An economist I am not and I just scarcely understand what in the hell is going on financially in our country, as there is so much to take in and so much to consider. I am, a lowly homemaker, left to sort it all out and figure out whom to trust and to believe.
It is interesting that out of the six people who voted in my poll about drilling in Anwr, four voted against the drill. My weekly blog stats averages to about 80 readers a day. As I said, only six responded. Now I read today that our lawmakers are quietly talking about raising fuel taxes by a dime from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel fuel. The construction industry has urged Congress to take this action saying that having less to spend on highways could create a pre-election specter of thousands of lost jobs.
Many jobs will be lost and each state would loose money. Three years ago, there was a surplus in the trust fund and now they are projecting a deficit, in 2009, of over 3 billion dollars.
It seems that we are driving less and buying less gas, therefore there isn’t enough revenue being raised for the safety and congestion issues with highways, bridges and transit systems and as was mentioned-lost jobs.
Consider this from the “nonpartisan” advocates for tax hikes:
The nonpartisan National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission concluded in a report this year that the U.S. needs to spend $225 billion annually over the next 50 years to create a highway and transit system capable of sustaining strong economic growth. Current spending, at federal, state and local levels, is about $90 billion a year.
Among other revenue-raising possibilities, the commission recommended gradually increasing the current federal fuel taxes to 40 cents a gallon.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association is calling for a 10-cent-a-gallon raise and indexing the tax to inflation. With construction costs soaring because of competition for building materials from China and other developing nations, the tax rate would have to be about 29 cents a gallon to achieve the same purchasing power as the 18.4-cent rate imposed in 1993, the association says.
I hear about how the Europeans are paying 8 to 10 a gallon on gas with more than half going to taxes. I can’t imagine paying those prices, but I can’t imagine that the good ole’ U.S. of A, states or localities would consider public transportation either or use some of that tax revenue for bicycle routes. Many of us don’t have a choice on our mode of transportation.
This 10-cent tax hike doesn’t include state or local tax.
Besides going ‘Green’ I am very interested in what some of you think would be a solution for our fuel problems.