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Print 126 comment(s) - last by WauwatosaComme.. on Dec 17 at 6:01 PM

If the bill were to pass, the federal gas tax would increase to 33.4 cents per gallon and 42.8 cents for diesel

A recently proposed House bill could bump up the federal gasoline tax by 15 cents per gallon once the current federal transportation bill expires next year. 
 
According to a new report from Forbes, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced the proposal Wednesday at a news conference. 
 
If the bill were to pass, the federal gas tax would increase to 33.4 cents per gallon and 42.8 cents for diesel. The current federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. 
 
This would be the first time the federal gas tax would see a boost since 1993. It was noted that the Highway Trust Fund no longer draws enough money to pay for the U.S.' highway and transit bills because the tax has failed to keep pace with inflation. 
 
Also, improvements in vehicle fuel economy have lowered gas consumption.
 
“Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system — roads, bridges and transit,” said Blumenauer. “Congress hasn’t dealt seriously with the funding issue for 20 years. With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit. The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993.”
 

U.S. states impose their own gas taxes, but still depend on the federal government for nearly half of their transportation funding. 

The average combined gas tax bill was 30.4 cents per gallon at the beginning of 2013. 

If Congress were to take no action on the trust fund, it could result in a huge transfer of money from general tax revenue, putting the tax burden on the states or slashing transportation funding. 

Congress had to transfer over $50 billion from general tax revenue to fund the current federal transportation bill. Blumenauer added that the trust fund will need $15 billion more each year if Congress decides to keep funding at that current rate.

He added that increasing the gas tax by 15 cents over three years would raise about $170 billion in the next 10 years. However, the American Society of Civil Engineers said last month that a $2.7 trillion investment is needed in transportation by 2020 for the U.S. is to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Back in April of this year, Bob Lutz -- former vice chairman of General Motors -- suggested that the government should raise gas taxes by 25 cents per gallon a year for ten years. 

A month later, A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that increased fuel efficiency imposed by the CAFE standards will strip $57 billion in tax revenue out of coffers through 2025. CBO said the way to fix this is an increase in the federal tax on gasoline. 

Sources: The Washington Post, Forbes



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No idea if this is a good idea or not
By foxalopex on 12/9/2013 10:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well I'm Canadian so this doesn't affect me but that might explain why our fuel typically costs on average a little more than in the US. I think we all agree that you do need to fix your roads unless having a bridge break and having your car taking a nosedive is considered the norm. :)

I find it interesting that folks consider that EV's and hybrids get a free break. The typical consumer pays a bit more for an EV or a Hybrid. Also no matter how you cut it having a combustion engine right next to you or in your neighbourhood is NOT good for your health. Exhaust contributes to smog and more than likely to various serious health problems such as cancer. So while fuel efficient cars might not be contributing much to fuel taxes, they are improving your health oddly.




RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 11:05:08 AM , Rating: 5
The problem I have with this attitude is that you're blindly accepting the false premise put forth to justify the tax increases.

1. That the money being collected actually goes to the roads in the first place. And:

2. That this new money will also be used on the roads.


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By Ammohunt on 12/9/13, Rating: -1
RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By michael67 on 12/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By Ammohunt on 12/10/2013 1:03:13 AM , Rating: 1
You pay $9 a US Gallon which is mostly taxes like most of your income it goes to support the welfare state with little left over for disposable income that isn't gobbled up by VAT. Americans like to keep the money they earn and not pay those that would seek to take advantage of a welfare state. There is no cultural glue in America like there is in Norway and other northern European countries everyone here is out for themselves by design.

I commute 195k round trip a day to get to my job. I have been commuting this way for over 5 years now. Most Europeans have no concept of how big a country America is commute like this are common place. Higher gas taxes doesn't change peoples behavior it just makes everything extremely expensive because most goods are transported by truck in this country. Its hard enough to live in the Obama economy, now with Obamacare (waiting to hear if I lose my employer insurance) frankly, (since I am moderately successful I don't qualify for a subsidy) I am wondering just how I am going to keep my head above water.


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By michael67 on 12/10/2013 2:45:16 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I commute 195k round trip a day to get to my job.

I presume you mean 195km or 120 miles, as a pipe fitter in the (petro)chemical industries, i use to travel around 50.000km/30.000miles a year, so i have a idea what long distance daily commuting means.

quote:
Most Europeans have no concept of how big a country America is commute like this are common place

Actually when i was 20y old i got with a friend a ticket to NY, and a open return ticket from LA and traveled all crisscross across the country whit a 2y green card, so yeah i have a idea how big the US is.

quote:
Higher gas taxes doesn't change peoples behavior

So your telling me that if you have to pay more for petrol, your not going to look for a more efficient car to cheaper commute?

quote:
it just makes everything extremely expensive because most goods are transported by truck in this country.

No it dose not, transport companies can ask a tax return on there diesel bill.

quote:
Its hard enough to live in the Obama economy

First of let me say i really don't like Obama, he is even a bigger failure the Bush Jr, but most of the economic problems is mostly due to deregulation of the banking system, and i believe that something republicans more stand for.

quote:
everyone here is out for themselves by design.

