Learning To Think Like A Progressive

I was listening to NPR the other morning, and they had a former Obama transportation secretary blaming poor transportation infrastructure on Republicans refusal to increase gasoline taxes. So why don’t they use the existing gasoline taxes? Obama’s smallest budget is 30% larger than Bush’s largest budget. Where is that money going?

Democrats see the solution to all problems as raising taxes, because their constituency depends on them stealing money from other people, and giving it away to Democratic voters. They use a small portion of it for something useful, so they have an excuse to raise taxes even further.

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About stevengoddard

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54 Responses to Learning To Think Like A Progressive

  1. philjourdan says:

    “Learning to think like a progressive” – a lobotomy helps.

  2. bobmaginnis says:

    They use much more than gas taxes, which should be raised:
    Gasoline Taxes and Tolls Pay for Only a Third of State & Local Road Spending
    http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoline-taxes-and-tolls-pay-only-third-state-local-road-spending
    From CATO
    http://www.cato.org/blog/obamas-budget-spending-too-high-bush-was-worse

  3. _Jim says:

    What!!?? This again!!?? Gas taxes!!?? Does anybody REALLY know where they go??

    Gas-Tax Hikes Only Fuel the Problem
    In the era of the earmark, it would be insane to entrust any additional transportation dollars to Congress.
    By Phil Kerpen

    Opening excerpt:

    The country’s transportation infrastructure has received long-overdue attention in the wake of the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota. Throwing more money at the problem is the immediate impulse of many commentators and politicians. Unfortunately, highway funding at the federal level is rife with abuse, diversion, and mis-prioritization, mostly because of the practice of earmarking — a method by which politicians steer funds to politically favored projects, regardless of whether they are legitimate priorities.

    And until earmarks are eliminated, higher gas taxes in the name of rebuilding our transportation infrastructure would simply throw good money after bad.

    The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 established the Highway Trust Fund to ensure that revenues from a gas tax and other transportation taxes would be used only to fund the construction of the Interstate Highway System, which was considered a federal responsibility for national defense reasons. The system was supposed to be completed by 1969, at which time the gas tax would sunset. Of course, as with so many taxes, the gas tax not only didn’t sunset, it increased. In 1983 it was hiked from 4 cents a gallon to 9 cents, with 1 cent diverted to the newly-created Mass Transit Trust Fund for projects, mostly in a handful of big cities, that have nothing to do with highways.

    Since then, the misuse of Highway Trust Fund dollars has only worsened. In particular, since the passage of the 1991 highway bill, funds raised from motorists at the pump have been diverted to bicycle paths, scenic landscape designs, pedestrian walkways, parking garages, and any number of non-highway projects.

    – – – – – – –

    Corruption at it’s finest; the gas tax doesn’t go to build ROADS anymore …

    .

  4. _Jim says:

    Quick, more mis-use of specific-intention funds please …

    “A letter to the editor”

    Ratholes instead of potholes
    Published: October 30, 2011

    The Oct. 26 Metro story “Maryland commission urges 15-cent gas tax increase” noted that Annapolis has raided revenue from the gasoline tax “several times in the past decade to remedy shortfalls in the state’s general fund,” going a long way toward explaining why so many Maryland roads and bridges suffer from neglect.

    While nobody wants higher taxes, the pressing need to fix extant problems requires action — but thoughtful action.

    For taxpaying motorists who have been repeatedly misled about the use of their gasoline taxes, any future increase must be unequivocally dedicated to, first, addressing the backlog of road and bridge projects and, second, ongoing repair and maintenance of existing roads and bridges. In no case should any of the proposed gasoline-tax increase paid by motorists be used to fund new non-motorist projects, such as the soon-to-be-multibillion-dollar Purple Line.

    – – – – –

    WHAT!!?? A state ‘raiding’, re-appropriating gasoline-tax funds?

    Say it isn’t so in the 21st century …

    .

