The Democrats: Know What We Really Need Right Now? A Higher Gas Tax

The Republicans should thank the political gods for showing them favor and turn this into a huge election issue,

U.S. federal fuel taxes should be boosted as much as 40 cents a gallon to finance highway, bridge and transit work, a panel created by Congress recommended.

The increase, phased in over five years, would help pay for at least $225 billion a year in transportation construction and repairs by government and business, according to the panel. The federal gasoline tax is now 18.4 cents a gallon.

The report comes five months after an interstate highway bridge in Minneapolis collapsed and brought attention to transportation spending and repair needs. The Aug. 1 bridge collapse, the nation’s worst in 25 years, killed 13 people.

… The commission called for allowing metropolitan areas with at least 1 million people to use so-called congestion pricing, which would charge drivers a fee to enter during peak traffic hours. New York City is considering such a method in Manhattan to curb traffic and reduce pollution tied to global warming.

The panel also proposed shifting away from a fuel consumption tax by 2025 and creating an alternate source of funding, such as taxing the number of miles driven.

The federal gasoline tax has been unchanged since 1993, when it was raised 4.3 cents a gallon. The increase proposed by the commission would not take place until after President George W. Bush, who has opposed fuel tax increases, leaves office.

“The good news is the Bush administration will be gone,” said Representative Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat who chairs the House highways and transit subcommittee. “I expect the next administration will recognize there is a need.”

When Congress renews a highway spending law in 2009, lawmakers may prefer a more “incremental” gasoline-tax increase than the commission proposed, DeFazio said in an interview.

The increase would “cost about 41 to 66 cents a day for the average American motorist,” Schenendorf said. “It’s a small cost to pay for the benefits of these programs in terms of reduced congestion, reduced fatalities and for the economic growth of our country.”

Gas prices are sky high and the Democrats want to tack on a 40 cent a gallon gas tax on top of it? Fantastic! Let’s put that in front of the American people.

Democrats are the party that wants you to pay an extra 40 cents a gallon for gas. Republicans are opposed to that.

PS: Don’t Democrats always say that they only favor increasing taxes for the rich? So I guess according to the Democrats, only the rich drive cars. You learn something new every day.

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