Transportation dollars low? It’s Democrats’ faultPolitics

I’m sick of hearing liberals whine about transportation funding being too low and complain that they aren’t paying enough for gas these days.

Like today’s Virginian-Pilot.

Seems the Pilot editorial board wishes we more more like North Carolina, with higher taxes and people who have decent newspapers that don’t hide stories about their white reporters getting assaulted in Norfolk Streets.

Well, if Pilot writers like Carolina so much, I got two words for them!

Move there!

But I digress. The point is that their editorial today actually tries to convince us that gas prices would be cheaper if the gas tax was raised!

Read that again.

Their editorial today actually tries to convince us that gas prices would be cheaper if the gas tax was raised!

Thursday morning, a gallon of regular gas was selling for $3.49 at a Shell station across the border in Moyock and $3.53 a gallon at a Shell in downtown Norfolk.

There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about that four-cent difference, except for this – North Carolina’s state gas tax is 38.9 cents a gallon, or 21.4 cents higher than Virginia’s state gas tax.

So the Pilot believes if only we had a higher gas tax in Virginia, our gas would be so much cheaper!

This is right up there with my daughter’s favorite Gallagher bit about shopping, and how you can go broke saving money.

But back to the title of this fun post. It’s Democrats’ fault.

It is. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and let’s see which Democrat candidates ran for Governor promising to raise gas taxes.

Deeds? No, he just wanted a table.
Kaine? No, a constitutional amendment for the fund first, which we still don’t have.
Warner? No, he actually said he wouldn’t raise taxes. Did anyway, but not for transportation.
Beyer? No, he promised no tax increases
Terry? No, she campaigned on avoiding tax increases.
Wilder? No, he even bragged about not raising taxes.
Baliles? No, he campaigned against raising taxes, but once elected, he raised 5 of them.

Governor McDonnell has done more for transportation that Mark Warner and Tim Kaine combined. But if you listen to Democrats, it’s Republicans who stand in the way on transportation funding.

Wrong! Democrats for Governor haven’t campaigned for a gas tax increase since it was last raised in the mid 80s.

If Democrats want to raise the gas tax so badly, then nominate a Democratic candidate for Governor who actually agrees with you and says so!

  • Mike Barrett

    Yes, thanks for exposing so effectively the incredible effects of the Grover Norquist no tax pledge that has led us to sanction the abandonment of our transportation infrastructure. Now of course, those who refused to raise the gas tax, can now stand back and say, look what a mess government has created; we must allow the private sector to fix this. Then Norquist’s dictum to starve the beast will allow our Delegates and Senators to cut the arms and legs off government so it can be drowned in a bathtub.

    Then what? Of course, then we get Halliburton, ERC Inc., and whatever private international conglomerate that is friends with Speaker Howell and whomever the republican Governor is at the time. We see it in the proposed sale of the Port, in the replacement of state IT workers by private corporations, in the sale of the concession for the midtown tunnel, and soon, the sale of public schools to private corporations.

    Why is this happening. The ideology of the far right has become so rigidly anti government that the goal now is to convert public services into cash flow opportunities for private contractors. The whole connection with ALEC is to find new and innovative “markets” for corporations to exploit at our expense. This process is like a soft coup; they will be in charge and many of us won’t even know it.

    I am a private sector CEO; I believe in regulated free markets and the benefits of competition. But this new takeover is not that at all. It is insidious and Brian is an apologist for this process. Perhaps someday Virginians will awake from their self induced lethargy and realize the damage they have wrought on the Commonwealth our fathers built.

  • Brian E

    What about the roads? Seems everyone wants a larger transportation budget for trains and yet, our roads get a minimal amount. Quit funding trains and lets get the roads taken care of.

    Mike – ‘regulated free market and the benefits of competition”? Is it real competition when government uses regulations to reward their friends? Or is that looting?

  • SWilliams

    Oh boy. What a contorted misread of the librul meedeeuh editorial. Nowhere does the editorial state that raising the gas tax rate will result in lower gas prices. Sweet jeebus.

    They make a good point that NC’s gas tax is substantially higher than VA’s while the prices of the gas between the two states is oddly similar.

    “But none of those factors explains the pattern seen over many months – Virginians pay nearly as much at the pump as North Carolinians despite the wide gap in gas taxes. Sometimes, Virginians even pay more.

    Over the many months that these discrepancies have been pointed out on these pages and elsewhere, no one in the oil industry has offered a satisfactory explanation for the trend. They can explain a few pennies here and a few pennies there.”

  • MD Russ

    Yep, you got it back-asswards, BK. Higher fuel taxes don’t cause lower gas prices. But they don’t cause higher gas prices, either–a key argument used against raising the gas tax to fund transportation. The most disingenuous argument against higher fuel taxes is that it unfairly burdens the working poor. This from a political faction that favors curtailing welfare and other social program funding. Please.

    Brian E,

    The railroads receive minor government support compared to the Federal, state, and local subsidies that the airlines receive. The air traffic control system, the cost of airports, and the rest of the FAA infrastructure isn’t even close to being paid for by landing fees and taxes. Amtrak is the only major passenger rail system in the world that isn’t wholly subsidized by the national government. And passenger rail is a convenient and comfortable way to travel, except for the expense of the ticket. It is cheaper to fly from Washington to New York than to take the Acela, and the door-to-door time is actually shorter on the train. I wonder why the airlines are cheaper?

  • Brian E

    MD,
    I didn’t know Amtrak was so efficient. Maybe if we invested in Amtrak and not trolleys and high speed rail, we might finally find something profitable but I’m not holding my breath.

    My point is that money collected from the gasoline tax (vehicles) is going to everything but roads. I guess we can add airlines to that. If the gasoline tax went to roads, we wouldn’t be having discussions about Democrats, tolls and building tunnels.

    Fascism is expensive, isn’t it?