    • Gail Combs says:

      One of the lesser known methods of mis-use of specific-intention funds, is practiced by the MA highway department. Employees, while sleeping in their yellow trucks, leave their shovels, dipped in kerosene, leaning against the truck. This generates another set of potholes to be filled in NEXT YEAR. The kerosene does not evaporate, instead it softens the asphalt. You can often see the line of nice round potholes as you travel the roads in MA.

      image

      My Hubby pointed this out to me when we lived in MA so I checked it out. Sure enough the asphalt was softened where the MA highway department truck had been parked on our street the day before and by the next winter we had a nice line of round potholes where the shovels had been dripping.

      Another person from MA says: Diesal fuel or kerosene…thats what road crews use to remove tar….

      • _Jim says:

        Sounds like the shovels created small depressed ‘ridges’ (like cracks) into the asphalt that then enable water in freeze/thaw cycle to ‘work’ its magic of enlarging the crack into a pothole (by loosening the aggregate).

        The other problem is rain and ‘hydrostatic pressure’ created when automobile tires roll over cracks and cause a temporary rise in pressure which loosens the aggregate in the asphalt; we have that happen down here after a good rain, and it doesn’t even have to be heavy rain, just enough to fill up the cracks and then tire action from traffic does the rest.

        Ref Advances in Pavement Design through Full-scale Accelerated Pavement Testing

        .

    • Gail Combs says:

      Another method of insuring continuing employment for uncle Harry’s useless nephew is to not build the roads properly in the first place.

      The urban legend is NH roads that stood up well to winter had road beds 8ft deep while MA roads just across the border often did not have road beds that went below the frost line.

      When they finally paved the road in front of my place in NC, they did it “Cheap” and did not bother putting in a correct road bed going through the swamp and low spot that always floods. (The gravel road was just graded every year) Sure enough the road flooded for about a half mile or more and the road was in tatters the very next year. They still haven’t corrected the problem. Just repave it yearly.

      All of this is the economic fallacy of The Broken Window. You can not create wealth by destroying it. All you do is divert wealth into another pocket while make society as a whole poorer.

  5. Kent Clizbe says:

    ““If they don’t act by the end of the summer,” President Obama says, “federal funding for transportation projects will run out — will run out. There will be no money. The cupboard will be bare.”

    “This is a classic Washington crisis by the numbers. Congress sets up a “trust fund” — in this case, the Highway Trust Fund — and depletes it by spending the cash on projects that have nothing to do with highways. When there’s no money left, taxes must be raised.

    “The Obama administration sells this fanciful tale with claims that America’s cars and trucks have been made magically more fuel-efficient by government fiat, and since everybody is paying less than ever in taxes on gasoline, raising the tax on gasoline won’t actually hurt. It might sound plausible, but that’s not the story the numbers tell. In 2009, gross receipts for the gasoline tax were $24.6 billion. Every year since, they’ve gone up, to the most recent accounting of $25.5 billion. Separate taxes imposed on diesel fuel for the big rigs brings the total sum to $41.3 billion.

    “That’s a lot of money, and it’s keeping America’s roads and bridges in the best condition in decades. According to a Cato Institute review of Federal Highway Administration figures, nearly 9 percent of all bridges in the National Highway System were deemed “structurally deficient” in 1992. That number has been steadily declining, and less than 4.6 percent of bridges are now considered “structurally deficient.” “Structurally deficient,” by the way, is not “structurally dangerous.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/6/editorial-highway-robbery-341987467/

  6. _Jim says:

    Maryland Gas Tax Hurts The Poor The Hardest
    Maryland Gas tax hits poor hardest
    January 09, 2013 Frederick News by Marta Mossburg

    Opening excerpt:

    A favorite motto of Gov. Martin O’Malley and leaders in the state Democratic Party is that the rich must pay their “fair share.”

    It was the philosophy behind hiking taxes last year on those making $100,000 or more and is the cornerstone of the progressive movement in the United States. Remember when then-candidate Barack Obama said in April 2008 that he was in favor of raising capital gains taxes “for purposes of fairness” even if it lowered revenue? Once elected, he has spent his presidency arguing for higher taxes on Americans making more than $250,000.

