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Call Your Congressman to Raise Gas Tax!

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?”)

Comments

12 comments on “Call Your Congressman to Raise Gas Tax!

  1. Danieljs

    I grew up in Minnesota (I’ve since moved) – so its no shocker that one of the state’s leaders is suggesting such a huge hike in tax. MN is already taxed way too much.. lets find out where we’re losing money first..before we pour more money into a bag with holes.

  2. Terry Wood

    Norm I’m with you. It’s all a bunch of people making hundreads and thousands of dollars a year trying to get richer and screw the average hard working people that are this country. When will the revolution start!! history always repeats itself.

  3. Chuck

    There are only two people you need to email. Your Senator and Representative. Their email addresses are found @ http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov . Be pointed in your remarks that their votes will determine how you vote in the next election. Make it cleas you have a say in them keeping their job working for you. Not only this issue but any issue you feel needs a push. We can take charge by voting them out and changing the system.

  4. Doug Reimel

    We as a group, including the RV industry, ATV, and any other recreational product do not work together as a collective effort. The gas tax increase is soley to protect high paying UNION job. Yes they are jobs that spend money with our business. Yet nobody is trying to protect my business, my JOB, MY WAY OF LIFE. Politicians are out of touch with mainstreem America. WE need to elect Business men and women to public office not career politicians with Degrees in Political Science. Until we all collectively make our voices heard we will be ignored. When is the MRAA, NMMA and the other recreational organizations going to voice our opinions. Were is the web based Petiton for our voices to be heard. OUR leadership is collecting a PAY CHECK for sitting on the sidelines and watching. IS ANYBODY OUT THEIR??

  5. Jeff Grigg

    Hey, how about a novel idea? Lets get rid of the federal taxes on gasoline sold at marinas. Die the gas, and require it to be dispensed into a boat. This will lower the cost to the boating consumer and help save hundreds of jobs. The taxes are used for highway infrastructure not boating related.
    They were able to do it with diesel, why not gas?

  6. SusanDress

    If you want to keep keep driving the increased gas tax might not be that bad an idea.
    John McCain was silly to propose a gas tax holiday: though it did help prove his statement that he is not strong on economics. The percentage of tax paid on fuel by Americans is the lowest of any industrialized country in the world. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12452503/) Yet we are the nation with the most cars and most highways. New construction and maintenance of those highways has to be paid for somehow. Are you willing to write that check? It makes sense to have the ones using the roads the most pay the most for upkeep. On the other hand, any sales or use tax hits hardest on those who can least afford it. Instead of a gas tax holiday for all, giving a targeted tax refund to the lower income classes. tied directly to the amount of money they spend on fuel, or based on mileage, would help reduce the impact of any gas tax increases. Of course it still doesn’t help with the huge percentage of that gallon of gas cost that has nothing to do with government taxes, does it. (18.4 cents going to the government compared to $3.805 going to the gas station and gas companies).
    Oh, and it’s not just the construction industry that says more funding is needed for roads:
    “The nonpartisan National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission concluded in a report this year that the U.S. needs to spend $225 billion annually over the next 50 years to create a highway and transit system capable of sustaining strong economic growth. Current spending, at federal, state and local levels, is about $90 billion a year.”
    (http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_9934418?source=commented-)
    I don’t like taxes any more than the next person does: but I also am really afraid of what our roads and bridges are going to look like 20 years from now if we don’t find a solution to this problem.

  7. Doug Reimel

    Yes Europe has higher taxes. Yes they are smaller in size. Yes their GDP (gross domestic product) has not grown in 30 years. Yes, We pay more in taxes we as consumers than you realize because we use more. By using more we spend more, sending more money to the Government than most can count. Why are we as Americans wanting to emulate a society that our four fathers left for ideas that did not work then and still don’t work today. This is America!

  8. dave boso

    Well when you are educated in the public school system, beliving every thing your teachers tell you, Finish that not knowing how to read or figure. Then get into a state college, major in “touchy, feelie”was born with a silver spoon in your mouth, decide you want to;” change the world with your little song” Run and get elected to Congress, then try to run the country when you don’t know how to “run your own life”. We get a bunch of “jerks” like we have in DC now,. So is it any wonder that we get laws that damage us worse than some enemy ever could.
    Boys and Girls ; we have to throw them all out. Lower the pay and benift packages they get, limit terms to 2 years, keep them in a dorm in Dc for 3 months a year, give them a meal ticket, and a small stipen. then we will have a Congress that the framers wanted.
    Until that time we will put up with a bunch of; “ninnies” fumbling in the dark.

    Does that sound harsh?

    Good.

  9. SusanDress

    None of you have answered the big question: how are we going to pay for road/bridge construction and maintenance. Bush came out with a new plan this week: I haven’t heard or read all the details yet, but it seems to revive an idea I first read about in 2004: charging tax based on the actual miles people drive. The government would install a device in cars that would let them know exactly how many miles you’ve driven: and then would send out tax bills based on that mileage. Now that’s a really scary thought, isn’t it: the government knowing exactly where your car is every minute of every day. A little too Orwellian for me.

  10. dave boso

    Susan;
    If you want to be amazed do this; call your state dept of commerce, they will give you a total of how mant gallons of gas is sold in your state in , one day , one week, etc. now figure the amount of state tax on a gallon, then figure the fed. tax multiply that by the gallons;;; your caculator will max itself out and you will wonder what they do with all that money.

    I did it.

  11. david yish

    Susan,
    I don’t understand how you can call John McCain’s gas tax holiday is silly when you propose a gas tax increase (I am assuming per gallon) only to follow it up with a gas tax refund based on milage? That sees sillier to me. Why not get it right and save me the trouble of trying to get the money that I guess I was overtaxed back later? Oh, that would be like the existing income tax system! I agree that there needs to be something done to handle our infrastructure (bridges are collapsing again (we had one in CT years ago on I 95) but why should boaters be asked to carry the burden of the highway system?

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