You sorta say that likes a good thing. 0_o

Now a days i commute 140km/85mile a day to work and back, and those are not long open roads as in the US, as i pay $9 a gallon even my GS450h was getting expensive, so i have driven 4 years a Think City, and now i got my self a Tesla Model S (just because i love fast cars), that is a hell of a lot cheaper then the GS to drive.
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Mongstad,+Lind%...

And i bet you would buy a Plug-in Hybrids or so, if petrol prizes went up to $9/gallon.

To make it simple high fuel consumption means lots of cash flowing out of the country ware you get noting for in return, at most a hard-on when you push the peddle.

So yeah big mussel or even just big cars are nice, but sorry those days are over.


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By tng on 12/10/2013 9:35:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
transport companies can ask a tax return on there diesel bill.
LOL, this just illustrates the point that you do not understand anything about the US or the people here.

Seriously? Ask for a tax break because they have a high fuel bill? Is this a common thing in the EU or Scandinavia? Shouldn't this be where you advise them that they need more fuel efficent trucks?

From that I picture that the average person in the EU (like you) has all of your income sucked up by taxes, but if some company needs a tax break, they can ask for one and get it and that is OK with you? LOL, you really are to far gone for hope...


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By michael67 on 12/10/13, Rating: 0
By tng on 12/10/2013 5:19:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
In the US just like as in the EU trucking companies get most of the tax that is on fuel back, that is noting special.
Not saying this is not true, but I unaware of any tax law that lets a business get fuel taxes back here in the US. Of course I have not spent that much time looking into tax law.

quote:
i do not have to put up whit almost complete corrupted politicians that are only in the pocket of banks and corporations.
Yes, it is getting slowly out of control here.


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 9:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
To make it simple high fuel consumption means lots of cash flowing out of the country ware you get noting for in return


That's just nonsense. Last time I checked we were a net exporter of oil. OUR consumption isn't an issue.

Sorry I don't agree that high fuel costs are a great thing. I know Europeans do, fine, but keep that notion to yourselves. Don't dictate how we should feel about things or what we should accept.

If you like being forced to make lifestyle changes, great. We don't.


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By eliastech on 12/10/2013 12:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
Whether a person agrees or disagrees to a reality is not important for a fact to be a fact.

Tolls and gas taxes aren't simply spent on road and bridge maintenance. Taxes in general are all put into one income pot and drawn from as required. Just like in all businesses and households governments can't spend their income on expenditures only related to whatever is directly generating income. If that were done, fire departments, schools, hospitals, prisons, police departments and criminal law agencies would have to be closed. Of course that would mean that gas prices and tolls and various other taxes drawn from revenue collection could be drastically lowered.

Does anyone who lives in reality and has a reasonable brain in their head think that kind of society is beneficial to existence? A little knowledge about life around the world and you can clearly see what societies are like in lawless regions without highly regulated businesses and governments.

As a US citizen who has lived in various parts of the country as well as abroad I don't mind having reasonable constraints upon my lifestyle. I know what the alternative is.


By JediJeb on 12/10/2013 4:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tolls and gas taxes aren't simply spent on road and bridge maintenance. Taxes in general are all put into one income pot and drawn from as required. Just like in all businesses and households governments can't spend their income on expenditures only related to whatever is directly generating income. If that were done, fire departments, schools, hospitals, prisons, police departments and criminal law agencies would have to be closed. Of course that would mean that gas prices and tolls and various other taxes drawn from revenue collection could be drastically lowered.


Actually yes it can work where they draw money only from the allotted pools. My property tax pays for schools and the police department along with government workers, that is how it is set up, while other taxes go into the fund for roads. If one fund is short you adjust the tax that fills it, not steal from one to pay the other. Otherwise you would short change schools to pay for a shortfall in the road fund ect.

If you have ever been associated with something like a non-profit organization you will know that if you have separate funds that people can donate into, then you have to use that fund only for that purpose or you can be sued by the people who donate and specify it to that fund. If you have it clearly written that all donations go into a general fund, then you can use it for anything you want.


By michael67 on 12/10/2013 11:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's just nonsense. Last time I checked we were a net exporter of oil. OUR consumption isn't an issue.

Driving a big Doge Ram instead of a efficient car to commute is just resource destruction that could be spend better, as the second dose the job just as well commuting from and to work.

quote:
If you like being forced to make lifestyle changes, great. We don't.

Let me turn it around, you live in a area ware there is water shortages, the is a request to save on water, but your neighbor still keeps spraying the lawn all day, you say noting?

Wake up we are running out of oil in the world, and you say i am not allowed to say anything?

The more people like you waste petrol on guzzlers the more i have to pay for my petrol, so to put it blunt, your saying i am not allowed to call you a selfish prick, because what people like you do also influences what i have to pay at gas station, or have you never heard of global oil prizes?


By Mint on 12/11/2013 11:40:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's just nonsense. Last time I checked we were a net exporter of oil. OUR consumption isn't an issue.


How many times do we have to dispel this nonsense before you stop repeating it?

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_wkly_dc_NUS-Z...

The US is a small net exporter of oil products, i.e. ignoring the oil needed to make them. It imports ~8 million barrels a day of crude oil and an additional 2M bbl/day of refined products. It exports 3.4M bbl/day of refined products and almost no oil. So that's 8M bbl/day of net oil imports and 1.4M bbl/day of net refinery exports. The difference is consumed.

