Instead of a gas-tax holiday, Congress considers gas-tax hike

posted at 4:55 pm on July 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

John McCain couldn’t convince Congress to adopt his gas-tax holiday, but Congress does plan on making some changes to the rate.  Unfortunately, the change will go in the opposite direction, if Democrats get their wish.  With Americans driving less, the highway fund faces even more severe shortfalls than expected from lost gas-tax revenue — and so the Democrats plan to hike it up by ten cents a gallon:

Despite calls from the presidential campaign trail for a Memorial Day-to-Labor Day tax freeze, lawmakers quickly concluded — with a prod from the construction industry — that having $9 billion less to spend on highways could create a pre-election specter of thousands of lost jobs.

Now, lawmakers quietly are talking about raising fuel taxes by a dime from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel fuel. …

Oberstar, D-Minn., said his committee is working on the next long-term highway bill. He estimated it will take between $450 billion and $500 billion over six years to address safety and congestion issues with highways, bridges and transit systems.

“We’ll put all things on the table,” Oberstar said, but the gas tax “is the cornerstone. Nothing else will work without the underpinning of the higher user fee gas tax.”

The problem with the transportation bill isn’t a lack of funds, it’s a lack of fiscal discipline.  Oberstar figures prominently in this, earmarking transportation funds for projects like bike and walking path, visitor centers, and other nonsense instead of focusing on the infrastructural needs he decries. Over twelve percent of the last transportation bill consisted of earmarks, with projects like a North Dakota peace garden, a Montana baseball stadium and a Las Vegas history museum.

Pork is the cholesterol of infrastructure.  Whenever Congress attempts to address legitimate infrastructure needs, it signals open season on the taxpayers.  In that bill last year, over $8 billion got spent on earmarks — the same amount that Congress says will be the shortfall this year for transportation needs, and the deficit they need to erase by raising the gas tax.

When gas was inexpensive, Congress could get away with that.  Now that fuel prices have shot through the roof, taxpayers want relief, not a greedy Congress looking to get a piece of the action.   If Congress demands sacrifice, then let it start with Congress and eliminate their pet projects from future transportation bills.  The gas-tax holiday may be a silly idea, but a gas-tax penalty at this point in time has to set a record for political stupidity.


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Just wait and see though: the majority of Congressmen will get re-elected this fall despite their pitiful approval ratings. We reap what we sow. Plain and simple.

Just vote straight Republican.

…as if the majority of Republicans are that much different in word and deed than the Democrats. Republicans have gotten soft and are living off their laurels. They assume conservatives will vote for them as the alternative to the Democrats, even though they are just as fiscally and morally irresponsible as the Democrats. If they were conservative, sure, I’d vote for them. Until then, they can pound sand. I’ll hold out for someone better. (At least until I’m done fighting bad guys on foreign soil. It’d be pretty tough to pull off a “Charlie Wilson” with today’s media.)

Send_Me on July 19, 2008 at 11:13 PM

until the American people wake the muck up.

Michael in MI on July 19, 2008 at 9:01 PM

Rip Van Winkle suffered sleep deprivation compared to Joe Public.

OldEnglish on July 19, 2008 at 11:14 PM

When the time comes to vote for your senator or representative, DO NOT VOTE FOR THE INCUMBENT!
elifino on July 19, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Just vote straight Republican.
The Democrats are going to have The US House of Representatives, The US Senate both with Super majorities and the Executive Branch IF Obama wins..
Do you want to live in a dictatorship?
Chakra Hammer on July 19, 2008 at 10:39 PM

Exactly.

Vote republican. It isn’t a hard concept to understand.

Vote the democrat out. Vote the republican in. While all republican’s aren’t always good, they do have their faults, it is always better to vote for republicans every time, because there are democrats voting for democrats every time, and we need to counter them.

wise_man on July 19, 2008 at 11:28 PM

can we start measuring the drapes?

the dems must live in their own little fantasy world. where the rainbows come out everyday and the campfires always have a song at the ready. where the wolves lay down with the lambs and the bears watchover the fish.

The americian economy is already tittering on the brink of recession with $4.00/gal. Are they mad? do they care? Or are they the elite snobs hungry for power and drunk with greed?

3 trillion dollars isn’t enough of our hard earned money for them to take? they want more? They will not be happy until they have it all and rule from on high.

Idiots.

unseen on July 19, 2008 at 11:34 PM

a gas-tax penalty at this point in time has to set a record for political stupidity.

