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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the electrifying-news dept.

The Almighty Buck 619

An anonymous reader writes There are several proposals on the table to stave off the impending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund (which pays for transit, biking, and walking projects too) in two months. Just now, two senators teamed up to announce one that might actually have a chance. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) have proposed increasing the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon over two years. The federal gas tax currently stands at 18.4 cents a gallon, where it has been set since 1993, when gas cost $1.16 a gallon.

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Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275417)

Sure.

Good! (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 months ago | (#47275427)

Good!

a. Gas is much too cheap in the US.
b. We need a lot of infrastructure work.

Of course, I'm sure we could afford to pave all of our roads with gold, have diamond-studded bike lanes, and solid titanium sidewalks if we didn't spend half our budget on wars, but hey, I'm not holding my breath. There's not as much room for corruption in building roads in this country as there is building roads in some 3rd world country that we bombed into oblivion.

Re:Good! (2)

JPMallory (1318445) | about 2 months ago | (#47275487)

Ok, I'll bite. Why do you consider gas to be too cheap?

Re:Good! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275505)

Because its more expensive in pretty much every other country

Re:Good! (3, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 months ago | (#47275579)

Because its more expensive in pretty much every other country

Genius. So because it's "more expensive in pretty much every other country." One should follow that example to screw "everyone else over." As a point it's $1.42/L($5.32/Gal) Canadian where I am right now, and businesses are already jacking up the prices on everything else. If you want to cause the economy to slow to a point even worse than it is in the US right now, go right ahead. Because one only needs to look at Ontario(once the primary GDP producer of Canada) to see what high energy prices, and poor government decision making do.

Re:Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275737)

But you guys have very cool mayors...

Re:Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275825)

The problem is that a gas tax is VERY regressive and hits the economy where it is the weakest:

Want to move goods? The gas tax is going to jack prices up.

Commutes? The people who can afford it the least have to eat that tax the most as a portion of their annual income. Yes, they should live closer, but feel free to pay for their rent and their move to help with that.

Travel? Rate hikes and more fees.

Jobs? Fuel costs mean companies on the razor's edge will have to start cutting.

There is -nothing- more inflationary and damaging to buying power than a fuel hike in the US economy.

Now, if we went with a VAT (it is a lot harder to hide that Maybach than offshore income), things would be different, but a fuel tax causes more burden on the people least able to afford it.

Re:Good! (3, Interesting)

theNetImp (190602) | about 2 months ago | (#47275671)

Other countries also have much better public transportation. Which the US lacks unless you're in a major city.

Re:Good! (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | about 2 months ago | (#47275739)

Supply and demand. If you make travel by road artificially cheap (which it is - at least 1/3 of road budgets come from general taxation) then people will drive more rather than looking for public transit alternatives. The result is those alternatives are never created and those who would otherwise rely on them, for example the disabled who are unable to drive, lose out big time.

Re:Good! (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47275781)

Or too poor to drive.

And what's worst is we use their stories to argue for exacerbating the situation by trying to extend a "cheap oil" economy by all means available.

Re:Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275707)

USD1.3T for "defense and security", much of which is spent on controlling and guaranteeing the flow of energy from foreign sources.

Spread that over the fuel consumption.

Fuel is plenty expensive in the USA, it's just that the actual price is wrapped up in a patriotic facade.

Re:Good! (4, Informative)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47275497)

We need more regressive taxes in this country! Screw the poor people!

(Yes, consumption taxes on essential goods with demand tending towards inelasticity are regressive)

(my tinfoil hat tells me Corker likes this due to Toyota manufacturing in his state, and the increase in hybrid sales due to gas price hikes.)

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275813)

12 cents is not enough! I demand at least a $2/gallon hike!

Bad! (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 2 months ago | (#47275555)

a. Gas isn't too cheap in the US. If anything, it looks like commodities investors alone drive the price independent of supply/demand.
b. The cost should go on registration. As we keep getting cars that are more and more efficient (and even run on electricity), we'll charging road users very unevenly. If this was an emissions tax that might be okay, but I think it isn't (?).

