Fossil fuel-backed, billionaire-friendly interests are doing their best to kill any increase in the federal gas tax—in turn, hobbling efforts to boost mass transit or fix America's crumbling infrastructure.
The greedy bastards (obviously I'm referring to the Kochs and their ilk) won't be satisfied until they've sold us every drop of their poison and fried the planet in the process.
Despite the disingenuity, the point's valid that this would be a regressive tax increase, and only "necessary" because the exploitocracy's beaucoup billions are invioable, aren't they?
I don't favor upping a regressive tax. I do favor having more public transportation. Tax the Koch Brothers and those like them directly and build public transportation so that people have a good reason not to drive as much. (Make more bike and bus lanes and thus make it harder to use a car rather than alternative transportation.)
Just a few high speed trains in key transportation corridors would change the way we think of travel. If they are made affordable and use space wisely and comfortably who would opt for the freeways? Not when you can travel from Chicago to Detroit in two hours, or from Miami to Atlanta in about the same. The overall time investment would rival the whole process of air travel.
As a percentage of the price of gasoline, the 18.4 cent per gallon federal excise tax has never been as low as it is now. To discourage the usage of gasoline, its price need to be made more expensive. There are no short cuts.
Catastrophic climate change is the one issue that threatens civilization. I believe that those members of the working class who can manage to look three generations ahead would be willing to pay a fairly high price to preserve civilization for the children and grandchildren of today's children. In playing Russian roulette, one faces a one in six chance of killing oneself. In continuing business as usual for fossil fuel firms, society as a whole faces similar odds on destroying civilization. The relevant data on climate change are so noisy that the best those scientists who study climate change can tell us is that the mean expectation is a 4C temperature increase about 90 years from now, with only one chance in six of holding the temperature increase to only 2C, and also one chance in six of world average temperatures 90 years from now being at least 6C hotter than now. About 6C hotter than now is what dinosaurs had. They also had over 300 feet higher sea levels--lots of coastal flooding. Around each pole--between 50 degrees latitude and the pole, there was what we now consider temperate climate, Between maybe 30 degrees and 50 degrees latitude, what we now consider tropical. Within maybe 30 degrees on each side of the equator, was hot dry desert, such that the crops we now grow wouldn't be able to tolerate. I do NOT believe that society should be playing Russian roulette with climate change.
Yunzer, you need to make that argument to the folks who have no way to reduce their consumption, and would have yet another expense they can't afford.
That's where my focus is, as well as on those who should be paying for the alternatives that would allow working class and poor people to get out of their cars and still do what they need to do.
When presented with the option of reliable, affordable and efficient mass transit, most Americans, especially those in congested urban and suburban areas prefer mass transit. Let's elect progressive representatives to state and local office who will vote against Koch and 1% interests and vote for the American people. Is that too much to ask? Sheesh!
As somebody who happily resides in an urban area, I, too favor more and better public transportation, especially in the way of trains, since buses and taxicabs are no more efficient than regular cars in getting around the city in which I presently reside. Moreover, the aging infrastructure needs to be upgraded and updated, to boot. It's disgraceful that funds for public transit upgrading and improvement are being whittled to the bone!