A gas tax hike would only preserve Washington’s culture of mismanagement and waste

gas prices

Originally posted by Jason Pye at FreedomWorks.org

The federal Highway Trust Fund, after years of being raided by Congress to pay for wasteful transportation and extravagant infrastructure projects, faces a $160 billion shortfall over the next decade, which has some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle openly floating a bailout in the form of a gas tax hike.

The shortfall isn’t a problem created solely by wasteful spending, though it’s certainly a big part of the issue, as the trust fund has doled out billions for lawmakers’ pet highway and mass transit projects. A couple of other drivers that are exacerbating the problem, however, are the fact that Americans are driving less overall and the rise of fuel-efficient vehicles. Because raising the gas tax is politically unpopular, Congress routinely transfers money from the general fund to cover annual shortfalls.

Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) have been the main figures behind the push to raise the gas tax. Last year, the lawmakers proposed a 12-cent gas tax hike, phased in over two years, also indexing it to the Consumer Price Index. The plan, according to The Hill, would’ve raised tax $164 billion over the next ten years. The proposal also called for “tax relief” through the renewing so-called “tax extenders” — many of which are tax credits, and, therefore, considered to be spending in real terms — or another unspecified plan.

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