Why Are Gas Prices (Unnecessarily) Rising?
As a working mom, I drive and drive as do most working moms. We have no choice but to gas up and hope we don’t go broke until the next paycheck comes or have to pick between gas and food. The last thing anyone needs is to pay more for a gallon of gas in a form of a Gas Tax. Unfortunately, some type of quick fix is needed as well as a long-term plan to end the crisis of the on-going gas tax dilemma that affects the Highway Trust Fund.
Do Americans need the infrastructure maintained and expanded? Yes.
Is there enough money to fix America’s infrastructure in the Highway Trust fund? No.
Why? Congress has mismanaged the Highway Trust Fund for generations.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut want to raise the tax on gas by 12 cent a gallon during the next few years to ensure that the Highway Trust Fund doesn’t go broke.
The first problem is that Corker doesn’t have “a dog in the fight”; he’s a millionaire. I wonder if he even knows how much a gallon of gas cost. Secondly, Congress destroyed the Highway Trust fund by using the funds to keep the government solvent, not Americans. Thirdly, and most importantly, what does the Highway Trust fund require?
Estimated cost per year to maintain the infrastructure for Americans accruing to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2006 was $126 billion. The money for infrastructure from the Highway Trust fund is collected mostly from taxes received from Americans and the Treasury’s general fund.
There should be no new gas tax unless America begins to develop its own oil and natural gas supplies, which would lower the price per gallon of oil and natural gas to fill up and to heat homes. Only then would it be affordable to Americans to add a gas tax.
Accountability needs to start today. I agree with Rep. McCarthy: The entire system must be overhauled and a small percent of federal lands need to be opened for drilling to produce the nation’s own gas resources Along with that, the waste must be eliminated, and the taxes already collected need to go directly into the fund and add in the $30 billion collected yearly from the oil and gas industry. America’s oil and natural gas industry supplies $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury in the form of income taxes, rents, royalties and other fees. That adds up to more than $30 billion a year. Allocation of funds must start occurring, and accountability through auditing is a simple solution, along with producing our own natural resources to solve the insanity created by Congress. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
Who’s in charge now?
Try not to worry; Americans have Senator Ron Wyden in charge of the Senate Finance Committee who “hopes his committee can agree on a solution this month.”
This is why we have problems. How in the world does Senator Wyden—who has NEVER had a job except “career politician” (30+ years)—get to be charge of billions of our country’s money and National Security issues such as Energy & Natural Resources?
Bottom line: This guy has sat in DC for 30+ years and watched the nation go into world conflicts without creating stability, let the VA fall apart, allowed other government agencies waste money, and is watching Social Security go broke. We now have a nation $17 trillion in debt. He is now in charge of hoping that the broke Highway Trust fund gets money from somewhere.
How does he continue to get re-elected? Thank goodness there are so many Senate races and many House races this election cycle. The “fear” of losing will keep D.C. politicians in check.
Reality of gas prices over generations
Average prices for unleaded regular gas yearly:
1993 – $1.42
1994 – $1.39
1995 – $1.41
1996 – $1.48
1997 – $1.46
1998 – $1.24
1999 – $1.34
2000 – $1.70
2001 – $1.61
2002 – $1.47
2003 – $1.69
2004 – $1.94
2005 – $2.30
2006 – $2.51
2007 – $2.64
2008 – $3.01
2009 – $2.14
2010 – 2013 Average unleaded regular gas prices
2010 – $2.782
2011 – $3.521
2012 – $3.618
2013 – $3.505
The real question: Why isn’t gas still $1.50 a gallon?