Re:Bad! (1, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 months ago | (#47275717)

Gas tax increases are a good pricing signal to increase fuel efficiency (better than CAFE standards or cash for clunkers). They also happen to be regressive so ideally you put in a credit to offset some percentage of the net increase to the poorest folks. I've been saying for a decade that we should have an automatic 5c per year increase in the federal gas tax, it's gentle enough that it doesn't screw over people who just bought an inefficient vehicle but the net effect is enough that future purchases will naturally tend towards more efficient vehicles. If we had started a decade ago today we'd have an extra 50c per gallon incentive to buy a more efficient vehicle and the insolvency of the highway trust fund would be another decade plus in the future.

Re:Good! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275563)

Too cheap?? LOL

What makes you think the added income will go towards infrastructure? The existing taxes are already supposed to pay for that but have been diverted to various pet projects..

Stupid much?

Re:Good! (3, Informative)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47275651)

Say: "Social Security Trust Fund!" 100 times, then go count the IOU's that are in it... No dollars there, we spent it all.

Re:Good! (3, Interesting)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 months ago | (#47275565)

Yes. Gas is too cheap so the government must artificially raise the price.

Umm. Fuck you.

We have set aside funds for infrastructure. 18.4 cents of every single gallon of gas sold in the US! Where does that money actually go?

Well over 25% of gas tax funds go to side walks and bike trails and shit like that. How about we start with this.

States have gas taxes as well. In California I have to pay 71 cents/gal in gas taxes. Then because that is not enough sales tax on gas is calculated after the fuel tax so we get to pay sales taxes on or fuel tax.

What do we get for this. Shit ass roads that ruin our cars. Then we have fees at the DMV.

Money grabs are money grabs. They never make our lives better.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275733)

Well over 25% of gas tax funds go to side walks..

Yeah! Who needs to walk and shit like that! No one walks further than to their car. Everyone just gets their oversized asses into their oversized trucks to get to their mailbox down the driveway or to the neighbor's house.

Walking... pfft.

Re:Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275809)

I'm in favor of progressive taxes, so instead of taxing fuel which lowers the income of the poorest, why not add a tax to engine sizes? Tax anything above a v6 on registration of the vehicle, and not the engine itself in case of repair / replacement.

This would tax sport / luxury cars and not the more efficient cars that should have higher MPG.

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

FatherOfONe (515801) | about 2 months ago | (#47275581)

With all due respect. Are you crazy? New taxes are never the solution. Ever. This is like helping someone who is addicted to cocaine, more cocaine! How about this, they truely balance the budget first, then we can argue about how we should spend the money. You want new roads, awesome, then we cut social security, medicare and medicate. I am all for it! There is nobody on this planet that is as inefficient as our government and thus giving them more money is akin to being insane.. Their only solution to problems is to tax more, yet spending never really goes down.

Next you bring up building new roads in other countries. We somewhat agree on that one, but it sure is sad to see this administration snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. Could you imagine if we actually took the oil, and sold it for a profit? Then again all those crazy nuts who said the war was about oil could scream that they were right.

Re:Good! (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 months ago | (#47275763)

New taxes are never the solution. Ever.

It's good to know that you have a system as complicated as a country of hundreds of million people figured out with a single sentence. You should consider running for President. Sounds like Sarah Palin would be a perfect running mate for you!

Re:Good! (4, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 2 months ago | (#47275805)

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/a... [ssa.gov]

1993 Average income: 23,132.67
2013 Average income: 44,321.67

Roads and Bridges, like firefighters and law enforcement offers, are a legitimate function of government. Funding for the roads has been cut in half by inflation and the infrastructure is becoming dangerous. Especially bridges.

If the tax had been set at 18%- then it would have scaled with gasoline prices. But with the increasing share of hybrids, much higher mileage of gasoline cars (33mpg vs 28mpg), many more trucks used for shipping (70% more in 2007 than in 1997) (roughly 15 million today vs 4 million in 1993), and now purely electric cars the tax needs to be changed to reflect today's reality.

