Panel Urges 50% Gas Tax Increase
Due to the economic recession and the decrease in overall gasoline usage, gas prices are at about a 5 year low currently with the USA national average at ~$1.65/gal. This has brought much needed relief to "middle-class" America who are facing increasing debt and decreasing job security. This also has provided a relief to American companies whose sales have been dropping off (due to the recession) because they no longer have huge shipping costs for both raw materials and shipping their product to customers. Although oil companies are still pretty high on people's "I SWEAR I'D KICK THAT CEO'S ASS IF I SAW HIM AT THIS BAR" list, it has at least lowered some of the hatred.
Of course things this good cannot last long. The linked article above describes the current lobbying of The National Commission on Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing to increase gas taxes for funding purposes. Said commission states that "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." The recommendation is to increase the national gasoline tax by 10 cents a gallon and to raise the diesel tax by 12 to 15 cents a gallon. This means they want to increase the gasoline tax by 54%, which would raise the current tax to be 16.2% of the total gas cost ($1.65 average + additional 10 cent a gallon basis). Additionally, "the commission will recommend tying the fuel tax rates to inflation." This means that when inflation goes up therefore hiking up crude oil and gasoline prices up, the tax could increase even more.
Now backing up from the "I hate all taxes" stance, an increase of 10 cent a gallon really isn't too much of a deal breaker. I would actually be for this tax if the money would be used efficiently to increase the quality of roads and rail transportation (the future of the American economy IMO). The two things that WOULD majorly piss me off about this kind of a tax are 1) the government spends a ridiculous amount of money on the stupidest shit. I don't need to go into too much detail on the things I believe to be retarded; everyone has their list. Most people do agree that money is being spent in retarded places. How about we take some of that stupid money and re-allocate it to transportation (and other important things LIKE SCHOOLS). The second thing that would piss me off is, the people who improve the transportation systems in America are seriously idiots. How long did it take the Virginia DOT to finish the construction on I-64 west from Norfolk to Williamsburg? There is still construction going on here in Houston from the FIRST DAY I ARRIVED HERE IN 2005. AND TRUST ME IT ISN'T HARD STUFF. My feeling is that the state governments give the construction contracts to companies who do NOT deserve them. Most of them milk the government for more and more money while the people who approve these contracts get nice dinners and "gifts" from the head of said companies.
This means that you and I pay for "improving transportation" that could be paid for by smart government investing and improving the efficiency of construction. I don't necessarily blame the commission for wanting some money to compensate for the slowing economy. They definitely are not going to get it from the upcoming administration who is promising to cut taxes and is forced to bailout the increasing number of American companies. They have to turn to increasing the tax on the one thing we are all thankful that the price is finally going down for. This should concern all of us because this could be an increasing trend of increasing prices due to the recession (hello supply and demand). The worst example of this is the increasing cost of college tuition (which I hope to write about in the future). Do you think an additional 10 cent/gallon is a big deal or not much of anything?
Aside: this blog was more of a rant than anything revolutionary and was not really well written. I just wanted to get something down to increase the traffic of the blog (like Boski mentioned) and also get some of the small beef off my chest.
Also, cool website I found of historical gas prices when I was looking for how low the current gas prices are: http://www.massachusettsgasprices.com/retail_price_chart.aspx
Interesting to see how gas prices have tracked with crude prices.