NPR: Oberstar on Gas Tax, Stimulus

Oberstar on raising the gas tax to fund the Interstate Highway System:

“But in those days there was a sense of destiny, of future, of what is good for America — not what is good for my political career. But what we’ve had in the last 12 years is a no-tax philosophy, and so there’s not been an increase in the user fee, the gas tax, since 1993.”

Read the whole piece (with a link to the audio).

5 responses to “NPR: Oberstar on Gas Tax, Stimulus”

  1. Depending on what *else* the federal gas tax pays for, based on some back-of-the-envelope math it looks like the 2008 budget of the FHWA could be covered with about a 17 cent tax increase per gallon, which sounds reasonable. Any one of actual user fees (tolls) or congestion pricing, or transferring the ownership and management to the states would be greatly superior, IMO. But this is better than paying for it out of other taxes.

  2. And let’s make sure there is a dollar per ride additional tax on transit and a $100.00 plus annual bicycle registration fee to cover that “what else the federal gas tax pays for”. NO increase in the gas tax is reasonable to subsidize transit or pay for infrastructure for the pedal pushing freeloaders.

  3. $100.00 plus annual bicycle registration fee

    I’m fine with that…as long as there’s also a $100.00 plus annual credit for trying to have better health and control a little bit of the massive amount of money spent on health care for obesity and other things.

  4. There should be a surcharge for insulating your house as well as a bike fee. The logic is the same…reduce energy consumption and you pay extra.

  5. Jason McHuff wrote: there’s also a $100.00 plus annual credit for trying to have better health

    Talk to your health insurance company. Healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government (unless you are in the 1/3rd of Americans who receive nationalized healthcare – government employees and pensioners, members of the military, those receiving medicare/medicaid benefits, and families of the above).

    The logic is the same…reduce energy consumption and you pay extra

    So, then why don’t we just pay for everyone to live in energy efficient, close in housing?

    We could, except that all of our urban investment dollars are going to subsidize wealthy developers who are pricing their housing units above market cost.

    I agree, we shouldn’t subsidize the rich. There is absolutely no reason why anyone who can afford a $400,000 condo needs any form of government assistance to do so, when someone who can’t afford more than a $150,000 home is forced to live in a 1970s stick built, inefficient home east of I-205 – thanks to government intervention and manipulation of the housing market.

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