You do not understand. the socalists WANT energy costs to go thru the roof! Pay closer attention to what they do and have been doing for over 20 years. The socialist stratagy is very clear and energy costs few can afford is one very important tactic to them.

allrsn on July 19, 2008 at 11:49 PM

The socialist stratagy is very clear and energy costs few can afford is one very important tactic to them.

allrsn on July 19, 2008 at 11:49 PM

It is becoming clearer everyday. Hopefully the citizens open their eyes before NOV.

Less energy means less freedom. More control by the government. Less travel less trade, less of everything, less upward mobility.

the democratic party the party of LESS

unseen on July 19, 2008 at 11:55 PM

because there are democrats voting for democrats every time, and we need to counter them

So to counter irrational thinking we, as conservatives, should also use irrational motives to choose our elected leaders? Because Democrats only vote Democrat, you’re saying that non-Democrats should vote Republican every time to counter them? I suppose this explains how people like ol’ Lindsey, Arlen and McCain got elected and re-elected time and again.

Send_Me on July 19, 2008 at 11:59 PM

If anybody wants to flame war this creep, he’s erected an even more restrictive email access than most. Not only do you have to know a zip code from his district, he’s hiding behind a zip plus four firewall.

Here’s a zip+four that works. 55102-2105 It took several tries, but this guy should get nailed repeatedly. Here’s my contribution…

Well, I’ve successfully cheated my way through the labryinth that you’ve created to deny the people of the United States of America from ever penetrating your well designed shield from critcism. The requirement to enter a plus four to the zip code was pretty nearly ingenious, but I shall not be deterred in my mission to contact this miscreant, no matter what obstacles you throw in my way. Since you are a committee chairman you should not be able to hide behind the mantle of ‘I only have to answer for the people who vote for me.’ That’s crap. You are personally screwing up my life and I will not be deterred.

So, you want to raise gas taxes to cover REAL highway projects after you have mismanaged the funds you already confiscate from the people? You’ve used your position as Highway Boy to erect a North Dakota Peace Garden, a Montana Baseball Stadium, and a Las Vegas History Museum. Thanks. That does a heck of a lot for people who use the roads in this country.
So now, in order to maintain your pork machine and actually do the job that you have been so negligent in doing, you are going to further punish the people by raising additional taxes? Well of course you are, darling.

Tell me. Does misappropriating funds make you randy? Yes. Of course it does..

pistolero on July 20, 2008 at 12:11 AM

>>>until the American people wake the muck up.

Don’t you mean: Fake the Wuck Up?

seanrobins on July 20, 2008 at 12:19 AM

…aaaand there goes the remaining 9% of the country that approves of the job the Donk congress is doing.

Wow! Never let it be said that when the Donks crash and burn, they don’t do it in spectacular fashion.

SuperCool on July 20, 2008 at 12:37 AM

Yup. I’m getting really sick & tired of these miscreant reprobate American Politicians ruining my country and driving my quality of life down farther and farther into the mud with their boot heel, while I’m forced to fight harder and harder trying to claw my way up. Year after year after year I work my @ss off, pay my taxes, and obey the laws. But no matter how many overtime hours I put in, no matter how hard I work, no matter how many raises in income over all my working years so far, it’s ALWAYS 3 steps forward and 2.5 steps back.

I am so fed up with our elected politicians and seeing their lying liar faces on TV and in magazines and in newspapers promising this and opining that, saying whatever comes to mind to benefit themselves and themselves only while they take a big fat dump, one after another, on our heads. And we just sit idly by and take it with no recourse but to bitch and moan about that which ails us in this country. No matter who gets elected, they always turn out the same. Self-righteous Self-important Self-serving politicians with solely their own agenda to advance.

I wouldn’t piss on any one of them if any one of them were on fire.

SilverStar830 on July 20, 2008 at 12:48 AM

The only way a strategy like this could possibly work is if they make the tax retroactive, a move I wouldn’t put past the Democrats. When will they learn that you can’t tax something without effecting behavior?

jbohanon on July 20, 2008 at 12:59 AM

Less energy means less freedom. More control by the government. Less travel less trade, less of everything, less upward mobility.

the democratic party the party of LESS

unseen on July 19, 2008 at 11:55 PM

Yet, they pretend to be the party of the little man/woman…hypocrits through and through.