    The problem is that hiking taxes on the wealthy will not reduce the national deficit. Neither will it solve Maryland’s chronic state deficit. That was caused and by years of spending more than the state receives in revenue — behavior elected officials are loathe to change.

    Because Gov. Martin O’Malley and elected officials can’t pay for government even after 24 new taxes and fees in recent years, (according to Change Maryland) they must go after everyone.

    The proposed hike in the state’s 23.5 cent per gallon gas tax being pushed by Gov. Martin O’Malley in the legislative session starting today is a case in point.

    It is first and foremost a tax on the poor, who must spend a greater share of their income on gas than the rest of us. And because public transportation is so inconvenient to linking residents with their place of work in Maryland (and nationally), the poor have little ability to switch the way they commute.

    – – – – – – – –

    Democrats, doing it for, -er- rather, to the poor …

    Bless their cold, evil little hearts.

    .

  7. B says:

    As others are pointing out, contrary to what the progressive anti-car movement would have us believe gasoline taxes are spent on everything from transit to bike paths to police checkpoints on the federal level alone. On state and local levels it gets even worse. Road funds are where the money is, and where there is money politicians are attracted and suck it away for their own interests.

    The anti-car movement will claim motorists do not pay for the roads. They do this by ignoring all the driving taxes that go to the general fund and only counting gas tax and tolls For instance, sales tax on gasoline is not counted as a tax paid by drivers. They will always try to paint a picture that motorists aren’t paying their fair share while hiding where much of the subsidy for transit and bike paths/lanes comes from. This group aims to make driving so expensive and difficult that people give it up and the private passenger automobile returns to its pre-Model T state of being a rich man’s toy.

    Since Obama has been elected I’ve found myself explaining Illinois politics to people. In Illinois the political class runs extortion rackets. What they do is they divert the money from what the taxes are supposed to pay for then claim there is no money for roads, schools, cops, fire departments, etc and say taxes have to be raised. Most of the country isn’t wise to this. We saw a prime example with the sequester. Remember the sequester only reduced the amount of increase, it didn’t cut anything. So what Obama and crew did was to start shutting down things people would see. A classic Illinois extortion move.

    On another note, the feds want to have tax by mile, not a simple anonymous fuel tax. They want to set up a complex system of number plate readers to record where everyone is going when. They have a variety of excuses for this from plug in electric drivers not paying their ‘fair share’ to more fuel efficient cars driving down fuel tax revenues. But the reality is they want to track everything. Simply put there are things like electric meters that can solve the plug in electric issue and if fleet fuel economy has increased a simple increase in the fuel tax would fix that. They simply need excuses for this very expensive tracking system.

    Also, enjoy the roads now. HOV lanes and such are just the beginning of reserving roads for party members in good standing.

    • Gail Combs says:

      +1

    • Jason Calley says:

      Yes, +1

      “But the reality is they want to track everything.”

      A working majority of the people who are in positions of power are insane. They are junkies for power and money. If they managed to control 99% of all human action, they would still have nightmares about being unable to control that last 1%. They cannot be reasoned with and have no shame.

  8. Hugh K says:

    In short; If you like your current gas tax, you can keep your current gas tax.
    The US population is the abused spouse that can’t quite break the dependency to separate from the abuser. Virginia’s 7th congressional district gives one hope, but with the Administration’s increasing bully tactic of taking over Congressional powers (EPA, Immigration, etc.), time is becoming critical for the abused spouse.

  9. In summary, here’s the liberal playbook:
    Paint class of people as victims.
    Give them whatever they want.

  10. bobmaginnis says:

    The gas tax doesn’t even come close to paying for roads, but those who hate taxes so much apparently would prefer to have no road maintenance or new roads. I doubt the Tea Partiers would accept Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system that has benefitted our country so much.

