Dems want a new gas tax now it is finally cheaper

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Replies

  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    You are right..............how many toll roads went free or bridges.............very few in my lifetime I have seen. Sure, they all start out with the same story, just until we pay off construction costs, but then they start liking the extra revenue and it is like pulling teeth to get them to give it up long after the project is paid fer.

    I've been paying tolls to get to the Houston International Airport for 30 years and that thing still ain't paid for, LOL! Seriously, think about how long just that one toll road, the Sam Houston Toll Way, has been in operation and how much traffic goes through it daily and consider the fees charged. There's a whole lot of money going in somebody's pocket. Now I see why a guy I used to know boycotts it and times his travel to low traffic times and drives on traditional roads like Hwy 59, I 45, 10 and 610. I do it myself now when possible.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,149 Senior Member
    The government will NEVER stop taking money from it's citizens if it can get away with it. Low taxes and small budgets are obsolete.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,115 Senior Member
    The gas tax hasn't been raised in 22 years. The cost of building roads has. The number and size of cars has. Currently the constantly growing deficit in the federal highway budget is coming out of income taxes instead of gas taxes or projects just aren't getting done. Can't have nice things if you aren't willing to pay for them.
    With increased fuel economy, hybrids, and electric cars, a better option would be to go to a mileage tax. An electric car ain't paying a fuel tax, a hybrid pays less in fuel taxes than a 1/2 ton pickup, and a modern car will pay less in fuel taxes than an older car all due to lower gas useage.

    Raising the gas tax is not necessarily the answer as it would burden one portion of the population and subsidize others.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Horselips, lets start by screwing a licence plate to your butt and charging you dearly !

    Everywhere I go has a parking lot so I generally don't use sidewalks. If you do, get out your checkbook.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I am of the opinion that bicycles are non polluting, have little wear on roads and as such should be exempt from all fees.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    I am of the opinion that bicycles are non polluting, have little wear on roads and as such should be exempt from all fees.

    Doc, you miss the point. Nobody is exempt from taxes. Whether a bicycle is the greenest machine around, the DummyCraps will figure out a way to tax it if you give em half a chance.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,115 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Welcome to the USA
    I know. The issue I pointed out is why Portland, I think, has gone to a mileage tax. Reporting and confriming is difficult, and there's been some blowback. Those who tend to side with Republicans don't like it because it's another tax. The Birkenstock-wearing hybrid and electric car users don't like it because it's an additional cost (in some cases a bit more) that they hadn't factored in. But if you're driving a car but not paying any road taxes, you're getting a free ride. And usually those with hybrids and electric cars aren't on the low end of the economic spectrum.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    Personally, if we have to have a federal transportation tax, I'm for using it to create a mass transit system that working people don't mind using. The states used to finance their own roads, and they could do it again if half of the 'pressure' was removed from the main thoroughfares. The mistake we made a long time ago was letting our train systems come to be viewed as second class transportation. If we put the same amount of thought and effort into it as we do for highways, it could be a pleasurable experience.

    Besides, it's a perfect issue for Democrats, and one that Republicans might compromise on, because it actually makes sense.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,115 Senior Member
    I think Bisley has a point about the train system. My area of FL has recently started a commuter train transportation method called "SunRail." By all accounts it's a nice way to travel from Volusia and Orange County to Orlando. Stops are in or near areas where folks would like to walk and shop, or close enough that a shuttle service can take them to businesses they'd like to use (the airport, for example.) The initial problem is that it only runs on business days during business hours, not on weekends or evenings. But they're working to expand it, and hopefully it'll be a workable solution and one that cuts down on I-4 congestion, if only a little.

    Something Bigslug pointed out a while back is that if we weren't so impatient for the delivery of goods, demanded fresh, out of season, non-local produce, and were willing to dial things back a few years we could ship a lot more stuff by rail, removing some of the semis from the roadways and cutting costs.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Personally, if we have to have a federal transportation tax, I'm for using it to create a mass transit system that working people don't mind using. The states used to finance their own roads, and they could do it again if half of the 'pressure' was removed from the main thoroughfares. The mistake we made a long time ago was letting our train systems come to be viewed as second class transportation. If we put the same amount of thought and effort into it as we do for highways, it could be a pleasurable experience.

    Besides, it's a perfect issue for Democrats, and one that Republicans might compromise on, because it actually makes sense.

    It was deeper than that. People considered it second class because the masses road it. If it's cheap enough almost anybody can ride it lets a whole nuther class on the bus, and it did. And some people just won't ride sitting next to the garbage man. That's a fact. But when you make it that cheap then you have to have everybody riding, not just the bottom feeders.

