09 January 2015

This would be a good time to raise the gasoline tax

It's very seldom that I agree with opinions expressed by Charles Krauthammer, but I do agree that state legislators should be raising the gasoline tax during this nadir in fuel prices.
...the price at the pump has fallen in the last three months by more than a dollar to about $2.20 per gallon. As a result, some in Congress are talking about a 10- or 20-cent hike in the federal tax to use for infrastructure spending. Right idea, wrong policy. The hike should not be 10 cents but $1...

We’ve blown this chance at least three times since the 1980s. As former French foreign minister Jean François-Poncet said a quarter-century ago, “It’s hard to take seriously that a nation has deep problems if they can be fixed with a 50-cent-a-gallon” — 90 cents in today’s money — “gasoline tax.” Let’s not blow it again.
Krauthammer then suggests countering this tax by decreasing the Social Security tax, which he considers a "disincentive for work."  I disagree on that, and would use the windfall funds for infrastructure improvements in the roadways and bridges used by the drivers paying the tax.  Those funds need to come from somewhere, and the repairs can't be postponed indefinitely.


  1. High tax certainly makes you not notice bumps in oil price levels. :)


  2. so what happens when gas prices go back up, which they will in six months. does the gas tax go away?

    there should be a dilbert book just on politicians.


  3. I'm all for repairing the infrastructure... but when has a tax increase touted for any such worthy purpose EVER actually gone for that purpose? Washington ALWAYS finds something else to spend the money on.

  4. If it's a municipal or state tax, then that's worth exploring. Send money to Wasington these days is tantamount to theft.

  5. I agree with IronHorse. The states would be much more likely to use the tax money on infrastructure repair, whereas the Feds might use it as an excuse to lower taxes on the wealthy.

    1. Or waste it in a far more creative way. I, too, have zero faith that tax gains from the Federal gas tax would mostly go to roads. Definitely a little better shot with a more local tax.

      An increase is definitely overdue, as the inflationary monetary policy of the government has dramatically reduced the yield from this tax.

  6. Stop wasting tax money on other foolish or politically motivated things, and then maybe. There is no shortage of tax money in the governments hands ( an all time record take was recorded by the feds this year), but somehow there is never enough for to spend on stuff we expect from government, like roads.

    A new tax will just disappear into the machine, and the roads will still be in bad shape. Then they will ask for more, then more, and then still more. Never let a crisis go to waste!

  7. Never agree with Krauthammer because he happens to have the same opinion as you do. He remains a vile hypocritical @$$hole. For instance, the gas tax is a good idea because of the environment. But does Charles mention this? Of course not. Because for him, the environment is A-OK. No global warming. Also, by it is an insane idea to make the social security fund dependent on gas prices. Finally, by shifting this tax from a income dependent tax to a consumption tax, you move taxes from rich people - who have an income to be taxed - to poor people - who can't do without gas. Finally, the huge flaw in the gas tax is that it is a flat tax. It should be a percentage tax.

    The best we can hope for is that Congress replaces the current 18c tax with an percentage tax that is (currently) equivalent to that 18c but that will rise as the gas prices will eventually rise again.

    So, to paraphrase Charles: Right idea, wrong motivation, explanation and execution.

  8. Krauthammer's photo looks like he just caught a good whiff of himself.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...