What we really need is to remove the gasoline tax and replace it with a mileage tax.

I read a lot of 1850's newspapers and it's funny because with the civil war approaching, the voters and legislators then seemed more rational than our voters and legislators today.

You *can't* *have* the roads for *free*.
It *costs* money to build and maintain the road system.

Grow up.

Re:Good! (1)

armanox (826486) | about 2 months ago | (#47275597)

As someone who spends a large portion of their monthly budget on gas, I am very apposed to this. I also am opposed to the diverting of the transportation fund for other things that has been quite common place (or at least in my state).

Re:Good! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275599)

Let's say I'm the lawnmower. Your lawn needs mowing so you pay me to do it. However, I don't mow your lawn. Instead I smear shit all over your windows.

Your lawn still needs mowing. Will you give me even more money?

Re:Good! (5, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 2 months ago | (#47275639)

I think the tax needs to be a percentage tax.

I agree that our infrastructure is suffering due to lack of funding.
Adjusted for inflation, this tax has lost almost 75% of the purchasing power it had 20 years ago.

Re:Good! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47275661)

The problem with such a tax. Is that the people who can use less fuel are the same ones with the money to pay the tax.
The people who don't have a lot of money unfortunately have the old gas guzzlers who will need to pay more for gas. The ones who can afford hybrid or electric cars have more money to avoid the tax.

We do need infrastructure. However we need a more modern definition on what we need for an infrastructure. Otherwise the money will go to doing the cheap fix to the roads and bridges.

Re: Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275667)

Anyone who says "good!" to an arbitrary tax raise by bureaucrats is a jackass. You're especially a jackass by dancing to the blue team-red team tune and connecting insolvency brought about by (probable) gross mismanagement and wars. Government misallocation of resources and criminality is too vast and widespread. For every tank and musket there are 10 unnecessary federal employees.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275703)

I agree. I think the angst among citizens (myself included) is that we don't mind paying taxes - we only hate it when our tax dollars go to pay for stupid crap, like Senator Joe Blow's pet project that not only do I not benefit from but will do nothing for his own constituents in the long run, either. IOW, PORK.

Re: Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275721)

Lol 12c a gallon? Anyone who complains about that has No *****ng idea how nice they got it. Pretty sure in vancouver we pay about 38c/L in taxes which equates to about $1.43/gallon. About time you started paying more...

Re:Good! (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47275729)

What the hell does "too cheap" mean?

And since when will the money be actually used to fix what we already have? You don't get nearly as far in the pork barrel game fixing stuff as you do building new stuff.

Re:Good! (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 months ago | (#47275815)

Good!

a. Gas is much too cheap in the US.
b. We need a lot of infrastructure work.

True on all points, but electrics should contribute as much as gasoline powered cars from Honda to Ferrari.

At this stage the tax should be on the odometer; read and applied when you renew your insurance.

And if its going to scale to anything it should be correlated to vehicle weight.

A Ferrari may drink 4x as much gas as a Honda Civic, but it causes the same wear on the infrastructure. The 4,600 lb Tesla does more wear and tear than a 2700 lb Ferrari 458 or 2800 lb Honda Civic coupe.

Never mind what the dump trucks and rigs do to the roads -- although one can argue that the regular motorist should 'subsidize' thier impact. In any case passing direct costs to heavy vehicles would just make those MUCH more expensive to operate which would just translate in higher transportation costs and higher construction costs that get passed back to us anyway...

Bipartisanship (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47275429)

When it comes to raising money, they can both get on the same train.....

Anyhow, an 18 cent change all at once is never gonna happen. They'll have enough rending of garments and gnashing of teeth if they try to raise it nickel.

Re:Bipartisanship (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47275441)

er, 12 cents. Same difference....

Re: Bipartisanship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275559)

Reading comprehension is a wonderful thing. To help out a little:

18.4 cents today
Goes up 6 cents the first year
Goes up 6 cents in year number 2.

And that's right out of the summary. Can you folks at least RTFS if you won't RTFA?

