Gas Prices Down; Time for Gas Tax Hike?

Republicans are joining Democrats in favoring a gas tax hike.

Never let a crisis go to waste. Or in this case, never let an opportunity pass you by. We normal, lower and middle class Americans may have been enjoying the fall in gas prices recently, giving us a sense of nostalgia about life six years ago. Around where I live, gas is around $2.05. I filled up my 2003 Honda Pilot for under $40.

But all good things must come to an end. All politicians see is an opportunity to raise taxes (or, excuse me, “user fees,” not taxes) and bring in more revenue, something our tiny, efficient, barely-scraping-by government has very little of. Noah Rothman with Hot Air reported:

On Wednesday, the new GOP chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works panel, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), said a hike in the gasoline tax is on the table as a means of paying into the Highway Trust Fund. As President Barack Obama would no doubt note, that fund is of vital importance for keeping the nation’s roads and bridge up to code.

“It’s not a tax,” Inhofe said. “It’s a user fee.”

[…]

Inhofe’s embrace of a new, ahem, “user fee” for those who purchase the gasoline was shared by the new Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “We’ll have to look at that. I’m looking at everything—every possible way of taking care of the highway bill,” Hatch echoed.

“I prefer not to increase taxes but to me that’s a user fee,” the retiring Utah senator added. “People who use the highways ought to pay for them. And that’s a small price to pay to have the best highway system in the world.”

[…]

“Now’s the time do it,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters on Wednesday. “But we ought to do it in a thoughtful way.” He appeared to endorse some form of tax relief in order to offset the burden on low-and middle-income drivers.

“If there’s ever going to be an opportunity to raise the gas tax, the time when oil prices are so low is the time to do it,” House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) concurred.

What the world needs now is not love. What it needs is a higher gas tax. It’s not fair that everyday people are suffering less now than they were a year ago.

Of course, it means nothing to these politicians. All they see is money and power in everything. And that obviously goes for Republicans as well as Democrats. This is what “teamwork” in Washington looks like. This is bipartisanship in action. Is that really what we need? How about a little backbone?

I hope this gas tax hike thing falls flat. If it does, you’d better believe it won’t be the end of it. It’ll be brought back up again and again until they get something passed. It won’t change anything though. Highways and bridges won’t all of a sudden be restored to pristine condition. These are politicians and bureaucrats we’re talking about. They’ll find a way to waste the money, and they won’t even have to try very hard.