Bloody Politicians

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Wynder, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. LaughingMan

    LaughingMan Active Member

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    I agree, Wolfman... it's unfair to tax high efficient cars, especially since adding an extra premium would only encourage car owners to buy the same type of vehicles, or even bigger vehicles...

    It's not more efficient vehicles that are causing the problem... they are acting like Americans aren't consuming ENOUGH gas because fuel efficiency is going up...

    No, a bigger reason why their coffers are drained is because they are not raising the gas taxes to keep up with inflation...
     
  2. Jaguar88

    Jaguar88 Member

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    In California they are diverting the gas tax to pet projects rather than working on new roads. From the recent Highway Bill why is Kern County getting more money than Los Angeles County and why do we need a $453 million in Alaska for two bridges that not many people will use.

    Alaskan Bridge

    First lets spend the money where we need it most and then lets see if we really need more.
     
  3. Maytrix

    Maytrix New Member

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    I think it could also have to do with how they spend it too. If they manage the roads anything like they do in Marlborough, then there's a lot of waste.

    Lately, there's been a lot of paving going on in our town and the way they go about it has to waste thousands of dollars. The come and pave a 1000' section. Then a month or so later, they come and pave another 1000' section that connects to the first 1000' section. I know it would cost less if they came and did it all at once, because there is obviously time involved in getting the equipment out there..etc..

    I've also seen roads where they've just been paving sections of the road, not the whole road. So 70% of the road may end up getting paved, with 400-500' sections in between here and there not getting paved. While I see this obviously saves them on material costs (and some labor), I can't believe in the long run it's cheaper, since they'll later need to pave these sections anyway.

    I know that much of what this agency does is manage the highways, but I don't think all of those highways are 4-5 lane highways and I'm sure they can limit it a bit. In some cases, maybe one good solution is to add toll booths - That is another way to get people who use the road to pay for it.
     
  4. MarinJohn

    MarinJohn Senior Member

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    Before I posted this I tried to find out how much federal gas tax is diverted to non-transportation issues like balancing the budget. Couldn't find anything. Anyone else?
     
  5. KTPhil

    KTPhil Active Member

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    The solution to this nonsense is to get the Building industry Association to fight it.

    Suburban sprawl is where today's builders make their money. But the proce of those products will plummet if there is a tax on commuting distance, as this proposal would cause.

    The BIA has money and clout (not always a good thing for enviros, but this time they can help us). Get their lobby to fight this threat to their livelihood and it will go nowhere.

    Oh, and vote Bush out. Without a war draining hundred of billions of dollars, maybe the Feds could balance their budget, as Clinton did.
     
  6. keaggy220

    keaggy220 New Member

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    I think any new gas tax is a bad idea. Raising the gas tax will hurt the poorest the most - most poorer people can only buy older cars - many of which get low gas mileage. Also, higher gas will give an excuse for businesses to raise prices - hurting everyone, but mostly again, hurting the poor.

    I think that hybrid technology makes sense to most people and when we start seeing more options aesthetically in vehicles more people will buy - without the Feds trying to strong-arm people. Let the market adjust to this new technology and keep the governement out...

    I never get that we blame the government for everything, but we are always saying they need to get involved - we are a truly confused society.
     
  7. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Here here! Too bad it will never happen.
     
  8. rogerSC

    rogerSC Member

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    I certainly agree that gas taxes are regressive...however, if you want to get "good and fair" tax treatment, get yourself into the wealthy class if you can. That's where the tax breaks are, and you don't really have to care (apparently) about a regressive tax or two. After all, you became wealthy all on your own efforts (without any help from employees or inheritance), so deserve to be able to keep as much of your wealth as you can possibly manage.

    This is sarcasm, if you can't tell. Our current Federal administration hasn't done much that makes sense to me in the last 5 years. I'm just hoping to survive all this until we get another chance to vote. A tax on mileage is so wrong-headed as to be consistent with current overall tax policies.