The US is not close to being a net exporter of oil.


By WauwatosaComment on 12/17/2013 6:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
Raising the cost of fuel for commodity deliveries, like food, is added on to the cost of the commodity. This is foolish and falsely adds to inflation.
Diesel tax should be lowered at worst, to equal gas or even better, should be 20% less, not greater than gas.
<>


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 12:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
You can have a V8 that produced less pollution than a 4cyl. My Tacoma is a 4.0L but its a CA ultra low emission vehicle. The thing you cant do is reduce CO2 output unless you increase mileage.


RE: No idea if this is a good idea or not
By EricMartello on 12/9/2013 1:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
No scientific evidence that reducing CO2 emissions has any benefit whatsoever.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 1:39:05 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. To the climate alarmists I say this: That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.


By christojojo on 12/9/2013 1:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
With all the taxes, registration fees, and tolls is Nation charges there should never be a road problem. IT is a common chant the legislatures say in order to justify an tax increase instead of doing cost cutting measures in increase administrative efficiency. It slike the schools are broken we need more taxes and yet every year the schools break more.


By Ammohunt on 12/9/2013 6:28:52 PM , Rating: 1
Increasing any taxes in a down economy is bad; increasing energy taxes during a down economy puts people out on the street and increases the welfare roll since higher gas prices makes anything that is transported more expensive...which is pretty much everything.


Miles
By ipay on 12/9/2013 10:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
If we could do this based on miles driven, that would be more fair. Logistically... harder... much harder.




RE: Miles
By EasyC on 12/9/2013 10:22:35 AM , Rating: 2
Or we could audit where the existing budget is being spent and not increase tax at all.


RE: Miles
By geddarkstorm on 12/9/2013 8:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, that makes too much sense, therefore it is not allowed.


More Honest Title
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 10:29:06 AM , Rating: 3
House proposes? No.

Change it to "Democrat" proposes for an actual honest representation of the facts. He doesn't even have bipartisan backing of any kind.

This has zero chance of passing the House. Just another radical "Progressive" tax and spend Democrat cornball idea.




RE: More Honest Title
By kfonda on 12/9/2013 8:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
NSA funding
By eagle470 on 12/9/2013 10:43:52 AM , Rating: 3
How about we just take all the money away from the NSA and dump it into infrastructure, not only will our roads, bridges, ports of harbor and airport see much needed revitalization, but we get rid of all that illegal wiretapping and big brother B*S*.

Plus all the jobs that would create in every possible sector would be huge!




parasol?
By daboom06 on 12/9/2013 11:18:03 AM , Rating: 2
howabout we take the parasol from the tool in the picture.

that's just about the most good we can do as far as this issue is concerned--since we're not a political action committee or automaker.




oh the irony..
By maevinj on 12/9/2013 1:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
increased fuel efficiency imposed by the CAFE standards will strip $57 billion in tax revenue out of coffers through 2025


One more fine example of our awesome government in action....
what dumbasses.




Just keep on borrowing
By Shadowmaster625 on 12/9/2013 3:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
Just borrow more money! Just cut the tax to zero. The more they borrow, the more the price of oil will rise. So the price at the pump goes up either way. This way they can claim to cut taxes even though the price adjusts to the same real equilibrium value no matter what they do.




By Mint on 12/9/2013 4:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'd bet my live savings at -10000 odds that this bill fails.




This is not good
By DrApop on 12/10/2013 1:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
I wish they would stop nickel and diming us to death. Make one tax...a single tax (tiered or not) but stop slapping us with the use taxes, fees, and other disguised cost.

If people really knew/understood what they are really paying in taxes, we would be up in arms.

There should be no gas tax




Fuel Tax
By WauwatosaComment on 12/17/2013 5:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
Adding to fuel taxes for trucks, will only be passed on increasing food and other commodity costs, causing artificial inflation. ie - Bad economics.
Diesel tax should be lowered to the level of gas, or made even lower than gas.
<>




Fair...
By techxx on 12/9/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fair...
By retrospooty on 12/9/2013 10:14:26 AM , Rating: 5
I dislike it because its just giving the govt. more money to misuse. Giving "proportionally fair" money to a money pit isnt a good solution. The "proportionally fair" part if fine, but the pit part cant be satiated.


RE: Fair...
By FaaR on 12/9/2013 10:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yet even you has to agree that asphalt or concrete-paved roads and highways are superior to dirt paths, right? So if you don't want to provide proportional tax funding increases for upkeep (because this won't exactly get cheaper as time passes), then you have to provide some other solution, preferably one that does not require everyone to switch back to horse and buggy and travel 1800s style.


RE: Fair...
By ClownPuncher on 12/9/2013 11:58:22 AM , Rating: 2
If it all went to road upkeep, that would be one thing.


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 12:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
I just love the hyperbole of those arguments: "If you don't want an increase in fuel taxes, we're going to revert to the horse and buggy dirt roads!! Rabble rabble rabble arggghh"


RE: Fair...
By ClownPuncher on 12/9/2013 12:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
If you say, "Can't we just spend the money more effectively and stop contracting to the lowest bidder, only to end up having to redo the project due to incompetence?" you are considered a crazy.


