The new Congress is in session and already there’s a push for a tax hike. Republican Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma says, “nothing is off the table.”
Of course the Democrats are chomping at the bit to raise . . . the gas tax. With gas prices having plunged so low, they see a green flag. But then, high prices at the pump are something they like. You know, to “save the planet.”
And across the aisle in the Senate, anyway, it’s not just Inhofe who’s sending up smoke signals to indicate a willingness to “bargain”; Senators Hatch (R-Utah) and Thune (R-SD) seem onboard. (Thankfully, House Republicans appear less enthused.)
To aid the cause, Inhofe calls the gas tax a “user fee.” Euphemistically. He has the tiniest of points: the modern “deal” has been to tax fuel and then use that revenue to pay for new roads and upkeep.
But recent congresses have been spendthrift, misusing the revenues on idiotic projects (hiking trails, bike paths, museums) and not so much on repair. In that context, the call for higher taxes almost looks responsible.
There’s a problem, though. Several.
You cannot go on rewarding government when government fails. They waste money? Why, give them more! Sheer folly.
Further, lower gas prices have meant an effective increase in incomes for regular people. Taxing that away, after so many bad years, is just cruel — to both the middle class and the poor.
Only a politician could call that “responsible”!
I have a modest alternative proposal: Devolve all federal roadways to the states; abolish all federal taxes on fuel. Let the separate states figure best how to fix “our crumbling infrastructure.”
Congress, after all, has failed. Miserably.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.