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#855 of 874 Re: higher gas taxes means fewer home foreclosures? [kernick]
Feb 03, 2010 (7:01 pm)
I'll gladly pay the private owners a per-mile charge.
You're just being absurd if you think that would be cheaper. $0.18/gallon tax on gas and $200/year (less if you don't live in California) for reg fees would look mighty good to you if all the roads were privatized and you started paying per-mile charges.
And it was no lead-in to some political statement - I make a point of ignoring politics. It's a poisoned well.............
#856 of 874 Re: higher gas taxes means fewer home foreclosures? [nippononly]
Feb 03, 2010 (7:19 pm)
$0.18 - That's federal only. Most states charge at least that. And yes it may not be running an excess in 2010 because it hasn't been adjusted in a while, but if you look back the last 30 years or so, the total collected was higher the amount going to the road-projects.
The below is from a gov website. Please see Bold sections.
"The tax remained 4 cents a gallon until the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which President Ronald Reagan approved on January 6, 1983. The Act increased the tax to 9 cents, but the legislation created two separate accounts in the Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Account would receive 8 cents of the revenue while the new Mass Transit Account would receive 1 cent of the gas tax.
The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (October 17, 1986) added 0.1 cent tax on gasoline for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.
On November 5, 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. It embodied a compromise the Republican President had reached with the Democratic-controlled Congress to reduce the Federal budget deficit. The Act increased the Federal gas tax by 5 cents, with half the increase going to the Highway Trust Fund, the other half to deficit reduction.
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, signed by President Bill Clinton on August 10, 1993, increased the gas tax by 4.3 cents, bringing the total tax to 18.4 cents per gallon. The increase was entirely for deficit reduction, with none credited to the Highway Trust Fund. However, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which President Clinton approved on August 5, 1997, redirected the 4.3-cents general fund gas tax increase to the Highway Trust Fund.
So you see that large parts of the gasoline tax has been diverted several times for numerous years. If you look at the charts halfway down that link, you'll see that today 2.86 cents of every 18 cents is taken for Mass Transit Account.
Enough proof of what I'm saying?
#857 of 874 Re: higher gas taxes means fewer home foreclosures? [kernick]
Feb 03, 2010 (7:30 pm)
Umm, I'm not sure what your point is.
I thought you were saying that public transit is more expensive than driving and doesn't even pay its own way without subsidies, and I was saying that in fact driving is subsidized by the taxpayers even more, it's just not so obvious and traceable. Heck, California hasn't been able to pave its roads for 20 years with the gas tax at $0.18, and has instead passed several STUNNINGLY large bond measures in the last few years to try and catch up the backlog. Which they have not yet succeeded in doing. And when they can't get one of those passed, they raid the state general fund (containing taxpayer dollars) and some other program or agency goes wanting.
So what seems like an individual bargain isn't so much when you take into account everything that goes unfunded by the $0.18 gas tax, and what the cost of it would actually be if drivers paid it.
Privatizing the roads would remove any assurance that they would be properly maintained, while giving private companies free rein to charge whatever they liked. As a driver, there isn't a doubt in my mind that your cumulative costs would be much higher under that system.
And states charge sales tax on gasoline, which they would go on doing even if all gas taxes were eliminated.
#858 of 874 Re: higher gas taxes means fewer home foreclosures? [nippononly]
Feb 03, 2010 (9:55 pm)
You're just being absurd if you think that would be cheaper. $0.18/gallon tax on gas and $200/year
I don't think so. CA gas tax today is 63.9 cents for RUG and 72 cents for diesel. If the roads were privatized and regulated like any other monopoly, we could drive for a lot less than what it costs now. Last I checked we were only spending about 15% of our gas tax on roads and bridges. The rest is in the general fund being wasted in numerous ways by the Feds and the states. By the way Alaska is the lowest at 26.4 cents per gallon. The other 48 states are somewhere in between.
The 18 cents is what the Feds get the rest goes to the state. And CA dumps it into the general fund then cries for more. We are not getting our monies worth out of gas tax in CA.
#859 of 874 Re: higher gas taxes means fewer home foreclosures? [nippononly]
Feb 04, 2010 (2:58 am)
I thought you were saying that public transit is more expensive than driving and doesn't even pay its own way without subsidies.