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/9/2013 2:22:21 PM , Rating: 3
I am considered even more crazy because I believe that if they don't do it right the first time, then they should have to redo it correctly at their own expense.


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 4:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. And have a few marks against them when the next contract comes up.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/9/2013 4:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
What do you do when cheap contractors go bankrupt before the roads/bridges are even halfway through their expected life?

If the gov't gets third party insurance, how does it know the insurance company sticks around?

It's not as simple as you think it is.


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 5:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What do you do when cheap contractors go bankrupt before the roads/bridges are even halfway through their expected life?
Same thing you do when the expensive contractors go bankrupt. Pay for the fix, and re-evaluate to see if there's something you could've done differently in the future to mitigate your risk.

It's not as complex as you make it out to be.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/10/2013 6:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
So in other words, you may wind up paying more overall by taking the cheap route that you and everyone other know-it-all in this thread thinks is obviously better.


RE: Fair...
By ClownPuncher on 12/10/2013 12:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think the argument was to NOT take the "cheap route", which is often more expensive. Use well established contractors, open bids, no back room deals. Do it right the first time, if at all possible.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/11/2013 11:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think that is the argument, because retro and reclaimer are saying the gov't is spending too much the first time.


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/10/2013 4:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
Well I was aiming more at the original completion of the project on budget. Just like if you have a house build and it isn't right when they hand you the keys, you wouldn't just go hire another contractor to fix all the problems the first one left, you make the first one fix them at their expense. If a contractor goes broke because he can only so sub par work then he deserves that fate. It is time we reward those who can do the work right at a good price instead of propping up the ones that just throw crap together and call it good and expect to be paid, whether in private work or public work.


RE: Fair...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/9/2013 5:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
+1 to this.

Since when does every dollar of a gas tax go toward the roads or highway infrastructure maintenance & development?

It doesn't.


RE: Fair...
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 7:05:21 AM , Rating: 1
And with additional taxes like this, essentially zero does... Lets say this tax passes and earns $10 billion and lets assume they put all 10b into the various road funding projects... They just put in $10 billion less from the general tax fund, so essentially the fed gets another 10 billion to spens and the roads get $0 more than they were already getting. BS


RE: Fair...
By retrospooty on 12/9/2013 12:53:00 PM , Rating: 4
"Yet even you has to agree that asphalt or concrete-paved roads and highways are superior to dirt paths, right?"

The problem isn't the govt. taking our money and spending it on the roads... The problem is the the govt. taking our money and giving contracts to their corporate sponsors at 10x the going rate (of not more). They then run out of money and have to raise taxes... THAT is where our money goes and that is the problem.


RE: Fair...
By steelincable on 12/9/2013 10:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
No, this is a gasoline tax, not a 'how much you drive' tax. Hybrid owners and electric vehicle owners pay neary nothing or absolutely nothing (respectively). And they receive a subsidy for their cars in the first place. Hence tax payers pay them to avoid taxes. How is that fair?


RE: Fair...
By retrospooty on 12/9/2013 10:19:39 AM , Rating: 5
It doesn't even matter. The govt. takes it and pays Haliburton 10 million dollars to build a 1 million dollar bridge, so its all a loss... unless of course you are Haliburton or one of the many other campaign contributor corporate buddies.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/9/2013 4:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see evidence that this is the case for the average gov't contract, or even 10% of gov't contracts.

I can see it happening for a large portion of military contracts due secrecy, but not for relatively simple things like roads/bridges.


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 4:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it happens! Why do you think every goddamn infrastructure and road project magically costs 10 times more than the original estimate?

Can I ask you something? Why are you such a Government shill? You must make your living off the taxpayer, you are always rushing in to defend any and all Government excess.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/9/2013 5:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't ask whether it happens at all. I want to know how much it happens. Even businesses overpay for items now and then.

And no, 10x cost doesn't happen to "every goddamn infrastructure and road project". This is what happens when you don't do any research for yourself and just be a blind GOP tool making stuff up.

Here's a paper I found:
http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?art...
quote:
In 2001, INDOT incurred approximately $17,028,000 in
cost overruns, representing approximately 9% of the total amount for all contracts in 2001.

I found a Euro study showing 20% for roads. So this "10x the cost" talk is, AFAICS, pure BS. Prove me otherwise.

I pay way more than average tax.

I don't want minimal gov't because I know a functioning society (including my own paycheck) depends on customers being able to afford the products I help build, on getting to work on roads, on not going bankrupt after illness, and in turn all of their incomes depend on the same thing.

Seven years ago you could easily convince me that a smaller gov't was better. Today the private sector has proven that it would rather see people sit idle than employ it, because our society is so ridiculously productive that people with lots of disposable income have little desire to consume more than the luxuries they already have.


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 5:23:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
that people with lots of disposable income have little desire to consume more than the luxuries they already have
And this simply cannot be tolerated? They *must* consume, and do so at a rate you (omnisciently) know to be good? And if they don't chose to do it on their own, you'll save us with your guns pointed in their faces? So that we can hire more people with jobs like yours?


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/10/2013 6:57:17 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you think its better for that labor to sit idle as opposed to building something for the public?

It's a complete waste. Society can't get those man-hours back.

Sure, I don't agree with a lot of the federal gov't spending choices, but I am only one vote out of 200M+. I am not so conceited as to think nobody's needs matter except my own.