    -Roger
     
  9. cowboy

    cowboy New Member

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    Wolfman wrote:"If the government is having problems balancing their books, there's plenty of wasteful spending that can easily be reigned in, and funding reappropriated for legitimate uses. My wallet is NOT the governments piggy bank. "

    I couldn't agree more. Does anyone doubt that our tax dollars would be better spent on rebuilding our transportation infrastructure (to say nothing about health care and food and housing for the nation's poor) than on the massive highway bill that Congress passed, with all its pork barrel projects including those bridges to nowhere, and the billions wasted on the Iraq war, and the billions about to be wasted on rebuilding barrier islands and beaches so that developers can again put houses where they don't belong?

    Yeesh....sorry for the rant!
     
  10. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    A while back, Californians passed an initiative that allowed the gas tax money to be used on other projects. "Mass transit" was the poster boy for the initiative, but IIRC, it opened the fund up for raiding for other projects as well.

    Our road problems in this state go further back, and you have to be around 50 to remember this, but under Jerry Brown, the state's highway building funds were reallocated under transportation secretary Adrianna Gianturco to be spent on landscaping rather than building of roads. The idea was that gridlock would force Californians into using carpools and mass transit. Up to that time, the California freeways were the envy of the nation, and since that time, they quickly became the most congested.

    Whenever government tries to moderate people's behaviour in such a heavy handed way, it is bound to either fail (wasting money) or reduce freedoms. If we were sensible, we would integrate state and federal transportation laws, and deal with the problems as they are instead of trying to deal with the problems as we would like them to be.

    We should eliminate car pool lanes and open up the space to additional traffic carrying lanes, which in some cases could allow an extra two lanes for each carpool lane that is retired. Using Erlang C caclulations for traffic flow, this would have a major effect on resolving gridlock, reducing pollution and saving gasoline (a car running for 40 minutes to get to work at an average 25 mph uses about double the gas as one running 20 minutes at an average 50 mph.)
     
  11. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

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    Fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, biodiesel, etc.) should be priced at $1.50 per Liter ($6.00 per gallon) as in Europe. The "extra" $2 to $3 will go toward long-term infrastructure improvement (light rail, heavy rail, local pedestrian and bicycle routes, bridges).

    While noticeably costly at first, the long-term benefits are enormous. Quieter communities, convenience, prudent use of finite resources (fossil fuel), better air quality and adherence to the "precautionary principle". Pay it forward (vs. "crisis" management).

    When the US Chamber of Commerce is genuinely conservative, it will support and model long-term thinking and action, not short-term profit taking.
     
  12. daronspicher

    daronspicher Active Member

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    Anyone that thinks giving a bigger pile of money to the government is a good idea is an idiot. Learn from history. No matter how much you give them, it's never enough. The project is never done on the budget, and it's never done on time.

    Lean government, and take responsibility for your own problems. You, your family, your church and your friends all make it through together and stop waiting for the government to collect every stinkin dollar from everyone and redistribute to the whole.

    If you don't have enough, go earn more... which also won't be enough because you will scale up your lifestyle so you will need to go earn more.. which still won't help because you will scale up your lifestyle again. Get the picture yet.. Bottom line is that you can't live within your means and it's your fault. The government isn't living within it's means and that's also our fault. we let them...
     
  13. fshagan

    fshagan Senior Member

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    Yep. In a similar vein, California has high taxes on tobacco. Most people favor them because they feel taxing it will cause people to use less of it, and quit. Rob Reiner sponsored a .50 a pack tax for childhood education. It passed. He is now working against a new proposal for a $2.00 tax per pack, saying that it will cause people to stop smoking and starve his program for funds.

    So, we must encourage more smoking to get funds from the taxes for our "good deeds". Sin taxes end up with the government encouraging sin!
     
  14. altaskier

    altaskier New Member

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    NuShrike said "Sounds like another bunch of intelligent handwaving by committee to look good to the constituents" and Sid said "how can any government committee recommend higher gas taxes without feeling embarassment and shame?!

    Off target. As oxnardprof put it, it's a proposal from the US Chamber of Commerce, which is a business lobbying group NOT connected with the government (though they probably have some influence in this administration). Its constituents are big US businesses - i.e., not Toyota and not Honda.
     
  15. Cogtx

    Cogtx Junior Member

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    Well said daron...each individual is responsible for their own choices and lifestyle. The free market will decide what products to produce from the buying power of the masses. If hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles are the future, that will be decided by the buyers. The market will cater to those buying the products.