    • _Jim says:

      Too bad gas taxes are used to pay for everything BUT roads eh little “b” bob?

      Used to make up general-treasury revenue shortfalls, pay for bike trails, with some ‘revenue’ going into the “Mass Transit Trust Fund” too …

    • _Jim says:

      Little “b” says “I doubt the Tea Partiers would accept Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system that has benefitted our country so much.

      You are an idiot.

      .

    • Hugh K says:

      Hate taxes so much or love freedom so much?
      Do you truly think…or in your case ‘feel’…that with few exceptions, self-interested bureaucrats whom lie as easily as they breathe, are more responsible with YOUR money than yourself? Why do you hate freedom bob?

    • gator69 says:

      Obviously bob is not familiar with his own history. The Boston Tea Party was not about taxes, it was about representation. The same applies to today, Tea Party messaging is not about abolishing taxes, it is about using the money appropriately. Poor old bob.

      • Gail Combs says:

        +1

        It is also about returning to what the US Constitution actually SAYS not what Progressive Judges like “don’t use the U.S. Constitution as a model” Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants it to say.

      • philjourdan says:

        Bob knows the meme from the leftists – he is just bereft of any factual information.

    • JL says:

      I guess you missed the several posts above that show gas taxes going to many things besides roads. “I doubt the Tea Partiers would accept Eisenhower’s interstate highway system..” Then you would doubt wrong.

    • philjourdan says:

      That is pure supposition! The fact is YOU DO NOT KNOW if they are sufficient. No one does. Why? They are not used for ROADS alone! – http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/gastax.cfm

      Get some facts bob. You are embarrassing yourself.

    • bobmaginnis, you idiot:

      Gas taxes & user fees have never come close to covering the cost of maintenance & building of roads, which is exactly Steven Goddard’s point: the leftists are holding something hostage to taxes. Which you always do.

  11. Dave in Ann Arbor says:

    There’s a similar thing going on at the state level here in Michigan, where our roads are legendarily awful. I just paid $80 to renew my license plates yesterday and also filled up my car’s tank, gas taxes and all. Idiots here are all snarky about the Republicans’ new plan to fix the roads “that will raise like $9 to do it.” The question these smartasses never ask: Where is the $80 I just paid (times 8 or 9 million) and all those gas taxes that are supposed to maintain the roads going? Isn’t that the ostensible reason we ALREADY pay these taxes, Mr. Smartass?

    Of course, given that year in and year out Michigan’s roads are a complete mess, and practically shut down for the entirety of every single summer, when people, you know, want to drive on them to go to their cottages and the beaches and fishing and camping and hiking, etc. — it’s not too cynical to say most residents understand all that money isn’t exactly being put to the best use. And they think we should be taxed more for this crap?

    Naturally, the same left-wing dolts who think there are no taxes levied to maintain roads and we suddenly need a new tax for that purpose are the same tards who smugly believe in man-made global warming — you know, the global warming that caused such a harsh winter that tore up the roads so badly.

    I am cranky today, sorry.

    • Gail Combs says:

      There was A bridge (one bridge over an interstate) near my folks. It stayed “Under Construction” for the entire time I was in College. My ex and I were stationed in Germany a couple years later. A German road construction crew straightened ~30 miles of road through a section of mountains similar to the Smokey Mtns. This included blasting out solid rock and building bridges. They did the work in less than a year. I never saw those German guys leaning on their shovels and I never saw the NY (or MA) crews actually doing any work.

      • Dave in Ann Arbor says:

        That’s exactly it. We also have roads that look like the Romans built them and they haven’t been maintained since, and then we have roads that might relatively be OK but will get nevertheless get torn up and farted around with for months. Government resource allocation at its finest. Give them more money!

        • Dave in Ann Arbor says:

          And in Ann Arbor, I know businesses that have closed or moved to a different part of town because interminable road construction killed all their patronage. Would a private road company so poorly serve its customers? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

        • Gail Combs says:

          A private road company would have a time of completion clause and mega-penalties attached.