Entelechy on July 20, 2008 at 1:04 AM

So, I have stopped blaming Democrats. They are simply playing on the ignorance of the American public. And they are going to continue to do so until the American people wake the muck up.

Michael in MI on July 19, 2008 at 9:01 PM

As always, very well said Michael. And the muck up they will wake, and it will be ugly.

Entelechy on July 20, 2008 at 1:08 AM

“Big Rock Candy Mountain”

Johan Klaus on July 20, 2008 at 1:22 AM

You have got to be $h!tt1n me!!! What planet are these fools from?

Gas taxes in Wisconsin are already over 54c per gallon for diesel, with state and local added in, and these morons want to raise it further?

…and I bet these same nitwits were whining about Big Oil gouging.

STOP EARMARKING US TO DEATH!

91Veteran on July 20, 2008 at 2:22 AM

they do have their faults, it is always better to vote for republicans every time, because there are democrats voting for democrats every time, and we need to counter them.

wise_man on July 19, 2008 at 11:28 PM

Well…not exactly.

Let’s suppose that conservatives do vote for a Republican candidate 100% of the time. Since Republicans don’t need to do anything to get those votes, they will feel comfortable trading away parts of the conservative agenda when it would improve their chances of getting elected.

You might say, well, what the heck, a moderate conservative, or even a plain moderate is better then a liberal, and you would be right.

Since politicians and parties are not perfect in predicting elections, and would certainly err on the side of caution, you’d then see the Republicans slowly but surely tacking left.

Now, I’m *not* suggesting the answer is third party votes every time the Republicans get scared and waffle a bit. But there should be some level of fear in crossing the conservative base that the Republicans just do not have right now.

Bush certainly bares significant blame for this – his stubborness is both a blessing and a curse – and McCain *will* follow this same pattern.

The real answer is to get better candidates in the primaries, but I think we’ve seen a pretty serious regression in that area (with Congressional races at least) in the last few years.

18-1 on July 20, 2008 at 2:33 AM

They couldn’t possibly be this stupid.

What feeds your optimism here? Their extensive logic and cleverness in the past?

Seriously, with that post on the front page; what (if anything) would lead anyone to believe there is a limit to how stupid the current batch of congress-critters can be?

gekkobear on July 20, 2008 at 3:48 AM

I’m glad to see this democrat Congress Of Change is working so dilligently for the Americans who voted them into power. I’m quite certain that the cut-and-run republicans are proud of themselves today. /sarc

No one needs to worry. This Congress is only capable of hearing after hearing after hearing. The Pelosicrats are as incompetent a bunch of ‘law makers’ as America has ever seen. Only the Halfrican American could do less [139 votes cast as 'present'].

DannoJyd on July 20, 2008 at 5:21 AM

Americans have placed their faith in money and government and we are shocked because both are failing? What made America great? Money. Government. Wrong.

saved on July 20, 2008 at 7:29 AM

This is the same kind of arrogance that led to the Shamnesty debacle, some people just don’t learn. I think the Democraps have an ingrained death wish, sometimes it gets applied to our foreign policy and sometimes to domestic policy.

JimK on July 20, 2008 at 8:09 AM

Pet projects/PORK should be eliminated all together. Why must I pay for a ball park in Montana or a bridge in Alaska I will never use. If a ball park is so damn important to the people in Montana then let them pay for it as they are the ones that will benefit.

I am so tired of MY tax dollars helping the politicians that don’t represent me get elected.

The elimination ALL pork spending is where we need to focus our efforts. It will have the trickle down effect of minimizing corruption as well.

frreal on July 20, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Does anyone question why the framers wrote the 2nd amendment after reading this deranged nonsense?

Wade on July 20, 2008 at 8:41 AM

It is their money.

Johan Klaus on July 20, 2008 at 9:14 AM

. I think the Democraps have an ingrained death wish, sometimes it gets applied to our foreign policy and sometimes to domestic policy.

JimK on July 20, 2008 at 8:09 AM

the democratic lemmings would vote for Hitler as long as he had a D after his name…..all they care about is getting their:

government check
governemnt contract

or some form of payback from the dems. thats why ‘christians’ vote for democrats….whats your morality compared to your money?

right4life on July 20, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Congress considers gas-tax hike.
Congress considers federal 55 mph speed limit.
Congress considers taxing SUV’s.
Congress considers thermostat limits for heat and air conditioning.
Congress considers mandating sweaters be worn indoors in winter.
Congress refuses to allow additional domestic gas or oil exploration, drilling or refining.
Congress refuses to allow construction of nuke power plants.

