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Is a Higher Gasoline Tax Good Or Bad For America?

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    Imagine how good the trains would be. :)

    There used to be light rail in Boise connecting town to the farming villages around. It was relatively easy to put your milk jugs on the train at 6 am for the processor in town, and then hop on the train yourself later in the day to do some banking downtown.

    But cars and trucks ruined that around 1925. Like your midnight airport run, people didn't want to juggle their appointments to meet a train schedule.

    Another interesting thing that happened was that developers put up parks out of town that were easily accessible. Then people decided to move out there and commute to town. So the light rail contributed to urban sprawl in its own way.

    Trolley Town (Boise State)

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  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Take a look at the 2010 budget summary that says $42B is being budgeted for the nation's 160,000 miles of federal highway. I don't think this jives too well with your links, of what's being spent. From your SubsidyScope link: "Subsidyscope has calculated that in 2007, 51 percent of the nation's $193 billion set aside for highway construction and maintenance was generated through user fees—down from 10 years earlier when user fees made up 61 percent of total spending on roads."

    What's different here?

    http://www.dot.gov/budget/2010/bib2010.htm#fhwa
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    As near as I can tell, the rest of it comes under separate appropriation acts:

    "the President’s Budget contains no policy recommendations for surface transportation programs subject to reauthorization, including highway, transit, and highway safety programs"

    Check out last year's Budget In Brief:

    "It is the final installment of the $286.4 billion in highway, transit, and safety program funding agreed upon in last surface transportation re-authorization act."

    That's a wee bit different from the $40 billion "budgeted". And that was just one act, albeit likely spread out over 5 years.

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  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    It's a little confusing isn't it? But I see "multi-year" and "installment" mentioned so when was this last reauthorization act started? 10 years ago? Also note that it says - without subsidizing transportation spending with other tax dollars.

    "The request fulfills the President’s multi-year commitment to invest in surface transportation without raising taxes or subsidizing transportation spending with other tax dollars. It is the final installment of the $286.4 billion in highway, transit, and safety program funding agreed upon in last surface transportation re-authorization act."

    :confuse: :confuse: We both could prove this either way using these numbers. Just like in the OJ trial there was so much evidence it was confusing. :D
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    "Americans' interest in small cars and hybrids has never accounted for a sizable segment of the market and may be falling as gas prices stabilize at less than $3 a gallon in most markets.

    Meantime, the low level of interest in small cars highlights the challenge car makers face as they try to gage the return they'll get on their investments in smaller, more fuel-efficient engines as well as conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles - all vehicles they are being pushed to build by government policy demanding ever-higher annual fuel efficiency figures for their retail fleets."

    Gas Prices Must Soar If Public Policy, People's Wants Are To Mesh in Auto Market (Green Car Advisor)

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  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Car purchases aren't just driven by gas prices. One must also consider the initial purchase price, along with maintenance costs.

    Most SUVs and mid-sized and larger crossovers are priced north of $30,000. Plus, they have large wheel-tire combinations that will be expensive to replace. My wife and I are hardly poor, but those vehicles are simply not on our shopping lists for those reasons.

    Gas prices DO play some role in vehicle purchases. Just because gas prices are $3 a gallon NOW does not mean that they will not increase in the future.

    Also remember that many of those $30,000+ SUVs, crossovers and larger sedans were purchased with home equity loans, and that source of funds has largely dried up over the past two years.

    The "sweet spot" for mass market brands over the next few years will premium subcompacts (Civic, upcoming Focus) and small SUVs (Escape, CR-V, Tuscon). Maybe they aren't stingy enough on gas for the Green Car Advisor, but they are hardly gas guzzlers.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    How did we pay for this thing anyway?

    America’s Interstate Highway System celebrates 55 years (USDOT)

    image

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    How did we pay for this thing anyway?

    I believe that segment of it was funded under the Ozark Chapter of the Loyal order of the Mafia? :P
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    What? Just because the guy on the left was shot from an unmarked Caddy while eating at Luigi's?
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