I was saying that public transit failed my attempted use of it in getting to and from an airport. I spent about 1 hr trying to figure what train and then subways to take to the airport, and then find that I can't use public transportation because the system shutsdown overnight. That would cause me to stay an extra night in a hotel.
and has instead passed several STUNNINGLY large bond measures in the last few years to try and catch up the backlog.
If you want to believe many of your state politicians. I've just shown you the government link that says gas revenues for years have been taken for other general deficit reduction and subsidizing public transportation. I have a stepson who's in college and he gets $ for books and living expense. Well guess what, he comes to us every few days asking for more money for books. When we ask what did you do with your book-$, after a lot of questioning you find he spent it on the girlfriend, cigarettes, and entertainment. As gagrice basically said - your gasoline tax $ was taken by your politicians for other purposes, and now they need to replace it. It is much easier for politicians to ask for $ for roads and bridges, then to admit they took that $ for years for a bloated government w/great pensions, and all the boondoggle projects.
Similarly you will hear the same thing about Social Security from our federal politicians. Social Security funds have been taken for many years from those trust accounts to use for everything in the general budget. The politicians are then going to feed you half-lies that Social Security can't pay out full benefits, and they're going to drastically need to change the system.
#860 of 874 Big Dig Road Project (Boston) Example
Feb 04, 2010 (6:20 am)
Consider this (excuse the fact that my numbers will be approximate, if you want the exact mileage and cost, go find it):
The Big Dig which was a replacement of some existing elevated highway in Boston (RT. 93) was to update 10 - 20 miles of road/bridge/tunnel. When it was proposed in the 80's it was presented as a $2B - $3B project. It was approved. There were options to repair the existing structure, rather they doing this grandiose total replacement (I think Roman bridges have a longer life-span than 30 years which was how long the original highway was there). The project eventually came in at over $15B!!
Problems (Incompetence or Lying) with this:
1) was this project "sold" to the public as $3B when the designers knew that it would be far higher? But just like renovating your kitchen, you have to keep going once you start
2) Or was it incompetence that someone's cost estimate was off 500%?
In many people's opinions who covered this project over the years, this was one of the biggest ripoffs of government funds ever at that time.
So this is just another example of there being plenty of $ in the road funds, if they use them wisely. This Big Dig project was about powerful Mass. politicians getting funds to channel to their local business friends, as a means to hand-out billions of $ in lucrative contracts. A political-mafia feeding frenzy, in other words. (Maybe not a coincidence as the most powerful politician besides Kennedy at the time in Mass. was Billy Bulger; his brother Whitey Bulger has been on the FBI Top 10 wanted as head of the Boston Irish mafia).
Putting more and more $ into road-repair "accounts" is just MORE $ that can be misappropriated by our government, and more projects like the Big Dig. Until the funds that go to road-repair accounts are used for road-repairs, and until this really gross waste of funds is eliminated, I'd have to be a fool to voluntarily bend over again.
#862 of 874 Re: Big Dig Road Project (Boston) Example [kernick]
Feb 04, 2010 (7:54 am)
was this project "sold" to the public as $3B when the designers knew that it would be far higher?
That is EXACTLY what happened last November to the gullible CA voters. They approved a $10 billion bond for High Speed Rail from LA to SF. What they did not do as voters was due diligence. The project at a minimum will be $40 billion and probably $90 Billion if it is ever completed. This is in a state that is flat A** Broke. That $10 billion we are now paying back will likely be blown on environmental studies and trying to go around the NIMBYs. We are getting screwed daily with every dollar we pay in road tax. When at best 15 cents is actually spent on roads and bridges. It is time the mass transit users paid the full cost of the service. With gas at $3 per gallon it costs me $6 to shop at Costco. If the bus has 3 people riding, split the cost 3 ways and see if there are any riders the next day.
#863 of 874 Brevity is Beautiful regarding tax issue.
Feb 04, 2010 (8:34 am)
Taxation is theft.
We need to cut spending at all levels.
Feb 04, 2010 (9:42 am)
"Large trucks are subsidized while autos are probably not subsidized much, if at all."
Are Roads and Highways Subsidized ? (David S. Lawyer)
And a counter:
"The research, based on Federal Highway Administration statistics, concludes that the percentage of revenue coming from road users was 51% in 2007, compared with 61% in 1997 and 71% in 1967. The remaining funds are sourced from general revenues."
U.S. motorist fees contribute decreasing share of highway funding (globalsubsidies.org)