President Obama remains opposed to raising federal fuel taxes while the economy is trying to recover despite calls in Congress to increase those fees to fund new legislation, said Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari.
The DOT’s second-highest official assured the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee March 24 that the administration’s position has not changed on hiking fuel taxes.
He had been asked by ranking Republican James Inhofe to restate the policy, in view of new fuel tax proposals being discussed in Congress. Inhofe noted that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood previously told the committee that Obama and the administration do not believe raising the gas tax is good “for Americans who are out of work and can least afford the gasoline tax raise.”
This is short-sighted for two reasons.
The first is that our transportation system needs the investment. It is one of the more productive things our government does.
The second is that advocates of the “mileage tax” (enforced by satellite monitoring of all vehicles, which would be equipped with a transmitter to verify their location) are using the public’s resistance to higher fuel taxes as a springboard to the mileage tax. Obviously a system which can track mileage in this way can track location.
So if you tax-haters play into the hands of the mileage tax advocates, as they used to say on The Prisoner, “Be seeing you!”
P.S. Fuel taxes are a better way to handle this problem for another reason: larger vehicles put more wear and tear on the system. Global warming advocates would also add that they put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is true. This means that a mileage tax would remove an incentive for more fuel efficient vehicles. It’s a sign of the times that some of our elites are more interested in control than in advancing their environmental agenda, but such a prioritisation speaks for itself.