I'm employed by the private sector, so I don't see why you're pointing out jobs like mine. I was making a very general point above. If you cut out redistribution, today's rich spend only a little more while the poor spend a lot less, so the entire economy shrinks.


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/10/2013 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why do you think its better for that labor to sit idle as opposed to building something for the public?
Because unlike you I support, value, cherish, and defend freedom. Not for some people. Not for most people. Not for everyone except those really really rich people. For everyone. Freedom is far more valuable to me than the notion of managing an entire economy to "minimize waste". The notion that one could even do that is laughable to me, and the cost to individual liberty to attempt it is immense.
quote:
I am not so conceited as to think nobody's needs matter except my own.
And I'm not selfish enough to think anyone other than me has a responsibility to address my needs.
quote:
I'm employed by the private sector, so I don't see why you're pointing out jobs like mine.
My bad. I misread your post. So other than the part where I assumed you were a public employee, you agree with my synopsis of your argument?


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 10:25:52 AM , Rating: 2
Mint is off the deep end with his economic theories and understandings.

He's identified the obvious, that yes we're in a period of slow growth. What he fails to understand is the policies he directly supports are CAUSING the sluggish growth.

In his mind "rich" people woke up one day and just decided to stop investing and switched to money hoarding...

And his whole "money is debt" nonsense...wow. Crazy.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/11/2013 11:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
Get your head out of the sand.

Every one of these are indisputable facts:
-There is a huge pool of idle labor looking for work
-The cost of capital is at historic lows
-Idle capital is at historic highs
-The federal tax burden is at historic lows

These major economic elements are as pro-capitalist as we've ever seen them, all at the same time. The neocon argument that the gov't is crowding out labor is gone. The argument that it's crowding out capital is gone. The argument that the deficit is raising interest rates or consuming capital is gone.

EVERYONE with a brain knows that demand is what's holding back growth. Why should businesses hire or invest at a greater rate if those with disposable income choose not to buy more goods?

I don't even know why I bother debating with you. You've proven that you'll believe the most astronomically impossible arguments if they suit your ingrained beliefs.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/11/2013 12:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
The gov't doesn't manage the entire economy, and couldn't if it tried. It can have minor influence and set some boundaries, but within those confines everything is a free for all. I'm not making an argument to minimize waste, either, because most waste is subjective. But some isn't, like people sitting around waiting for society to ask them to do something.

As for freedom, you need to stop being so egotistical and understand that you do not get to define what exactly freedom is for everyone else.

Unions are part of freedom as well, and redistribution through democratic law is no different than a colossal labor union. If you're a business owner that wants access to the US labor pool and their purchasing power, then you have to abide by its collective demands, like giving them (via the gov't) X %age of your revenue to cover certain benefits, $Y/hr minimum wage, etc.

If you don't like it, then you are free to move to another country.

A lot of damn smart and successful people, however, do like the US more than anywhere else, even when it "steals" from them to provide entitlements to others. They understand that their business does not exist in a vacuum, and will rot away to nothing without the labor and consumption of the masses.


RE: Fair...
By techxx on 12/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: Fair...
By Motoman on 12/9/2013 12:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Those who elect fuel efficient and electric vehicles deserve to pay less, IMO.


And why is that? Do such vehicles actually levitate above the road surface, and therefore impart no wear and tear to our roads and bridges?

Not charging EVs and/or hybrids a fair share of a tax is wildly inequitable. Obviously the traditional gas tax gets partly or completely skirted by such vehicles...there needs to be a different way to get those drivers to bear the same burden for infrastructure that everyone else does.


RE: Fair...
By SeeManRun on 12/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: Fair...
By Motoman on 12/9/2013 1:40:44 PM , Rating: 3
LOL

So, in the indeterminate "meantime," you're going to assert that it's OK to just let current EV/hybrid drivers skirt their fair share of taxes...increasing the burden on everyone else?

Do you honestly think you've just said something intelligent? Regardless of how many such vehicles there may, or may not, be on the road?


RE: Fair...
By ClownPuncher on 12/9/2013 1:49:51 PM , Rating: 1
He is saving the world, you meanie.


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/9/2013 4:32:04 PM , Rating: 1
If you want people to pay their fair share, then you should be targeting big rigs.

For some types of wear, they do 100,000x as much damage per mile as a light-duty vehicle.


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 4:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
then you should be targeting big rigs. For some types of wear, they do 100,000x as much damage per mile as a light-duty vehicle.


Was this a joke? Do you have ANY idea how much owner/operators pay for their "fair share"? It would make your head spin!


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/9/2013 5:01:41 PM , Rating: 1
Is it thousands of times as much as you pay per mile in gas tax?

You pay what, roughly 1 cent per mile in gas tax? Do you think a big rig pays $10+ per mile in road taxes? Get real.


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 5:06:32 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you find out and get back to me.

Prepare to have your mind blown.

Although nice of you to throw the "thousands of times" number in there. How exactly did you arrive at such an outlandish figure?


RE: Fair...
By Mint on 12/9/2013 5:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
http://archive.gao.gov/f0302/109884.pdf
Other studies have found the factor to be 760x. But of course, any fact based in science is considered outlandish by you.

