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: , , ,
  • Bay0Wulf

    So … let me see if I understand this …

    Rather than cut spending … cut spending of gas taxes on “pork” … He/They are considering charging a “usage” tax which is higher so they can continue to spend it on whatever they want & financially force people to move closer to their destinations (urbanize the masses).

    Better yet, I would go one further, the “usage tax” would be applied but the “gas tax” won’t go away … it will be turned into something else.

    Notice the comment about Trucking paying “far more”? Being that I sometimes make my living driving a Semi Rig do you know who pays for these increases? Oh … at first the Driver or the Company … yeah they get pretty badly beat up … but sooner or later that increase … like in EVERY OTHER BUSINESS will be handed to the customer … that would be YOU … the consumer.

  • Lauralee Hensley

    I tried to copy and paste my response I gave here regarding this to my FB page and of course it wouldn’t and I don’t see it here either. Ahh well, wonder why.

  • Lauralee Hensley

    What I said is so they’ll either have to black box everyones vehicle to know the mileage or make you pay to go somewhere and have it recorded yearly. Surely they’ll pass the cost onto you. Feel sorry for everyone who now has to commute many miles to a new job that pays less than their old one that went overseas, since they can’t seem to sell their home that was in the town their old job was. Sorry for home health care nurses that don’t get any mileage reimbursements and have seen their pay actually cut in some instances due to less and less reimbursements from insurances, medicare and medicaid. Sorry to college students driving to college then to a job after school. Taxing over double to those actually willing to work, on top of all the other taxes is bull.

  • tiredofsocializm

    Wake up america!!!

  • headhunter

    what a joke, no he isn’t contemplating replacing one with the other. he is planning on adding one to the other. that way we have to pay to purchase, and pay to use.

  • CelticGyrl

    If you think the prices of goods and services are going up now, just wait until a mileage tax is placed on the trucking industry. Everything is moved by trucks! Our average load runs 1800 miles. We run between 4500-5500 miles/week…just 1 truck! Do the math. No matter how much freight is shipped by rail, you still have to get it to the stores in a truck! And, fresh produce and other refrigerated foods won’t last on rail!

  • Nelson Staples

    If they would raise our tax by 1/ 4th percent and take the gas tax off we all would win

  • melanie

    Does Obummer think his only task is to sit daily and try and come up with a NEW TAX for us to have to pay. And it seems there is NO ONE working in Congress. Correct OR are they up there??? By the way lots of our money has been sent to KENYA, anyone know about that? It has been a while but, we are not supposed to take care of his homeland and someone should tell him. The money was to back whoever is playing Dictator over there.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G75RVM5S3L2G2BHBHGAXG6X5PI Jim

    When the Government thinks up a new tax, they don’t use it to replace another tax. They make it an additional tax. So we will have the 18.4 cent per gallon gas tax PLUS the 2.2 cent per mile tax.
    It will be very easy to track your car to report the mileage. The On-Star in GM cars already can do it. If you have an accident, they will automatically send the police or ambulance to your location.
    My company has company vans and they fired one of our workers because his van was parked at a store too long. Security from 1500 miles away showed up and took his keys. They had a printout of every place he had been for the last two months. There was a GPS hidden under the dash that transmitted continuously. We found out that every van had one.

    If the usage tax passes, every vehicle will be required to have a black box in it, or the vehicle won’t run.
    By the way, when you see a diesel car running on vegetable oil, they get the fuel for free and they don’t pay tax. Their incentive for putting up with a car that smells like french fries will go away because the usage tax will kill them. Same with Electric cars.

  • RGH

    The America we love, is gone. Just wait and see what will happen this year now that he has another 4 yrs to finish his job and if he is not done he will stay in power until we’re totally destroyed. This man is so power hungry that he will do whatever it takes, no matter who gets hurt, to become famous as the “one” who destroyed America.
    People, pray daily! We still can fight back and, as christians, we have God on our side.
    Remember: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
    2 Chronicles 7:14

  • Paul Brown

    We are on the way to becoming a full blown third world country with this moronic muslim islamic pig. Whe do we wake up and make this nightmare go away for good. Impeach this pig already, if they have the guts, or maybe they don’t want to hurt their welfare checks and free give aways.

    • BigDog1702

      I’m with you we need to Inpeach Obama NOW

  • http://facebook.com/pkeyrich Philip K. Eyrich

    If commuters can no longer afford to get to work, we’ll see a huge shift in employment, likely with it increasing. Increased taxes on truckers is only passed on to consumers, so those not paying much for the travel tax will be paying it even if they don’t drive!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Perry-Wall/100002811879244 Perry Wall

    that wouldn’t be fare to salesmen or people that have to travel along way to get to work

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Lemon/100000733237588 Steven Lemon

    I USED to think the readers of this blog were more educated and knowledgeable than the dimwits that keep voting for nitwits like Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
    After reading many of these posts about THIS issue, however, my opinion has changed.

    I can’t believe how many of you don’t know that only the congress can create, delete or modify the tax laws.

    I think think the government has been spiking our TEA with KOOLAID.

    • Mudpuppy

      Oh, we know that it is only Congress that can create, delete or modify the laws, but in case you missed it, Obama is threatening to avoid Congress and do what he can via Executive Order as he has done in the past. And Congress doesn’t seem to want to do much to stop him. Hence the comments you mention. They need to locate their spine and do something about that proto-dictator.

  • AZWarrior

    Gee- ANOTHER tax for people making less than $250,000. This silver-tongued devil lies soooooooo easily, doesn’t he?

  • oldtimer

    We need to impeach the Marxist Muslim puppet.

  • Macspuds3

    Very god article.

  • Relgne

    A very long time ago, I knew that China would abandon the bicycle for cars and America wil embrace to ride bicycles in favor of cars. That was the plan, and now we can see it slowly come to pass.

  • Inluminatuo

    GPS on all cars regulated by the government to see where you drive and who you go to visit. Big Brother Socialist is watching you, and about to tax your pants off.

  • Public_Citizen

    The theft of Highway Trust Funds for mass transit projects is just one more example of the urban masses stealing from the rural areas that make their urban lifestyles possible.
    The attempt to impose a mileage tax will make it impossible to maintain the contract that formed this country.
    The only way for rural Americans to recoup the money that will inevitably be confiscated and used for urban projects will be to drastically raise the cost of FOOD, FUEL, and RAW MATERIALS that is shipped to those urban areas to the point where the urban mass transit rider will STARVE as the cost of food spirals out of control.
    Meanwhile, old cars that have analog instrumentation will become valuable treasures, carefully cared for and rebuilt by those who are forced by work or family situation to travel long miles.

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