I’d like to think I’m patient and open-minded, slow to anger and judge, at least until I get all the facts. I’d like to think I’m like that, but apparently I’m not . . . at least not when it comes to actions or potential actions of Congress. Boy, how easy is it to react fast to that!
Like, how about a new proposal floating around Congress to raise the federal tax on gasoline by 55% and diesel by 42%. Apparently Congressman James Oberstar (D-Minnesota) or Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) think it’s a good idea. Oh, sure it is . . . what with energy already sucking the life out of most American’s discretionary income these days, Congress can just add a little more pain!
These two Reps reportedly have been circulating a dissertation prepared by the Transportation Construction Coalition. You guessed it – the coalition is made up of construction companies and unions. They’re alleging that thousands of construction jobs could be lost if Congress doesn’t increase gas taxes to make up for any reduction in gas tax income that results from people buying less gas due to high prices! All the federal gas tax revenue goes into the Highway Trust Fund. Guess who gets that money?
Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that a 90-day summer “gas tax holiday” for all of us was being discussed? Now, not only hasn’t Congress given us any “holiday” from the current fed tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, but some think bumping it up another dime makes sense. Now I know my thinking is probably screwed up, but that seems like a 28.4 cents turnaround in my thinking and is typical of the demagoguery our Congressman and Senators can exhibit today.
I don’t know about you, but I’m already tired of being told by the presidential (both Senators) and congressional candidates that the nation’s big problem is Washington, as if they’re some third party independent observers. I want to jump up and yell: “Hello — you are in Congress, which means you are the problem! And, any suggestion that hiking the gas tax in these times would make good public policy just illustrates how much of a problem you are!”
While I expect this proposal will meet with a lot of resistance, remember we’re talking about Congress and no one knows better than the boating industry that Congress has a track record of doing that which makes little sense (can you say “luxury tax” or “Coast Guard user fees?”)