I've looked up heavy vehicle use taxes and diesel taxes. No, it doesn't come even close to $1/mile, let alone $10/mile.


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 5:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
And that's not "fair share" enough for you? Jesus man!


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/10/2013 4:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
Is that also including excise taxes on tires and the ICC tax and state commercial vehicle taxes that you have to have for each state you cross, ect?


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/9/2013 2:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
Could just shift the tax off of fuel and onto tires since they all use them. Wear and tear of highways is more related to weight and miles than just miles so it is a more equal tax since most heavy vehicles either use more expensive heavy tires or have to replace them more often.

Of course the downside to this for the consumer is that instead of paying the road tax a little at a time with each fillup, you would be dropping a larger sum less often with each tire replacement.


RE: Fair...
By relztes on 12/9/2013 7:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty ingenious, but I think there's a problem. People would put off replacing their tires far longer than they should, and it would be unsafe.


RE: Fair...
By Nutzo on 12/9/2013 11:18:02 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree with you on Electric cars (and to a lesser extent plugin hybrids), you are wrong on regular Hybrids.

The Federal gas tax pays for Highways. Hybrid don't get much better highway mileage than many gas or diesel cars.
For example, a Toyots Camry Hybrid gets 38 MPG on the highway, yet the Toyota Corolla (non hybrid) gets 42 MPG, and some diesels get even higher.

The solution is not to raise federal taxes, but gradually cut federal spending and leave it to the states. If the states need more money to maintain the roads, then the states can raise the gas tax.


RE: Fair...
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 12:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm, INTERSTATE highway system. It has always been a federally backed program.


RE: Fair...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/9/2013 5:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
The Interstates are by far not the only roads in the U.S. that needs maintenance. That road in front of your house needs to be maintained too and the federal govt is NOT going to pay for that.


RE: Fair...
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: Fair...
By Motoman on 12/9/2013 12:45:46 PM , Rating: 3
You're a moron.

If more and more people skirt paying their fair share of taxes, there's no money to keep roads and bridges in proper shape. Newsflash: an EV causes the exact same amount of wear and tear on roads and bridges as does a comparable ICE car.


RE: Fair...
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 12:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Newsflash: an EV causes the exact same amount of wear and tear on roads and bridges as does a comparable ICE car.
This. The gas tax is for infrastructure! It's not a punishment/reward system. Fuel efficient vehicles wear out roads just like every other car. In fact, with EV's and hybrids they put MORE wear on the roads than their counterparts (because they weigh more).


RE: Fair...
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 1:05:37 PM , Rating: 1
Its not just about buying ev's and hybrids. Its things like choosing to drive a 4cyl accord rather than a Ford excursion to take your kids to soccer practice. The tax code has always been used as an incentive system.


RE: Fair...
By Motoman on 12/9/2013 1:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The tax code has always been used as an incentive system.


[citation needed]


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/9/2013 2:44:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The tax code has always been used as an incentive system.


Since the American people are supposed to be the government, they why should the government need to use an incentive on itself?

It is like paying yourself to not buy cookies, it cost you a dollar to pay yourself a dollar, or if doing it they way the government does you pay ten dollars to cover the cost of having a friend hold your dollar and give it to you at the end of the month.

When it becomes more financially feasible for people to save money by purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles then the shift will take place, just as it did back in the 70s. That will only happen when the more fuel efficient vehicles are also the least expensive ones or at least at a cost that makes them a better purchase. Case in point, I just spent $500 on a used Jeep Cherokee 4cylinder that gets 18-20mpg. Not great but the difference in cost of insurance alone versus say a Nissan Leaf will more than pay my fuel bill for several years to come. No it will not save the planet, but it sure saves my wallet.


RE: Fair...
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 3:34:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Since the American people are supposed to be the government


ah that's so cute, I didn't know anyone still believes that.


RE: Fair...
By ClownPuncher on 12/9/2013 1:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
Imported Oil? Like all that oil we import from Canada and... ourselves?


RE: Fair...
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: Fair...
By ClownPuncher on 12/9/2013 3:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
That's the vast majority of oil in the US already.


RE: Fair...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/9/2013 5:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't worry too much about foreign oil dependence (including the oil it is currently getting from Canada) over the short-mid term. The U.S. is on an oil renaissance recently as the fracking solution comes on line. How well that pans out for the environment, longevity & self-sufficiency over then next several years remains to be seen, but it is the current darling of the U.S. oil companies.

That doesn't mean alternates still aren't needed - burning and fracking fossil fuels is still miserable for the environment and needs ongoing work to address, but it is still currently viable for the short/mid term.


RE: Fair...
By BZDTemp on 12/9/2013 5:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that the wear on roads are much increased with higher loads and that most hybrids are also light weight it seems fine they get off cheaper.

All in all if higher gas prices can bring more people out of their trucks and into just normal cars much will be gained. It is simply a wasted that people drive Trucks as personal transport when they never carry more than could easily fit in even a small car trunk.


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 6:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.edmunds.com/car-comparisons/?veh1=20042...

Go check out the "Measurements" section.


RE: Fair...
By ipay on 12/9/2013 10:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. Has nothing to do with how many miles (how much) you drive, which translates to the wear on the transportation infrastructures. Two cars of similar structure and weight will impart the same wear, however if one get 1/3 better mileage, then an imbalance forms in the funds gathered for the same wear.


