NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 18, 2008

A federal panel wants to triple the gasoline tax to improve the nation's infrastructure.  A better solution is to limit spending from gasoline tax revenues to essential -- and real -- highway projects, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).


  • A mere 60 percent of revenues collected from the gas tax are left for essential road work.
  • One-tenth of federal transportation spending is pork; in the last transportation bill, more than 6,000 pet projects costing $24 billion drained money away from where it was needed.
  • Gas tax revenues are used to fund bike paths, nature trails, pedestrian walkways, visitors centers, public parks, parking lots and museums.

In an era of painfully high retail fuel prices, the average U.S. household is paying roughly $214 in federal gasoline taxes each year, says IBD.  Add in state and local levies and the total ranges from $313 in Alaska to $588 in California.  Congress shouldn't dare ask for more.

Yes, the country's roads and bridges need work.  It would be wrong, though, to pry more money from motorists when the job can be done by spending current revenues they way they are supposed to be spent.  The problem is not a lack of revenues, but a lack of character in Washington, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "Bridge To Our Wallets," Investor's Business Daily, January 16, 2008.


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