Opinion: Gas tax should only be used to fix infrastructure
Dear Mr. Lynn,
As is sadly all too typical with your editorials, everything is presented with a liberal spin. The latest example is your editorial on the gas tax, where as usual Democrats are presented as the enlightened saviors of society in their never-ending battle to save us from the Republicans.
I understand that this is a progressive publication, in a progressive community, in a progressive state, and that you must give the people what they want to read, I get that, I really do. But please allow me the chance to present a different view, a view that is based on fact and reality, without spin.
At its inception, the gas tax was used for deficit reduction. It was raised to help fund World War II; it was raised again for the Korean War. The reality is that Republican presidents are the only ones in recent history to raise that tax and dedicate the money for infrastructure. Reagan in 1983 dedicated the entire increase to the highway fund. Bush in 1990 dedicated half the increase to the fund. Clinton’s increase in 1993 was used entirely for deficit reduction.
So as you can see, the gas tax has never been entirely dedicated to highway spending, and highway spending has never been limited by gas tax revenues. So now the Democrats want to raise it by 10 cents, and in all likelihood use a small portion for highway spending and the balance for progressive social spending.
The Government Accountability Office recently reported that in 2013, $106 billion was wasted in fraudulent payments to people that should not have received them. The amount is thought to be much higher since all government agencies do not report. The primary culprits are the left’s darlings, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and Unemployment. But the biggest offender was the USDA’s school breakfast program, where 25 percent of the children taking part are being raised by parents that can afford to, but won’t, give their kids a bowl of corn flakes in the morning.
So here’s my novel approach for Congressman Welch and his fellow Democrats: Stop the fraud, stop wasting $106 billion a year, and then ask me about a gas tax increase. I for one feel the Republicans deserve our thanks for their never-ending battle to rein in the Democrats.