RE: Fair...
By techxx on 12/9/2013 10:26:58 AM , Rating: 1
For the most part, it will be the case. If two cars are of similar structure and weight and have different fuel efficiencies, I don't see anything wrong with rewarding the driver who chose the more efficient variant. This tax increase will further motivate people to drive more cleaner and efficient vehicles, which translates to nothing but good from my perspective.


RE: Fair...
By steelincable on 12/9/2013 10:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
You said it yourself you want people who drive more miles to pay for the infrastructure. Now you're saying this tax should be used to influence folks to buy efficient cars, not consume gasoline, and subsequently not pay for infrastructure. Which is it?


RE: Fair...
By techxx on 12/9/2013 10:57:15 AM , Rating: 2
How about both?
The more you drive, the more you pay to support the roads. Drive an efficient car? Enjoy your savings! Drive a gas guzzler? Stop doing that or stop complaining.


RE: Fair...
By Just Tom on 12/9/2013 11:27:01 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize 10's of millions of people cannot afford to drive EV/Hybrids? Rich people tend to buy EV/Hybrids, gas taxes are already regressive and you seek to make them more so.


RE: Fair...
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 12:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
Huh, since when are fuel efficient cars more expensive. Usually higher priced cars get worse mileage. Back in the day poor people bought things like a corolla station wagon.


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/9/2013 2:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
How many EVs or hybrids can you purchase for $500? I just bought a Jeep Cherokee for that price, doesn't get much fuel efficiency but it sure saved me money already.


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 11:27:49 AM , Rating: 4
How about we stop viewing taxes as a tool to punish people with different beliefs than you?

Do you not get his point? Let's say I have a Tesla. Sure it's "efficient", however it's a 5,000 beast that does a disproportional amount of road wear and damage than other "gas guzzlers" who have to pay fuel taxes.


RE: Fair...
By yomamafor1 on 12/9/2013 11:54:19 AM , Rating: 1
And how many Teslas are there on the road today? How many gas guzzling truck / sedan are there on the road today?


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 12:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. There's not a lot of Ferrari's on the road either, so I declare them exempt for fuel taxes...

You serious?


RE: Fair...
By yomamafor1 on 12/9/2013 12:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to gas guzzling sedan / trucks than a specific brand. If that's the case, should we compare Tesla's sales figure against Ferrari's all time sales figures?

The point being that the number of electric cars on the road simply doesn't justify overhauling the entire federal gasoline tax structure.


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/9/2013 2:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
Might as well start overhauling it now as opposed to trying to overhaul it in a panic once EVs have taken over at the majority of vehicles on the highway. Of course that is the normal way government works, wait until you have to act then act quickly without thinking about what you are doing and make things even worse.


RE: Fair...
By ipay on 12/9/2013 12:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
Do the ashes left on the road count?


RE: Fair...
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 1:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
Like gasoline is a safe fuel.


RE: Fair...
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 12:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And how many Teslas are there on the road today? How many gas guzzling truck / sedan are there on the road today?
Irrelevant.


RE: Fair...
By sorry dog on 12/9/2013 11:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
Consider this... even if you never drive and stayed in your home 100% of the time but have everything you need delivered. You have not paid any direct tax yet you still received the same benefit of a local transportation system that your car owning neighbor does.


RE: Fair...
By Etsp on 12/9/2013 11:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
Why can't it be both?


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 10:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
I see no compelling reason to have a federal gas tax at all. The interstate system is built. Let each state decide how to collect whatever taxes are required to maintain the portions in their borders, along with the rest of their roadways.

Best case, the current system requires us to pay a middle man before we can spend money on transportation. That's wasteful an ineffective. Worst case, the current system becomes another wealth transfer program where some states foot the bill for others. Realistically, it's likely a bit of column A and a bit of column B at this point.


RE: Fair...
By ipay on 12/9/2013 10:27:20 AM , Rating: 5
The interstate system was a major catalyst for our national economy, and continues to be so. We do somethings nationally because it helps us all. The interstate system is one of those things.


RE: Fair...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 10:34:32 AM , Rating: 2
The Interstate System doesn't need additional funding. It doesn't need an increase of the gas tax.

Highway funds have always been a slush bucket for siphoning off our hard earned tax dollars to pork barrel projects and "infrastructure" projects that go nowhere and cost 20x their estimates.

If you like government corruption and greed, and the further destruction of our economy, by all means support this.


RE: Fair...
By ipay on 12/9/2013 10:42:54 AM , Rating: 2
What? You mean the privatization of Interstate building and maintenance didn't result in cost savings and containment? Say it ain't so.


RE: Fair...
By Just Tom on 12/9/2013 11:30:14 AM , Rating: 2
The construction of the interstates was always done by private companies. What's your point?


RE: Fair...
By ipay on 12/9/2013 11:47:04 AM , Rating: 2
The funds were given to the states' highway and transportation agencies. Can you provide documentation showing all those agencies "always" relied on contractors for construction?


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 12:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
I never claimed the system wasn't valuable, or that it shouldn't be maintained/expanded. I claimed there was a better way to fund it.