    As for gas tax vs. mileage tax, I will have to go for the gas tax. Don't like to be over-taxed nor penalized for being efficient and smart enough to purchase a higher mpg vehicle. Another poster in this thread mentioned that the poor would be most hurt by the increase in gas prices. As a previous poor person (extreme poverty level), I made a daily effort to get out of my poverty lifestyle thru education and hard work. I would have seen a gas price increase as just another concrete incentive to acheive the most I could to escape from the poverty ranks. Just my $0.02.... :)
     
  16. DanP

    DanP Member

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    Well, I'm happy to see someone noticed this.
     
  17. keaggy220

    keaggy220 New Member

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    I agree with most of what you said except for the gas or mileage tax. It does hurt the poor the most - so I vote for no extra tax.

    Making a daily effort to better yourself was an option you had and you should be congratulated, but there are the few in our population that have very little to offer and they get very little in return. I understand that most people who don't have much in this country are lazy, however I'm talking about the people that are the weakest around us. They fill necessary roles in the job market, but their work does not pay well. We shouldn't tax them for a problem they probably don't even fully comprehend.

    Besides does anyone think that the Feds could cut somewhere first before adding another tax? I guess that's wishful thinking...
     
  18. DanP

    DanP Member

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    In other words, since the combination of freeways and private automobiles has been a total failure in solving our commuting problem, we should build wider freeways and use more private automobiles. How creative! Your "solution," however, is what created the problem in the first place. The first thing that happens when the new, wider freeway opens is that millions of new homes and hundreds of new shopping centers spring up for several tens of miles into previously undeveloped land (the new lanes have made the commute bearable). Astonishingly, these new homes are occupied by millions of new people who own millions of cars. Congratulations! You've just succeeded in extending the traffic jam another 20 miles--and counting.

    We need extensive networks of light rail. We need individual tax incentives for living within 5 miles of your workplace. We need to move away from freeways and private cars.
     
  19. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    It always amazes me why they ever need to raise taxes? unless its to offset inflation.

    The excuse they usually use is there is more people now and so more roads need to be built!..
    Well don't more people bring in "more" taxes to pay for thier own roads?

    They basically say anything they can to make an excuse to make thier job easier.

    Its the basic government problem.. they hire folks to do a job.. things change and people aren't needed anymore but they keep thier positions due to job security and we end up with a bloated government that needs more money to exist while government employees wander around with nothing to do and are slow and very poorly trained at the jobs they do attempt to do!

    The way to fix it is to retrain the people they hire to fit the changing needs as time evolves. Monitor thier work and retrain, but thats not the way the government works...thats only a pipe dream.... no one does anything in government unless they are "made" to do it! Its not till someone comes along and cuts jobs and it "forces" others to assume the jobs they were doing that they can get by with the money they were alloted. Its the same old story.... if the fat is none productive and can't retrain to become muscle and actually do some work, then it has to be cut... then the fat employees are bitter.

    It almost feels like its the government is against the people they serve!

    We sure need to vote out folks that can't use thier resources wisely.

    When they change the rules it affords them opportunity to make a killing... because in reality.... monitoring mileage and charging accordingly would be fair!.. it would actually lessen the cost of many!... but they won't have that either... greed and drive to protect thier easy jobs is much to strong.

    If they do that start charging for mileage,.. it will kill many companies that are delivery services etc of which currently the general population is absorbing the share of thier road cost.

    If they make this rule... It SHOULD NOT be limited to hybrids!.... that would send a terrible message! They did a similiar ruling when they started charging more based on weight, which does increase road damage.... but paying more for weight "and" mileage would give many a break "if they truly do it right!", but it will kill the transport industry......
    that will have the same effect as higher gas prices.. the cost is past on to all of us.

    By charging for mileage, it will literally be punishing "every" economic mode of transportation.... whether hybrid or not!
     
  20. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I'm not sure about the U.S., but here in Canada only around 50% of gas tax revenue is actually used for roads. This is well within the "norm" for the upside down world of politics.

    A few years back, the Liberal gov had a thing called "Infrastructure Works," a program everybody assumed would be used to fix ... infrastructure. Actually, less than 30% was put into "hard" infrastructure like new bridges or a water treatment plant.

    Most was spent on frilly stuff like theaters, a tennis court, community clubs, etc.
     
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