By Wayne William Cipriano
Can’t you easily recall when the Federal tax of 18¢ was a very large part of the final cost of a gallon of gasoline? That was quite a while ago. Nowadays, 18¢ is what, 7% of the price? When we were paying almost $4 a gallon that same 18¢ was about 4% of the price.
So let’s say we raised the tax on a gallon of gas from 18¢ now to 25¢. How often have we seen the price of gas vary, up and down, by 7¢. We grumbled when it went up and smiled when it went down, but that 7¢ did not have that much of an effect, did it? We did not reduce our driving, consolidate our trips, nor did we go shopping for more efficient cars. Seven cents just isn’t that much these days.
If we raised the price of gas 7¢, and now had 25¢ from each gallon sold to be spent on infrastructure, we would get new roads, better maintained older roads, new and rebuilt bridges. Providing, of course, the increased tax money was properly spent – perhaps a difficult but far from impossible task.
If we merely grumble when 7¢ is added to the profits of those who provide gas to us but still pay and get nothing in return, couldn’t we hack paying 7¢ more and getting better roads and bridges and such?
So, why don’t we? Because politicians who control the level of tax on gasoline are not concerned with better roads, or better bridges, or better anything for that matter. They are only interested in one thing, re-election. And these “public servants” who never have anything to say about the unconscionable manipulation of gasoline prices by energy providers know that if they write a bill calling for a gasoline tax increase, even as small as going from 18¢ to 25¢, or even support such a bill, they will be labeled by their opponents in their next election as “tax and spend liberals, stealing your hard-earned money at the gas pump.”
As tight with a dollar as am I, if I heard about a “tax and spend liberal” who championed a 7¢ increase to be spent exclusively on our country’s infrastructure, I would vote for that candidate! Wouldn’t you?