    Also, Americans that can afford it are stubborn about their automobiles. We are in love with our car. Am I going to take a train when I can be independent and go as fast as I want (within the law of course) or stop at every wide spot in the road for a cup of coffee and see the sights. Also, if we smoke we can if we want where in mass transit you have to step out on the wing of the plane to enjoy your favorite ciggy. And the airlines frown on that. But seriously the average middle class American is funny like that. Perhaps some day in the not too distant future things will get so tight we have to forgo these luxuries and ride the bus or train. But I believe things will have to get much worse than they are now for that to happen.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    My wife and I took a vacation to Washington, D.C. in 1996. We flew in and took a taxi to a moderately priced hotel, which turned out to be near some of the embassies and about a quarter mile or less from the nearest Metro station. We had intended to rent a car, but since there were some sights to see nearby, decided to walk around for awhile before renting a vehicle, since traffic was pretty thick. We happened onto the Metro and took the escalator down to look it over. We were both tired, and all the maps and instuctions seemed pretty baffling for a couple of east Texas hicks, so we just walked back to the hotel and get a fresh start the next day.

    Next day, we wake up fresh and ready to tackle whatever, so we loaded up on the first train that came through and rode around till we understood the system. It was great - we saw everything we had time to see for three days, including Arlington, without ever having to fight traffic or hunt parking places. We saved money, saw things we would have missed from a car, and visited with folks along the way that we would have missed. I was deeply impressed, and a little bit less critical of the Europeans than I had been.

    Of course, that was the nation's capital, so if it was going to work anywhere, it would be there. But, still, it could work other places, including rural areas, to relieve Interstate traffic.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    It was deeper than that. People considered it second class because the masses road it. If it's cheap enough almost anybody can ride it lets a whole nuther class on the bus, and it did. And some people just won't ride sitting next to the garbage man. That's a fact. But when you make it that cheap then you have to have everybody riding, not just the bottom feeders.

    Also, Americans that can afford it are stubborn about their automobiles. We are in love with our car. Am I going to take a train when I can be independent and go as fast as I want (within the law of course) or stop at every wide spot in the road for a cup of coffee and see the sights. Also, if we smoke we can if we want where in mass transit you have to step out on the wing of the plane to enjoy your favorite ciggy. And the airlines frown on that. But seriously the average middle class American is funny like that. Perhaps some day in the not too distant future things will get so tight we have to forgo these luxuries and ride the bus or train. But I believe things will have to get much worse than they are now for that to happen.

    Well, that is the problem. People refuse practical solutions when it doesn't help what they personally want to do. The solution, of course, is for them to drive their vehicle like they always have, though the roads might not be as smooth.

    It would have to be sold to the public and no politician would vote for it unless his constituents were at the very least split right down the middle. Its time has not come yet, for sure, but if it ever does, it would be nice to have a few test projects under our belts.

    EDIT: I thought of a situation where you might have preferred a train.

    I used to drive I-20 for about 25 miles to work, and the traffic can be pretty annoying at times. For one thing, there is a steady stream of gamblers traveling from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to Bossier City, La. ("going to the boats" is the local phrase). If they could catch a train, and could buy their tickets round trip, they could read a book on the way, then gamble, eat at a great buffet and drink 'free' beer all day, until they were broke. All they would have to do is find their way back to the train and sleep or sober up on the ride back home. And, all those 18 wheelers wouldn't have to watch out for those sleepy/drunk drivers that are always trying to get under their wheels. :jester:
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,330 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    It was deeper than that. People considered it second class because the masses road it. If it's cheap enough almost anybody can ride it lets a whole nuther class on the bus, and it did. And some people just won't ride sitting next to the garbage man. That's a fact. But when you make it that cheap then you have to have everybody riding, not just the bottom feeders.

    Being a compulsive car user I can testify about that, but it's also more than only the reason you're mentioning.
    Here I wouldn't take ANY form of public transportation, not even if they will be handling free burgers and coffee, but don't care to do it in Chile when visiting the in-laws and not always a spare car is available for us (Soon will be able to even board it a couple of blocks from my M.I.L's house and reach the airport). Why? 'cause most users are polite, the subway system is great (But as crowded & cramped in rush hours as anyplace in the world....that's inevitable) and specially both clean (And I mean CLEAN...have seen E.R.s dirtier than this) and safe. I think that if you manage to keep a massive rail transport system spotless, well-cared and with evident signs of security, people will slowly feel compelled to use it, specially for everyday work commute.
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,464 Senior Member
    Streetcars/commuter trains and such only work well in densely populated areas, or in connecting less densely populated areas to those with higher populations. It works between Harvard IL and Chicago because there are enough folks wanting to ride between those cities and the cities in between. DC is another place it works. It wouldn't work between Janesville and Madison WI because there just aren't enough folks travelling between those two cities regularly to make it feasible. The problem with having Uncle Sugar run such things is that bureaucrats will decide to build, run and maintain it even if it doesn't make sense, won't come close to paying for itself, and won't make anything 'better'. Mass transit (especially light /commuter rail) is, IMO, the next big jobs program for Uncle, and I think the push we have seen to implement it is nothing compared to what will come.

    Raising the gas tax in a significant way may just be a 'two birds, one stone' kind of thing for our political masters...
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
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