OMG: Congressional Democrats Pushing To RAISE Federal Gas Tax by 50%
The report by the AP, which was pounced on by smaller news agencies, has received little attention by major news agencies who are seemingly obsessed with a presidential nominee.
In perhaps the most distasteful and contrarian effort yet, stories are surfacing through news agencies this morning of a private congressional talks that would actually raise the Federal Gas Tax by approximately 50%. That's right, a 50% increase in the federal gas tax at a time when Middle Class and Lower Class Americans, along with the backbone of our economy, the trucking industry, are suffering from oil prices that have more than doubled since the beginning of 2007.
Fueled by reports that funding for Highway projects will continue to fall short of actual costs, the AP has reported that Congressional Democrats are privately discussing and pushing for a 10 cent per gallon increase in the federal gas tax imposed upon both gasoline and diesel fuels. According to the AP, Congressional Democrats are currently writing legislation for the increase to be included in the 2009 Highway funding act. Currently the tax, which was passed to be a temporary tax, is 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 23.4 cpg on diesel fuel.
Democratic leadership is pushing for the increased taxes based upon a current shortfall in Federal Highway funding, a shortfall that will only increase as long as the current leadership continues to fail to enact legislation aimed at lowering fuel prices. Just three years ago the federal highway fund reported a budget surplus, but as oil prices have risen, so have the costs of the heavy machinery and asphalt that is used in highway projects. It is the rising cost of oil that has created the budget shortfall, and this congress apparently feels that increasing fuel prices further will magically solve the problem.
Congressional Democratic Leadership, running on a platform of lower oil prices in 2006, has failed to enact a single piece of legislation aimed at lowering fuel prices. This summer, they have held up legislation put forth by Republican leadership aimed at increasing domestic oil production and increased funding for federal commodities regulators (the regulators who provide oversight to the "speculators"). In fact the only legislation that current Congressional leadership has pushed for is the so-called "use it or lose it bill" which would double the land-lease rates on offshore drilling.
Middle Class Americans are being hammered at the pump and at retail checkout counters. Last month, consumer inflation rose by over 1%, driven by high oil prices. This fall consumers will face a double-whammy as they turn on their furnaces, only to find that home heating costs have also skyrocketed. Inflation is only likely to rise, as the trucking industry, the backbone of our economy, continues to reel from increased fuel prices. Yet, despite a growing concern over stagflation, congressional Democratic leadership is proposing a tax on the very product whose high prices are damaging our economy.
The report by the AP, which was pounced on by smaller news agencies, has received little attention by major news agencies who are seemingly obsessed with a presidential nominee. It is time, that the press reports this travesty and that American people realize that the current congressional leadership is a disaster who has shown no ability to pass legislation based upon the concerns and needs of middle class Americans.