Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bush opposes funding road and bridge repairs

A week after a deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis, President Bush dismissed Thursday raising the federal gasoline tax to repair the nation's bridges.

Bush said Congress should change its priorities rather then raise revenue to fund repairs: ''That's not the right way to prioritize the people's money. Before we raise taxes, which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities.''

President Bush ignored the fact that only 8 percent ($24 billion) of the last $286 billion highway bill, was devoted to highway and bridge projects singled out by lawmakers. The balance is distributed through grants to states, which decide how it will be spent. Federal money accounts for about 45 percent of all infrastructure spending.

The Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee proposed a 5-cent increase in the 18.3 cents-a-gallon federal gasoline tax to establish a new trust fund for repairing or replacing structurally deficient highway bridges.

More than 77,000 of the nation's bridges are rated structurally deficient, including the bridge that collapsed over the Mississippi River last Wednesday. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that it would cost $1.6 trillion over five years just to bring the nation's infrastructure up to "good" condition. "Establishing a long-term development and maintenance plan must become a national priority," says the group.

President Bush is nothing but audacious in challenging Congress' priorities. Recall that the 2001 Bush tax cuts' price tag was $1.3 trillion, almost enough to cover the entire cost of bringing all the nation's roads and bridges up to par. Half of that tax cut went to the wealthiest 1% those averaging over $900,000 a year and one third of all workers received no tax break at all.

Its the Bush administration's priorities that need changing!

6 comments:

P. Wolff said...

Raise taxes, that is always the liberal solution. How about getting rid of frivolous ear-marks (which, I agree, is a problem for both sides of the aisle).

Typical left-wing response, blame Bush!

John P said...

This is a complete joke. Why dont you look to see what kind of projects are being paid for out of the federal transportation fund before we go and raise taxes. Maybe we should stop the $5 million project to rehab the U.S. of Representatives gym, or the hundreds of other pork projects that we taxpayers are funding. If reparing bridges is a priority than we should treat our current spending as such. Why do you liberals always want to raise taxes then to determine if their are any spending cuts that could be done first. If after the spending cuts we still need more money then we can talk tax increases.

Anonymous said...

Lets see, raise taxes to contribute to the greater good and save lives or risk another bridge collapse like in Mineappolis. I don't understand how people can think it is okay to give tax breaks to the wealthy (who pay less in taxes when you look at their effective tax rate) when we are at war abroad (with no end in sight) and faced with a deteriorating infrastructure at home (bridges, levees, etc).

John P said...

Anon:

Give me a break. Why doesnt the wealthy pay their fair share? What should they pay?

The typical liberal response, raise taxes first, ask questions later.

Anonymous said...

John P, they should at least pay the same tax rate as the rest of us. It isn't about simply raising taxes, it is about investing (which includes everyone regardless of class) in the community and the good of society. Educating one of us benefits all of us. Just because someone has more money does not mean they should be exempt from contributing to the greater good!

Typical Republican response...cut taxes, i don't use the public services anyway!

John P said...

Annon:

You did not answer my question., the top 20% of income earners pays over 75% of the taxes in this country, so tell me again how the wealthy are not paying their fair share? Also what is wealthy in your mind?