RE: Fair...
By ipay on 12/9/2013 12:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
What you claimed is the states should collect for, build, and maintain the portions in their borders. The problem with that is if a state decides this is not important and doesn't do it adequately, the other states and national commerce are adversely effected.


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 1:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
The rogue state in your hypothetical has the same incentive to have well-maintained roads that the feds do. If they allow the infrastructure to fall into disrepair, they're at an economic disadvantage to their neighboring states (at least as much as roads are necessary for the economic success of that particular state). Do you disagree?

Also, is it fair to assume that since you did not challenge my assertions about the inefficiency of the federal middle man, or the wealth transfer from paying states to receiving states that you agree with those two disadvantages of the "feds collect and redistribute" strategy?


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/9/2013 3:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The rogue state in your hypothetical has the same incentive to have well-maintained roads that the feds do. If they allow the infrastructure to fall into disrepair, they're at an economic disadvantage to their neighboring states (at least as much as roads are necessary for the economic success of that particular state). Do you disagree?


Interstate travels from California to New York and a company relies on it to transport goods vital to their business. Lets say it passes through Iowa and Iowa decides it gains very little from upkeep on that one highway. Should Iowa be able to decide the fate of businesses in California and New York simply because Iowa receives no direct benefit from that business?

I believe strongly in limited Federal government and I believe strongly in States Rights, but the Interstate Highway System is one of the few things that I believe truly lies within the Federal government's responsibility because of the Interstate Commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution. That clause gets misused and abused very often but here is one case it actually applies.

The Constitution says the Federal government has the responsibility to keep one state from interfering with the commerce of other states and to promote such interstate commerce, which the Interstate Highway System fulfills.


RE: Fair...
By ebakke on 12/9/2013 3:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
For starters, you quoted me yet didn't answer my question or address my point. The state has the same interest in maintaining the roads as the federal government does. Agree or disagree?

Next, the company could not go through Iowa. It could lobby the Iowan government to better fund roads or build tolls to capitalize on the trade they are losing by having a decrepit road system. It could put the goods on rail. It could fly the goods.

The premise that if Iowa has bad (or even no) roads, it is somehow deciding the fate of a business that used to ship through it is just stupid. They aren't putting up a blockade and saying "GO AROUND". They aren't joining with Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana to form a blockade. Sure, Iowa's decision may result in a different set of conditions/criteria to the company's question of "How do we get goods from A->B?" But it most certainly isn't "oh, we're out of business." And all of that still rides under the assumption that Iowa doesn't see value in a road system and therefor will choose not to fund it. I see no evidence to suggest that would be the case.

quote:
I believe strongly in limited Federal government and I believe strongly in States Rights
It sounds like you believe in both rather half-heartedly.
quote:
The Constitution says the Federal government has the responsibility to keep one state from interfering with the commerce of other states and to promote such interstate commerce...
No, no it does not. It says "[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes". It says nothing about a responsibility to prevent interference, let alone what said interference would be. It says nothing about promoting anything. It says the power to regulate such topics (should the need for regulation occur) rests within Congress.


RE: Fair...
By rountad on 12/9/2013 1:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
I always enjoy reading your posts.


RE: Fair...
By dgingerich on 12/9/2013 11:05:16 AM , Rating: 2
This increase the price of fuel by almost 5%, which increases the price of transportation, which increases prices all over the country. The high prices for gas over the last few years have been the biggest drag on our economy, slowing recovery, and the biggest influence on rising prices, especially food prices, and this bozo wants to make it all worse? Do you really think this is a good idea?

It should come down to the states to maintain their own roads. That is not the place of the Federal government. It even states that in the 10th amendment. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


RE: Fair...
By kingmotley on 12/9/2013 1:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
It is nice to hear someone actually be able to quote from the Constitution, however, the Constitution gives the federal government domain over interstate commerce. Interstate roads were deemed part of that (Hard to have interstate commerce without any way of being able to transport goods across state lines), and so are controlled by the federal government as deemed by the Constitution.


RE: Fair...
By Salisme on 12/9/2013 12:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
Until the cost of deliveries and transportation increases like delivering good to grocery stores, restaurant deliveries, off site dry cleaning, shopping mall distribution, school bus transportation, even pizza costs will go up. Those costs have to be recouped, and where does that money come from? You.

It has nothing to do what you drive, it effects everyone.


RE: Fair...
By JediJeb on 12/9/2013 3:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
Correct. If increasing the tax brings in more money at current fuel usage levels, what happens when items become more expensive, along with travel, and people purchase less items to be transported and travel less? You collect less taxes which negates the increase you got from increasing the tax.

Reminds me of when they were going to pay for universal health care by taxing tobacco, yet taxing tobacco was supposed to make people stop smoking because it would become too expensive. If they achieved the goal of getting people to stop smoking then they would have killed the goal of financing universal health care through the tobacco tax.

That is the kind of logic that would make Mr. Spock's head explode like an atomic bomb!


RE: Fair...
By DrApop on 12/10/2013 3:30:25 PM , Rating: 1
How about all the people that don't drive but buy food and other things that have been trucked all across the country


RE: Fair...
By WauwatosaComment on 12/17/2013 5:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
Correct.
Increasing trucking costs is a bad economic path that adds to inflation.
Diesel tax should be reduced. At worst should be no more than gas.


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