Re:Bipartisanship (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 2 months ago | (#47275495)

Propose a $0.12 increase, settle for a nickel to get it passed. It's better than nothing...

Re:Bipartisanship (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 2 months ago | (#47275499)

You are correct about 18 cents all at once never happening.

But the summary says it's 12 cents over 2 years.

Index it to inflation (5, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | about 2 months ago | (#47275539)

The issue with the gas tax is that it is a fixed amount per gallon and the real value falls over time with inflation. The only way for the gas tax to keep up is to index it to inflation. Otherwise you will continue to see the Highway funds periodically getting depleted until you have to pump up the tax again. Much better to permanently index the tax to inflation rather than have these periodic increases. Of course you could argue that there are better ways to tax in order to raise transportation infrastructure funds. But if you are going to stick with the gas tax, then index it.

Re: Index it to inflation (1)

Radres (776901) | about 2 months ago | (#47275621)

Then you'd end up with a never-ending cycle of inflation since gas price directly affects inflation (you can't do anything without gas).

Re:Index it to inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275633)

how about a bike and feet tax instead, they should pay their side of things...

Re:Index it to inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275727)

The issue with the gas tax is that it is a fixed amount per gallon and the real value falls over time with inflation. The only way for the gas tax to keep up is to index it to inflation. Otherwise you will continue to see the Highway funds periodically getting depleted until you have to pump up the tax again. Much better to permanently index the tax to inflation rather than have these periodic increases. Of course you could argue that there are better ways to tax in order to raise transportation infrastructure funds. But if you are going to stick with the gas tax, then index it.

We have inflation becasue the Federal Government spends more than it takes in. And this tax is NOT going to cover the short fall. Indexing is treating the symptoms, not the underlying problem. How about we cut spending. If the US cuts spending:
A) We won't need the tax increase.
B) We'll have less inflation, so we won't need indexing.

Re:Index it to inflation (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 months ago | (#47275795)

No, you don't index it to inflation, you make it a percentage of the pre-tax cost, i.e. make it a sales tax.. So you set the gas tax to something like 6 cents on the dollar at the retail point of sale...

Yes, I know this changes the whole way we collect these taxes, but this way it's automatically adjusted from here on out and we can stop this political hand wringing exercise.

Re:Bipartisanship (1)

armanox (826486) | about 2 months ago | (#47275613)

The states seem to do it just fine, so what makes you think the feds won't pull it off.

Not that I am one bit in favor of this, gas costs me enough as it is. Working a long distance from home uses as lot of fuel.

News for nerds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275431)

Sites really gone to shit

Oh goodie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275433)

More revenue to buy things to use against the population.

Just what we need...

still cheap (1)

Justpin (2974855) | about 2 months ago | (#47275449)

12 cents per gal? ours is 128cents per gal!

Re:still cheap (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47275455)

Does your government also spend untold billions on illegal surveillance of the population, secret "black" prisons abroad, and wars against the personal freedoms of the citizens?

If so, then yea, it's terrible that our fuel tax is so much lower than yours. If not, well, then it's really a completely different situation.

Re: still cheap (2)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 2 months ago | (#47275549)

Do you also have the equivalent of a state tax on gasoline?

Take it out of the subsidies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275457)

Since we subsidize the energy sector with tax payer dollars already to the tune of $2.4B per year, why don't we simply reduce the subsidy to pay for new infrastructure?

Too easy?

Re:Take it out of the subsidies (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 months ago | (#47275587)

Because that would take the cost directly out of our monied overlords' pockets. Instead, this way the peasants cover almost the whole bill and the ultra-rich don't even notice the difference.

Yes, let's tax the poor (5, Insightful)

iceperson (582205) | about 2 months ago | (#47275459)

12 cents won't affect me one bit. It certainly won't change my driving habits. The poor on the other hand.. well, let's just say if you're living on a fixed income and/or are already below the poverty line a nice big regressive tax might sting a little...

Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (2, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | about 2 months ago | (#47275491)

It will affect you. Unless you don't buy anything from stores or restaurants.

Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 months ago | (#47275553)

Or have anything delivered to you. Or use the postal service. Or pay taxes...

Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 2 months ago | (#47275583)

Last I checked, the gas tax is separate from the diesel tax, which would affect the stores and restaurants you mention.

Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (1)

iceperson (582205) | about 2 months ago | (#47275619)

Sure, it will affect me like a bucket of water affects my swimming pool I guess. I'm not wealthy, not even close, but even if the cost of everything I buy was increased by the same 3% increase to the price of a gallon of gas my lifestyle wouldn't change in the slightest...

Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (2)

mrego (912393) | about 2 months ago | (#47275657)

Not to mention (note that it HAS NOT been mentioned...) the Clinton 4.6 cent deficit reduction tax on gas, PLUS state excise taxes... AND... ON TOP of ALL of that is the state sales tax on gas (yes, they are calculating the sales tax ON TOP of the excise tax). So any increase is magnified. Note that it sounds like, oh well, about time for a measly 12 cents... ok for urban elites that travel a few miles by gas powered vehicle, perhaps a scouter...or maybe they commute by train or bus or electric/hybrid car and don't care.... but for rural folk living in jobs deserts who are poor and must travel via used gas-gulzing clunkers it is quite a big deal especially since gas has more than DOUBLED in price since 2008. Sometimes to get to the right unemployment office and back costs us $12 in gas which we don't have.

Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 2 months ago | (#47275769)

12 cents are actually nothing compared to what will come eventually.
Ever heard of peak oil? Oil is still much too cheap, and any incentive to invest in non-fossil fuels is a good incentive.
I'd rather give 1$ to my government than 0.01$ to Qatar or Saudi Arabia.
At least with taxes, you have a slight chance of seeing your money again instead of sponsoring sharia states.

Fuck. That. (4, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47275467)

Defund the NSA, we'll have all the money we need for roads and infrastructure. And then some.

Hybrid/Electric? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 2 months ago | (#47275471)

So did shares in Tesla go up on this news? Expected increases in Prius sales?

Re:Hybrid/Electric? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 2 months ago | (#47275533)

uh huh, when electric cars become common they'll be taxed out the wazoo for highway / transportation too

Re:Hybrid/Electric? (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#47275735)

and why not?
you must be a republican where you want government to build stuff and no taxes to pay for it

Forget it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275475)

Roll it back 18 cents and get it from the defense budget!

wrong answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275481)

The government is a poor steward of money. The Highway Trust Fund is one of the biggest pork sources (bridge to nowhere, museums, etc). Cut the shit and focus on, you know, roads and bridges first.

If you gave your kid $100 to buy groceries and he spent it on meth would you give him another $100 so would buy groceries (this time for real!). I mean, sure, maybe if it was good meth. But it's not even good meth!

Not the answer to the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275503)

The Federal government should not be paying for any roadways not directly involved in interstate commerce. Let the states and communities pay for local roads, paths and transit. I am not saying more money does not need to be raised to cover expenses, but is not to be done at the Federal level.

Re:Not the answer to the problem (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 months ago | (#47275585)

The problem is where exactly do you draw that line? If I drive my car across the state border to buy cheaper booze, then everything from my driveway to the store parking lot and back is "directly involved" in interstate commerce.

Re:Not the answer to the problem (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47275711)

You're on the right track but your example is not interstate commerce. The money was paid and the goods provided in just one state.

Re:Not the answer to the problem (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 months ago | (#47275777)

Anything that is flagged as a US Numbered Highway or part of the Interstate Highway System.

Re:Not the answer to the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275811)

I do not think you understand the term 'directly' in 'directly involved'.

Your driveway ... not directly involved and is private property
Store parking lot, same thing as your driveway.

I would go so far as to say if a specific road does not cross a state line, or directly feed a transport centre (freight terminal, airport, train terminus) it is not directly involved in interstate commerce. Further, if the traffic on the roadway does not consist of a substantial interstate usage it should not be supported by Federal Taxes.

