Raise the gasoline tax, now? I don’t think so!

From the files this week’s column on Your Government Is Out of Control–now a member of the public body of the Great State Of Mississippi is entertaining a rise in gasoline taxes.

Butch Brown, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, proposed last week that the 18.5¢ per gallon that motorists in Mississippi are currently paying should be adjusted upward to help fund road and bridge projects, and aid in shortfalls in revenues because of less travel in the state, lately.  Fortunately, he cannot wave a majic wand and make it happen–the Mississippi legislature and governor must approve first.

I find it very arrogant that someone in Brown’s position would be asking for more money in an economy that is less than stellar and during a highly volatile time in the oil and fuel markets.  An increase in fuel taxes will affect everyone in the same manner that rising retail prices have over the past several years–by taking more of our ‘pocket money’.  

You see, not only will Joe Sixpack be paying more to fill up his crew cab pickup truck at the pump, but he and his family will also be hit with higher prices for just about everything else.  Businesses will raise prices to recover the increase in the cost of fuel–just like what’s been going on over the past few years!  Fuel is the main common denominator in our economy, and lower fuel costs aid in stimulating a strong economy.  What is Brown thinking?

On the other side of the coin, fuel tax monies collected by the state and federal levels of government are straight cash cows for government.  The fuel in the tanks doesn’t cost either one cent to deliver.  The costs of exploration, drilling, pumping, refining, distribution and selling are borne completely by the oil companies.  Profits made on the sale of fuel are taxed at every level, in addition to the fuel tax.  Yet, government gets a direct slice of the pie without lifting a finger.  At a moment’s notice, the government can take more of the pie with very little action.

In today’s world, such arrogance is becoming more than a little irritating.  The groaning heard coming from taxpayers is no longer just whining; the voices of those working to change government back to serving the people, instead of the people serving the government, are getting louder and louder.

Tell your representative and senator that you are against raising the fuel tax.

Joe Buck Coates

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