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Panel Urges 50% Gas Tax Increase

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1869309,00....

A 50 percent increase in gasoline and diesel fuel taxes is being urged by a federal commission to finance highway construction and repair until the government devises another way for motorists to pay for using public roads.

The National Commission on Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing, a 15-member panel created by Congress, is the second group in a year to call for higher fuel taxes.

With motorists driving less and buying less fuel, the current 18.4 cents a gallon gas tax and 24.4 cents a gallon diesel tax fail to raise enough to keep pace with the cost of road, bridge and transit programs.

In a report expected in late January, members of the infrastructure financing commission say they will urge Congress to raise the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon and the diesel fuel tax by 12 to 15 cents a gallon. At the same time, the commission will recommend tying the fuel tax rates to inflation.

The commission will also recommend that states raise their fuel taxes and make greater use of toll roads and fees for rush-hour driving.

A tax increase on this order would be politically treacherous for Democratic leaders in Congress — a gas tax hike was one of the reasons they lost control of the House and Senate in the 1994 elections. President-elect Barack Obama has expressed concern about raising gas taxes in the current economic climate. But commission members said the government must find the money somewhere. "I'm not excited about a gas tax increase, but the reality is our current gas tax doesn't pay for upkeep of the system we have now," said Adrian Moore, vice president of the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank in Los Angeles, and a member of the highway revenue commission. "We can either let the roads go to hell or we can pay more."

The dilemma for Congress is that highway and transit programs are dependent for revenue on fuel taxes that are not sustainable. Many Americans are driving less and switching to more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and a shift to new fuels and technologies like plug-in hybrid electric cars will further erode gasoline sales.

According to a draft of the financing commission's recommendations, the nation needs to move to a new system that taxes motorists according to how much they use roads. "Most if not all of the commissioners have a strong belief and commitment that we need a fundamental transformation of the current system," said commission chairman Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a technology policy think tank in Washington.

A study by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies estimated that the annual gap between revenues and the investment needed to improve highway and transit systems was about $105 billion in 2007, and will increase to $134 billion in 2017 under current trends.

Projected shortfalls in revenue led the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, in a report issued in January 2008, to call for an increase of as much as 40 cents a gallon in the gas tax, phased in over five years.

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Lie

Just another Washington lie. They have plenty of money from gas taxes already to pay for roads. They use it for pork and other bullshit. Lets say these morons were actually telling the truth and really needed more revenue for roads. Providing roads and maintaining them is a fundamental role of any government. If after 232 years the government cannot properly maintain a balanced budget to pay for something as easy as road maintenance then this government needs to cease and desist all of its duties. This government needs to be put out of its misery and business so to speak.

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Take Back Your Country!

And we wonder why "Libertarians" get laughed out of the room!

"I'm not excited about a gas tax increase, but the reality is our current gas tax doesn't pay for upkeep of the system we have now," said. Adrian Moore, vice president of the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank in Los Angeles, and a member of the highway revenue commission. "We can either let the roads go to hell or we can pay more."

The "Reason Foundation", calling for more taxes.
This has got to be a bad dream we are all stuck in.
The LP is soooo toast.

Reason

Reason seems to be a watered down Libertarian think tank.

"It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government."

— Thomas Paine

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

Wow, if they only applied this logic to other spending

Just think of all the spending that goes on that tax revenues don't cover. This is just an excuse to raise taxes not some idealist notion of needing to repair roads. If they would apply this logic to the whole bailout fiasco. Gee, we need tax revenue to pay for government spending. What a novel concept.

This is right in line with voting themselves a pay raise...

All Democrats, All Republicans Voted out of congress in 2010...
"The use of 'Conspiracy Theorist' or 'Truther' as a derogatory -- as an epithet almost -- is something the propagandists have perfected over the decades, and it's a useful tool for eliminating articulate dissent."

"The use of 'Conspiracy Theorist' or 'Truther' as a derogatory -- as an epithet almost -- is something the propagandists have perfected over the decades, and it's a useful tool for eliminating articulate dissent."

tamtamfreedom's picture

What a joke...since when do gas taxes actually go to repairs

and highway construction. I read somewhere that up to as much as 42% of gas taxes go to pork barrel spending and earmarks. And the states dip in to their gas taxes to pay for all kinds of things not related to roads. Give me a break....we pay plenty for our roads...they just don't use the money for its intended purpose.

"I'm not excited about a gas

"I'm not excited about a gas tax increase, but the reality is our current gas tax doesn't pay for upkeep of the system we have now," said Adrian Moore, vice president of the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank in Los Angeles, and a member of the highway revenue commission. "We can either let the roads go to hell or we can pay more."

There is a third option. We can let the illegitimate government in Washington D.C. and the Reason Foundation go to hell.

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"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained." -Mahatma Gandhi

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"...a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." -John F. Kennedy