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View Full Version : Obama Picks Gas Tax For First Round of Fiscal Fight



malloc
09-01-2011, 03:31 AM
Obama Starts Fall Campaign with Defense of Gas Tax

“Today, POTUS will call for extension of the transportation bill which expires 9/30. If not extended, nearly a million will be out of work. Normally, we wouldnt have to worry about this, but the FAA debacle shows we cant assume people wont use it as a chance to drive their agenda”

-- Tweet from White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer

President Obama wants Congress to quickly pass an unconditioned extension of the federal gasoline tax, which is set to expire at the end of the government’s fiscal year on Sept. 30.
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The federal gas tax has been 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993 and generates more than $32 billion a year that is then mostly passed out to states for road construction and repair. About 15 percent goes to other federal efforts, like subsidizing public transportation or other efforts to discourage driving. The average American motorist pays about $100 a year in the federal tax.

Conservatives in Congress want to cut out the federal middleman and allow states to raise and spend their own road money. Not only would letting states collect the taxes directly reduce the money spent on federal behavioral engineering efforts (bike paths etc.), but would also allow states to avoid federal laws that require union workers be used on highway projects.

House Republicans already made a big change to the way highway dollars are allocated. Before the 2010 “shellacking” the Highway Trust Fund was a slushy spot. Influential appropriators worked hard to get the first spade full of dirt turned over on decades-long projects in their districts because they knew that they could, in essence, obligate the federal government. Then when bills came due, the Trust Fund would have to get a bailout from general revenues in order to complete already authorized projects.

Under the new Boehner rules, big projects have to be accounted for. Start a $10 billion project, budget $10 billion.

This has changed the way the highway appropriations process works. While fewer projects are being started, the intention is that more will be completed and that costs will be more predictable. Old-line appropriators resisted, to say nothing of complaints from contractors and unions who preferred the less-rigid requirements of the previous process.

When the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO join with the president today at the White House to call for the “clean” extension of the tax, many will talk about strange bedfellows, etc. But the large contractors and big unions have always shared an interest in maintaining the status quo. When tax advocates say “even the Chamber of Commerce favors increasing the gas tax” they act as if it were the Club for Growth. The Chamber represents its members, not a particular point of view, and its members like federal highway spending.

LINK (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/31/obama-picks-gas-tax-for-first-round-fiscal-fight/#ixzz1WgR3PVGN)


Boehner's house should offer an extension of the gas tax, but only offer a bill to the Senate and President's desk which allows the State's to directly collect and appropriate the gas tax revenue. The gas tax is a "good tax" in some ways because it is across the board, it isn't progressive, and commerce needs infrastructure. However, we need to get union fangs out of this coffer, and we need to make sure blank checks aren't issues to contractors based on long-term projects that are funded only for the short term.

I hope Boehner can pull it off! It would be a huge win for Republicans, and a big bow to the Big Labor who need another crushing blow after Wisconsin. It's time the Federal government takes a stand and puts these vampiric unions in their place. I'd also like to see a domestic production (i.e. drilling permit) deal pushed into this fight.

txradioguy
09-01-2011, 03:52 AM
Boehner should tell the President "Well agree to the extension of the gas tax if you a) release your regulatory stranglehold on offshore drilling and b) allow energy companies to begin going after shale oil and proven reserves in the U.S. to get us off of dependency on foreign oil."

Alternately if Obama balks at that offer (which he would) I'd let the tax expire and then go to the people and tell them that as a way to help the middle class in this horrible Obama economy.

malloc
09-01-2011, 03:57 AM
Boehner should tell the President "Well agree to the extension of the gas tax if you a) release your regulatory stranglehold on offshore drilling and b) allow energy companies to begin going after shale oil and proven reserves in the U.S. to get us off of dependency on foreign oil."

Alternately if Obama balks at that offer (which he would) I'd let the tax expire and then go to the people and tell them that as a way to help the middle class in this horrible Obama economy.

Plus, if Obama balks at it, States with failing infrastructure would be free to impose their own tax on the gasoline. I think they would anway, I'm not sure if there's another law that bars them from doing so in lieu of the Federal gas tax bill.

lacarnut
09-01-2011, 07:23 AM
Boehner should tell the President "Well agree to the extension of the gas tax if you a) release your regulatory stranglehold on offshore drilling and b) allow energy companies to begin going after shale oil and proven reserves in the U.S. to get us off of dependency on foreign oil."

Alternately if Obama balks at that offer (which he would) I'd let the tax expire and then go to the people and tell them that as a way to help the middle class in this horrible Obama economy.

That is a great idea. I doubt that Boehner would do it. In fact, he offered up elimination of subsidies for the oil companies right out of the starting blocks during the debt debate. Resuming offshore drilling would create thousands of good paying jobs along the Gulf Coast and increase production.

fettpett
09-01-2011, 09:42 AM
Boehnner and the GOP should just start sending small and medium business tax cuts, gas tax cuts, income tax cuts, payroll tax cuts, and anything else that will affect individuals and small/medium businesses to the Senate, Then go out and explain how they will help the individuals and business to help stimulate the economy. Put it all on the Dems shoulders for not passing them.