Saturday, January 10, 2015

Orange Julius Gives Them The Gas Face

With gas prices down to around $2 a gallon from $3.50, the notion to raise the federal gas tax by a bit in order to pay for the Federal Highway Trust Fund to keep America's interstates running seems pretty reasonable.

But let's remember you're dealing with 2015 Republicans like John Boehner, who are never reasonable. Steve Benen:

The Highway Trust Fund, which plays a central role in financing U.S. infrastructure projects, is financed through a federal gas tax. It’s been a pretty effective system, at least up until recently – the current tax hasn’t changed in more than two decades, and as a result, American investment in infrastructure has fallen to its lowest point since 1947. Making matters slightly worse, the Highway Trust Fund is on track to run out of money in May. 
The simple, efficient, and painfully obvious solution is to approve an overdue increase to the gas tax – with prices at the pump already having plummeted, this is an ideal time – which would bolster the fund, boost investments, and help both the economy and our infrastructure, which even Republicans concede is currently “on life support.” 
Indeed, while Democratic support for an overdue gas-tax increase comes as no surprise, some conservative GOP lawmakers also agree that we don’t have much of a choice.

But oh well, John Boehner won't even allow that up for a vote in the House.

Asked for further clarification, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Greg Sargent, “The Speaker doesn’t support a gas tax hike. Period.”

Now Orange Julius does concede that somebody has to pay for the Highway Trust Fund, or thousands of construction jobs will be lost this summer and our interstate highways won't get repaired.  The obvious and easy way is to bump up the gas tax.

But that won't happen.  What will happen?  We don't know, that's up to Republicans.

Good luck with that whole "governance" thing, boys.

1 comment:

RepubAnon said...

The current push is for a tax based on miles driven - which would measure miles driven using things such as GPS-based devices to be installed on all cars, which would report the car's position to the government on a regular basis.

Oregon to test mileage-based gas tax
Oregon Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Godfrey told the The Oregonian newspaper that GPS would be the easiest option for tracking drivers’ mileage, but she admitted it would also be the most controversial.

“GPS will be the most hassle-free option," Godfrey said, according to the report. "But it's also the option that people tend to dislike the most."

So, by failing to raise the gas tax, Republicans can:
* Encourage people to keep their gas-guzzler SUVs (the tax would be based on miles driven, regardless of how many gallons of gas were used, lowering the operating cost of gas guzzlers.)
* Keep demand for petroleum-based fuels high by reducing the cost per gallon
* Force people to drive pre-bugged cars that report their every move (anyone think the government won't be seizing the GPS data from the private vendors installing these gadgets? Plus, think how much those private companies could sell that data for to companies seeking to sell you something? Imagine ads piped to your car the way they are currently displayed on your web browser?)

For Republicans, it's a triple-win: more gas burned, less privacy, and a new set of corporate donors (the GPS device folks) for their campaign funding.

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