Republicans open to the idea of a gas tax hike

  • 9 January 2015
  • NormanL
gas tax hike broke

The new congress">Congress is barely a week old and already, some republicans">Republicans are entertaining the idea of increasing taxes:

Sen. Jim Thune (R-S.D.) signaled...that Republicans might be open to negotiating increasing the gas tax in order to pay for the highway infrastructure spending bill that expires in May.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Thune said that while he is opposed to increasing the gas tax, lawmakers will need to “keep all options” available when they return to Washington this week.

“I don’t favor increasing any tax,” Thune said. “But I think we have to look at all options.”

Good grief.

If the good Senator really wants to 'look at all the options,' then we strongly suggest he ask why the Highway Trust Fund is going bankrupt. It's not because the federal gas tax is too low. It's because the money in the Fund is being spent on a lot of things that have nothing to do with building roads:

Tax-and-spend politicians like to use the word "infrastructure" in speeches a lot because when you say that word, most of us think of those vital roads and bridges. And who could possibly oppose improving our roads and bridges or at least keeping them safe?

But look a little more closely, and you find that the term "infrastructure spending" in Washington and many state capitals is slapped on to a lot of things that have nothing to do with what should be considered normal transportation.

I'm talking about spending for hiking trails, bus lines in towns with fewer than 50,000 people with no demonstrated need for mass transit, and millions for a museum in honor of the long-defunct Packard luxury car.

Washington has a nasty habit of robbing trust funds to pay for projects that otherwise wouldn't pass the laugh test.  That Republicans are toying with the idea a tax increase to fund even more of this theft is unconscionable.