars and drive less. Those that advocate this come right out and say it, so I come right out and oppose it.

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No, I'm not. The author of the letter intends just what I say, others advocate raising the tax for the same punitive effect. What I am talking about has nothing to do with the funding base for roads and bridges! It is this attitude that the tax should be raised to keep the price of fuel artificially high so that mass numbers move toward small cars and drive less. Those that advocate this come right out and say it, so I come right out and oppose it.

Well you can go ahead and believe all the conspiracy theories you want. You're not in the industry. I'm telling you, as someone IN the industry, that funding infrastructure, not "social manipulation" is the reason behind raising the gas tax. Ignore the pundits--they are the dense ones, even if they have an open-letter-writing column.

And moltar you are correct, the gas tax has not been raised in a looong time (early 90s) and therefore has not kept up with inflation at all.

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I already pay over 50 cents on a gllon of gas tax. I dont need more. I am with Camino,Sixty-8, and the rest opposed to this. Once again the poor would be affected more than the rich. Another way for the govt to tell me what I can drive or not. Once I turn my Equinox in next March I will have just the 1981 and 1985. I may not be able to afford to purchase for a while. I should be penalized just because I cant afford a new fuel efficient car? I dont think so. Tax the ones making the big money.

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