So what would be covered? The Federal Interstate, and ,begrudgingly, the US highway system and that is it.

Again, I am not suggesting that infrastructure does not need support, but let us take Dallas TX as an example, I20, I30, I45, I635, US Hwy 78 etc ... Federal funds. Central Expressway Though it is US highway 75, should be supported with state funds as it never crosses the OK/TX border (it splits off 69 and curls behind denison. County roads/ fm roads ... county funds, local roads... local funds.

People will actually be willing to pay more in taxes if they know the money is earmarked for local use. The money is spent to improve local roads and is under local control.

Re:Not the answer to the problem (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about 2 months ago | (#47275723)

Since UPS and Fedex deliver to any address and carry interstate commerce your argument isn't very valid.

make it a percentage! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275507)

If the gas tax was tacked on as a percentage of fuel cost this would never have become an issue. If it was 18.4c when gas was $1.16 per gallon that's ~15.86%; if it would have been a percentage it would amount to 63.45c now and noone would need to take up any legislation!

Re:make it a percentage! (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 months ago | (#47275601)

As much as it would suck because it would mean paying more all along, it would make more sense. There's a lot of things in which percentages would make more sense, but the government opts for absolute values - various taxes, minimum wage, etc

Re:make it a percentage! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275611)

Right, because there has never been an increase in a percentage based tax. Income tax, sales tax, etc, nope never been raised ever.

Your naiveté is interesting, but a simple fact of bureaucracy is that expenses will always grow to exceed income. This all derives from playing with other peoples money.

Re:make it a percentage! (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47275731)

They would still increase it but they would have to offer a different excuse and would probably be able to do so convincingly less often. Also, there would be less of a shortfall if that is really a genuine thing (Though likely the tax is too high as a percentage or straight amount anyway)

Term Limits (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about 2 months ago | (#47275521)

Now, can we have term limits for Congress? Please?

Let's be fair (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275551)

The government only pulled in $1,934,919,000,000 this year so there's obviously not enough to go around.

or else how about (1)

fche (36607) | about 2 months ago | (#47275557)

... dropping the transit, walking, and such goo out of the federal outlays, and leave it to relevant localities.

Re:or else how about (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 months ago | (#47275623)

Walk? On what sidewalks? Our city did a cost estimate to put sidewalks in the most dangerous highway in town, and when the price exceeded three million, scrapped the idea.

And another pedestrian died just last month.

Re:or else how about (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#47275751)

tell that to the bike nuts in NYC
they want the city to build bike paths and the drivers to pay for it

Gas tax (1)

CalzKwon (2892541) | about 2 months ago | (#47275567)

A better solution, used by some states, is to tax milage, determined at annual re-registrations. That brings in a share from the electrics and hybrids.

Re:Gas tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275689)

> A better solution, used by some states, is to tax milage, determined at annual re-registrations. That brings in a share from the electrics and hybrids.

Yes! As long as it isn't used as an excuse to GPS record every mile you drive to determine if it is on a public road or farmland. Come up with a simple discount schedule for farm vehicles and leave it at that.

Re:Gas tax (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47275747)

Yep. They're probably going to have to dump gas taxes anyway at some point as alternative fuel vehicles pick up a bigger market share.

We already have the money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275577)

The amount of money we spend on roads is so insignificant compared to the rest of the federal budget that it can be paid for with the income the government doesn't even bother to classify.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWximmaAuWw

Raise taxes, let's not start dismantling our massive military or surveillance apparatuses or anything. We might need those military bases in almost 200 countries you know.

The EU public transportation with there higher tax (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47275591)

The EU has more public transportation with there higher taxes on gas.

Don't just kick the can down the road (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275631)

They should change the tax to a percentage of the sale price, or at least enact a yearly COLA adjustment so that the tax will adjust for inflation.

Should be compared to CPI (3, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 months ago | (#47275635)

The federal gas tax currently stands at 18.4 cents a gallon, where it has been set since 1993, when gas cost $1.16 a gallon.