Makes me livid.

petefrt on July 20, 2008 at 9:38 AM

…aaaand there goes the remaining 9% of the country that approves of the job the Donk congress is doing.

Too bad 40% think the GOP still controls congress….

Ann NY on July 20, 2008 at 9:46 AM

You know, I am seeing a lot of commentary here like “I am mad”, “I am livid”, but I don’t see very many people here saying what needs to be done. So I will.

Any member of Congress who is seriously looking at raising the gas tax needs to be clobbered with as many phone calls, emails, text messages, and faxes as possible from their own constituency, letting them know just how stupid an idea this is right now.

They need to be forced to get their heads out of the proverbial sand and see that something like raising the gas tax is going to hurt people.

They need to be reminded of the reason they were voted into the offices they are serving in.

And if they just ignore all that and go ahead with this latest madness, they need to be recalled from their offices and replaced.

In other words, enough of the boo-hooing on this stuff! It is now time for people to take action!

So if you are mad, if you are livid, stop talking about!

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

pilamaye on July 20, 2008 at 9:50 AM

or some form of payback from the dems. thats why ‘christians’ vote for democrats….whats your morality compared to your money?

right4life on July 20, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Do you really believe that more Christians vote democrat?

Johan Klaus on July 20, 2008 at 10:14 AM

I think we need a new law that says that 6 months every 4 years each and every Senator and Rep. in DC will have to live on say $62,000(and that’s generous I think)dollars a year(before taxes). Strictly on that with none of their perks and bonuses available. They can take public transportation to the Capitol. They can eat in those crowded cafeterias the peons eat in at lunchtime. They can rent a condo somewhere near the metro line and listen to it night and day. (one allowance–they can still have their protection since they are so much disliked)Even in their home states they will have to live like that. Far fetched? Maybe, but it would put them back in touch with reality.

jeanie on July 20, 2008 at 10:26 AM

This world is made up of gatherers and thieves. The gatherers come in all shades and level of intensity. Ditto the thieves.

OldEnglish on July 20, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Just like my employer, the post office. People are mailing much less nowadays. So how do we entice the public to mail more? Raise the cost of postage!

jgapinoy on July 20, 2008 at 10:54 AM

It’s sad to see that your politics have degenerated into the same weird Orwellian double-speak that ours have where any lie can be called a “truth”.

We have the same kind of crap up here with the leader of the Liberal (national-socialist) party calling for a “Green Shift”

That’s where my money gets shifted into someone else’s bank account.

The tide needs to turn and soon, the left-lib social engineers need to be stopped before they impose more of their utopianism upon us.

G-man on July 20, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Instead of a gas-tax holiday, Congress considers gas-tax hike

Clearly the demOrats don’t know how to govern. The only solution will be at the voting booth.

VOTE THE DEMOCRAT BUMS OUT

byteshredder on July 20, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Just when you think the DEMS have it locked, WOW. Once again they SNATCH DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY!!! If this comes to fruition, you can put the proverbial FORK in this one. If the voters need a reason to vote the DEMS out, this will be it. I still can not believe this story, this is a APRIL FOOL story, right??? Look up STUPID in the dictionary, and a picture of CONGRESS is right next to it…

pueblo1032 on July 20, 2008 at 12:57 PM

It seems to me that every time congress talks about a tax increase people start chossing sides. I know that there is only one tax payer in the U.S. and that is the consumer.

Just once in my life I would to like to see an unbiased documented study of ALL the taxes U.S. citezens have to pay in the daily course of thier life. I truly think that most people would be stunned.

Tom
usmc 65-72

TomLawler on July 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Woops, I did misread this story – it’s not just a tax on diesel. D’UH.

Since the Dems think that Socialist Europe should be our model, here’s what’s going on in the U.K. (Note how not raising taxes is referred to as ‘robbing the treasury‘)

The government postponed on Wednesday a rise in fuel duty planned for October for at least another six months because of soaring world oil prices and in a bid to keep the headline rate of inflation down.

The widely anticipated move will rob the Treasury of around 500 million pounds this fiscal year at a time when the public finances are already deteriorating as the economy heads into a slowdown.

Tax on fuel was set to rise by 2 pence per litre on October 1, an increase that had already been deferred from April. Fuel duty had been frozen for several years previously.

