Obama Mulls Replacing Gas Tax With Hefty Mileage Tax

One reason gas prices are so high is that the Feds impose a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gas. It’s 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel. We’ve had federal gas taxes since the 50’s to pay for highways and bridges, but since 1983, they started diverting about 20% of gas taxes to go to a Mass Transit Account that is supposed to pay for public transportation like buses and railways. So, those of us who don’t use mass transit are paying for those that do in the form of gas taxes. That’s socialism for you.

We’ve had the 18.4-cent per gallon tax since 1993 under the Clinton administration. Nowadays, with the further destruction of the dollar, that 18.4 cents just doesn’t buy what it used to. Now, the Highway Trust Fund (which includes the Mass Transit Account) is facing insolvency.

Some credit the loss of revenue to the fact that many are using more fuel-efficient cars and therefore not spending as much on gas. Isn’t that what Obama wanted? For people to use more “green” energy? And now, the Highway Trust Fund is running out of money.

That could be part of it, but billions of the gas tax revenues are used to fund pet mass transit projects, which those who drive cars generally don’t even use.

Whatever the cause, the Obama administration is thinking of scrapping the gas tax altogether. Sounds good so far, but they’re wanting to replace the gas tax with a pay-per-mile scheme. The Washington Examiner reported:

 “The average driver pays about $96 a year in federal gas taxes, said GAO. Should the administration seek to raise the highway trust fund from $34 billion to the $78 billion needed to fix and maintain roads, that could rise to $248. Translated into a pay-per-mile plan, drivers would face a tax of 2.2 cents per mile compared to the 0.9 cents they pay now. Trucks would pay far more.”

 In the past when the Highway Trust Fund ran out of money, they would just take money from the General Revenue Fund. If the federal government has to pay for highways and bridges, maybe they should just cut spending elsewhere and use the General Revenue instead of levying such heavy taxes on Americans, a fifth of which is used to pay for things that drivers don’t even use. With the economy the way it is, and with people’s paychecks going down, now is not the time to raise even more taxes on drivers.

The federal government could at least eliminate the Mass Transit Account, which is funded by our gas taxes. Writing for Reason magazine, Tim Cavanaugh pointed out that the Mass Transit Account hasn’t convinced more people to ride public transportation even in the past 30 years:

 “According to American Public Transportation Association, Americans in 1983 took 8.2 billion transit rides. In 2008, the last year with complete statistics, we rode the bus, commuter rail, paratransit, heavy rail, light rail, trolley-bus, or “other” 10.5 billion times. The Census Bureau has 1983 U.S. population at 234 million and 2008 U.S. population at 304 million. That comes to 35 rides per American in 1983 and 34.6 rides per American in 2008. “

 If states want to have public transportation, they should raise their own revenue and pay for it themselves instead of taking federal highway funds to build it. As for paying for highways and roads, we could cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Obama’s foreign policy expenditures and put those funds toward domestic infrastructure and not have to impose one penny of gas taxes to fund it.



Posted in Bureaucrats, Taxes Tagged with: , , ,
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corky-Corcoran/100002886439095 Corky Corcoran

    If any funding should be cut it should be the billions of dollars in funding given to these 3rd world nations for building their infrastructures of new roads, bridges, buildings, mosques and return our hard earned dollars to this country’s needs first! After all it is OUR monies that has been forfeited from our families and local communities.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Weiss/1318734279 Jon Weiss

    Anyone who believes this is a fool, or has simply not been paying attention. If you have been paying attention, you should know that for a left wing politician like Obama, there is never “enough” when it comes to collecting taxes. Therefore, when Obama says that he wants to “replace” the gas tax with a mileage tax, what he actually means is, that he wants a mileage tax in addition to the gas tax.

    In Kentucky we currently have a majority of Republicans in House of Representatives and two Republican Senators, but at the state level we have a sizable number of Democrats in the state legislature. About 20 years ago we were sold a bill of goods about the need for a state lottery to fix the states fiscal ills. It was told to us by the politicians that a lottery would bring in enough cash to fix all of our fiscal ills, improve the schools and allow for lower property taxes, well we voted in the lottery and now we have the state lottery, which makes millions of dollars every year. However the state is still in dire fiscal straits, the state employees pension fund is nearly totally unfunded, property taxes have increased the schools have gotten worse, and now we are being told by the state level Democrats that allowing casino gambling in the state will “bring in enough cash to fix all of our fiscal ills”, they are bringing us deja vu all over again.

  • http://twitter.com/YoRpFiSh YoRpFiSh

    The comments on this page are as vapid as the people making them. You folk are pathetic.

  • http://twitter.com/tn_phil61 Phillip


  • http://twitter.com/debraraes debra steinman

    I lost count of how many people I know who have long commutes to different cities, because they couldn’t find jobs (and couldn’t afford homes) any where else. And let’s not forget all those truckers out there, who are going to find their expenses going through the roof thanks to Barack (let’s kill more jobs and the economy) Obama.

  • http://www.facebook.com/crzydancer Richard Holmes

    obooboy should be taxed for all the hot air and crap he spews. The natio0nal debt woulde be erased with trillions left over.

  • http://theawakenednation.ning.com/profile/KevinMKeener Snowman8wa

    “…Now, the Highway Trust Fund (which includes the Mass Transit Account) is facing insolvency.

    Some credit the loss of revenue to the fact that many are using more fuel-efficient cars and therefore not spending as much on gas. Isn’t that what Obama wanted? For people to use more “green” energy? And now, the Highway Trust Fund is running out of money….”
    Question——–What makes the Post Turtle think that they will collect MORE REVENUE by an “action” of an individual?????…….Just as we (The Sovereign) can reduce our personal budgets, so can we reduce our unnecessary driving……….I have plenty of things locally to do with little driving needed.
    Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

  • dag43

    we have a dictator in office and Congress and the SCOTUS is to blame

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