Since the gas tax is ostensibly for the construction and maintenance of roads and highways, it should be compared to that. The cost of maintenance and construction scale mostly according to CPI, not the price of gas. I can't think of any reason why you'd compare the tax to the price of gas unless you're deliberately trying to mislead people into thinking it needs to go up more (political arguments about energy taxes aside).

Putting $1.16 into an inflation calculator [bls.gov] yields $1.90 in 2014 dollars, or a 64% increase. 64% of 18.4 cents is 11.7 cents. So a 12 cent increase is exactly what's needed for the tax to keep pace with inflation.

Re:Should be compared to CPI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275787)

Feel free to shock everyone at the same time with higher costs. That worked so well in 2008.

Instead of gasoline tax, why not a disel tax? (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 2 months ago | (#47275637)

Seriously, trucks and busses do 100x - 10,000x more damage to the roads and bridges that this tax is being used to repair. Those vehicles should be the ones taxed more to repair the problems they are typically causing.

Re:Instead of gasoline tax, why not a disel tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275745)

because cars use diesel too, dipshit.

and diesel cars can have lower pollution per mile than gasoline powered ones.

Why not just make it a percent? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 months ago | (#47275677)

Why dick around with raising it or not raising it?

Re: Why not just make it a percent? (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about 2 months ago | (#47275791)

Future Job security for those paid to dick around with it.

A better idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275693)

How about we stop subsidizing the oil companies with our tax money and divert the money saved to this project. A much more direct approach instead of this roundabout method.

How about a biking tax (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 months ago | (#47275705)

Bike registration and insurance requirements. For bike riders over 21 only.

Quietly I roll along... (0)

userw014 (707413) | about 2 months ago | (#47275749)

I haven't put gas in my plugin hybrid since March. I'm down to a half-tank.

I live in Michigan - where the GOP dominated state government has turned our roads to gravel - except with bigger chunks. I'd really like to see better roads, and I certainly understand that my lack of gasoline purchases means that I'm being subsidized. Fuel taxes are a great proxy for road usage fees, and so long as there aren't a noticable number of plugin electric vehicles this will probably continue to work - so I won't worry about it. The politics of doing anything with The Party of No is just too difficult for little things like fairness or common sense to have any hope of success.

Actual Costs for myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275755)

I have a hybrid drive / bus commute that is Monday through Friday, 52 weeks per year. I go through about 20 gallons per month. If this went through, it would be an extra 3.60 cents per month / 43.20 per year.

But, this is with my new (hand me down) car. If this was two months ago and I was driving my K5 blazer the same distance, my cost would be about 8.60 per month / 103 per year.

Currently, I drive about 7 miles and bus about 20 miles (one way), which is less driving than the national average of 16 miles one way.

What's my point? Well, this type of tax will absolutely hurt those that cannot afford a newer car with better MPG OR the time it takes to use mass transit. If I had to drive my old car (Again, K5 blazer) on the typical american commute by distance, just this tax alone would cost over 15.00 per month...which is money that wouldn't be spent elsewhere since the lower income brackets tend not to save but to spend.

If you want to really progressively tax consumption, for hybrids and diesels to make up for lost gas tax revenue.

Why just 12 cents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275773)

Why not five dollars? That would raise enough money to pay for all kinds of infrastructure improvements. Listening to these guys talk it is clear that our roads are crumbling, our bridges are falling down, and don't forget TERROR!

$5/gallon is perfectly reasonable - gas would still cost less than it does in most of the rest of the world.

Tax Credit (2)

psybre (921148) | about 2 months ago | (#47275793)

1993 average gas price: $1.16.

Since the current national average gas price is $3.675, an increase of $2.515, it would seem only fair that instead of a gas tax increase, they should propose a tax credit of $2.331/gallon ($2.515, less the 1993 tax rate of $0.184).

Just sayin...

I'm all for this. I drive a Prius, so fu. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275799)

Prius b*tch. I go to the gas station for fun.

Not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47275821)

I'm usually against higher taxes, but our national infrastructure is crumbling. It has to be paid for in some manner and there's not enough money in the fund.

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