“The global credit crunch and sharp rise in world oil prices have pushed up prices at the pump,” Chancellor Alistair Darling said in a statement. “Today’s decision will help motorists and businesses get through what is a difficult time for everyone.”

Buy Danish on July 20, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Do you really believe that more Christians vote democrat?

Johan Klaus on July 20, 2008 at 10:14 AM

given that over 90% of black americans do….and that a large number of hispanics do…and then there is the Jim Wallis ‘red letter’ uh ‘christians’ ….

lets say they call themselves christians…

right4life on July 20, 2008 at 2:51 PM

The question in Minn. is “What the heck did you do with the money that was suppose to go to the repair of bridges and roads”?????? Tax them more so the politicians can pork barrel spend themselves into another term of office will be their answer. Investigate those in office, put them in prison, destroy their empires, do some kicking and screaming for pity sakes.

mixplix on July 20, 2008 at 5:34 PM

I wonder if Congress will ask the taxpayer if they can afford a tax increase.

Snake307 on July 20, 2008 at 6:41 PM

The greatest writers of Greek tragedy and comedy, could not have written a story like this. Incredible!!!

c3ichief on July 20, 2008 at 11:54 PM

The RNC should run ads with every Dem name running for re-election plastered all over television in their districts announcing that these fools want to raise gas taxes AFTER spending gas tax money last year on visitor centers, peace gardens, ball stadiums, etc., instead of roads. They need to clobber these idiots with this irresponsible fiscal practice.

karenhasfreedom on July 21, 2008 at 6:00 AM

Just once in my life I would to like to see an unbiased documented study of ALL the taxes U.S. citezens have to pay in the daily course of thier life. I truly think that most people would be stunned.

Tom
usmc 65-72

TomLawler on July 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

I would like for congress to pass a law making it illegal to have any hidden taxes and for all taxes to be shown for every purchase. But, it will never happen.

Johan Klaus on July 21, 2008 at 9:58 AM

My flabber is just gasted! No, really!

Neocon Peg on July 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM

TOM usmc would like a study… It will never happen… Why do you think they take your WITH HOLDING TAX out every paycheck??? Because if you had to mail them a check in APRIL, there would be a tax revolt. It used to really PISS me off at tax time, to hear one of my co-workers say “boy, I’m getting back $4,000.00 from UNCLE SAM… I would ask, how much were your taxes??? “Well, I’m getting back 4,000… Yeah, but HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY??? “Getting 4,000 back…

pueblo1032 on July 21, 2008 at 11:45 AM

pueblo1032 on July 21, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Never could understand that either. I have mine set up to owe then between 0-$1,000 every year. the $1,000 amount is limit where you don’t have to pay penalties. So I get around a $500.00 loan interest free from the government every year. Got to love it. Most are giving the government an interest free loan.

unseen on July 21, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Our Democrat run legislature in MN managed to raise gas taxes this year. But they were sneaky about it. It will be a 47 percent increase when fully implemented, but they scheduled increases over several years… so we wouldn’t notice. :-)

I am sure our the House in its infinite wisdom will try and ram that through… Most likely to be stopped in the Senate.

Dasher on July 21, 2008 at 5:49 PM

pistolero on July 20, 2008 at 12:11 AM

They caught on to you… no more email capability… Hmmm, I wonder why?!?

Califemme on July 21, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Johan Klaus on July 21, 2008 at 9:58 AM

I would TOTALLY go for that!

upinak on July 21, 2008 at 6:39 PM

pueblo 1032
unseen

Both of you folks make valid points. Anyone who thinks a tax refund is good is dumber than a rock. unseen is right that it is better to owe a little than get a refund however this is only true if you invest the 83.3 dollars per month.
My goodness pueblo 1032′s example is at the heart of our problem. The person who gets a 4000 dollar refund should ask what could I have done with 333.3 dollars per month. I will not do the math here but I will say that if a person invests 300 plus a month he/she will be better off in the long run.

So now we come down to a study about taxes. I did say that the study should be unbiased. By unbiased I mean an independent review of all taxes. It is a fact that some people want to know the truth. Taxes will be exposed.

TomLawler on July 22, 2008 at 6:52 AM

They want a gax tax hike to make people as miserable as they can under this ‘evil Bush empire’. Miss 12% Percent Pelosi knows what she is doing.

malkinmania on July 22, 2008 at 7:00 AM

Oh my god.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little, excuse me.

lgodfrey88 on July 22, 2008 at 8:14 AM

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