The lede in the TV news story is, "Lower gas prices are making it harder to repair failing highway bridges." (Oddly, other reports tell us gas prices are going up!) The story goes on to explain that with Federal gasoline taxes at 21 cents on the gallon, poor old Uncle Sam can't afford to hire repairs.
That may be true -- but lower gas prices mean people are likely to drive more, and since the tax is per gallon rather than per dollar, the Feds stand to make more.
The news story goes on to imply that the Federal gas tax needs to be increased, with various sources calling for increases from smallish to onerous -- but "not as much tax income as the Feds say they need" is not the same as "low gas prices."
The end result is a news story sneakily in favor of increasing your gasoline taxes. Maybe they should go up; the story certainly had plenty of examples of bridges falling apart, and claimed this was due to insufficient funds. But it was inherently misleading and appallingly ignorant.
Also, why there aren't more Federal toll roads? And remind me again why the low-income guy tootling along city streets on a 49cc scooter needs to help pay for my occasional freeway travel? If we're gonna pay to keep the roads fixed, let's pay to use them, not to burn gasoline and diesel.
4 weeks ago