      • Wyguy says:

        Lived in Germany for 18 years, a part of my job had me driving out in rural areas, the roads were always in great shape. I’d guess that the smaller size of the nation is partially a factor. The rail system was nice too. Kinda miss those things.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Yes, I liked their rail system too. They actually had BIKE RACKS!~! Which I would have loved to have had when I commuted by R/R when I lived in the Boston MA area. My first bike was stolen at the station in Melrose and my second (with a very good lock) was left looking like a pretzel. After that I gave up and drove.

  12. bobmaginnis says:

    I’m happy to pay taxes for productive things like roads, water projects, etc, but not for wars halfway around the World that creates more terrorists than there were before. I don’t like highway dept management, but it is better than no management. I’m happy to subsidize mass transit, because it makes for less cars in my way. There should also be about a 50 cent/gallon tax for military costs of imported oil.

    • _Jim says:

      Little “b” bob comes across as: “I’m happy being a potted plant, watered on schedule for the simple purpose of living for my master who is sitting behind the federal desk.

      Some of us have ambitions beyond being potted plants, little “b” bob. Others, such as yourself, not so much it would appear.

      How’s your soil temp today little “b” bob? Getting enough sunlight? Watered recently? How’s the bug infestation or that leaf blight problem? Been bitten recently by any plant-juice seeking bugs?

      .

    • B says:

      A tiny tiny percentage of the ongoing banker/wall street welfare package since 2008 could have rebuilt all the roads and bridges. Never mind what has been squandered on wars. Or all the other forms of welfare and crony work. But never you mind that, pay more if you want roads and water and the things government is supposed to do.

      I don’t know where you have more money for taxes. I don’t.

    • LLAP says:

      @bob: “There should also be about a 50 cent/gallon tax for military costs of imported oil.”

      You could easily have Canadian oil that wouldn’t require “tax for military costs”, but Obama doesn’t want it. Now why is that?

    • JL says:

      “Wars that create more terrorists than there were before.” You have not one bit of solid evidence to back up such an assertion. “There should be a 50 cent/gallon tax for military costs of imported oil.” Really? Then there should be a dollar/gallon tax on liberals for not allowing us to tap our own oil we have sitting beneath us, which in turn causes us to have import the oil. You’re not too bright , are you?

    • philjourdan says:

      You must hate Obama then. He does not even ask congress – he just bombs away!

  13. Ben Vorlich says:

    A Government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always rely on the support of Paul.

    • Gail Combs says:

      ~ George Bernard Shaw

      Who also wrote:

      Under Socialism, you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live, you would have to live well.”

      George Bernard Shaw: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, 1928, pg. 470)

      I do not think all those Pauls really understand what the end game is once the socialists actually are solidly in power. As _Jim said a potted plant and if that plant does not produce for the “Community” (aka your lord and master) then you will be disposed of.

      Also see:
      THE HISTORY OF THE FABIAN SOCIETY
      chapter 3: The Early Days: 1884-6

      The use of the word Socialism—Approval of the Democratic Federation—Tract No. 1—The Fabian Motto—Bernard Shaw joins—His first Tract—The Industrial Remuneration Conference—Sidney Webb and Sydney Olivier become members—Mrs. Annie Besant—Shaw’s second Tract—The Tory Gold controversy—”What Socialism Is”—The Fabian Conference of 1886—Sidney Webb’s first contribution, “The Government Organisation of Unemployed Labour.”

      ….That the practice of entrusting the Land of the nation to private persons in the hope that they will make the best of it has been discredited by the consistency with which they have made the worst of it; and that Nationalisation of the Land in some form is a public duty.

      That the pretensions of Capitalism to encourage Invention and to distribute its benefits in the fairest way attainable, have been discredited by the experience of the nineteenth century.

      That, under the existing system of leaving the National Industry to organise itself Competition has the effect of rendering adulteration, dishonest dealing and inhumanity compulsory…..

      This is where you find the seeds for Agenda 21

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