In the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse, Democrats have proposed a five cent per gallon gasoline tax that would be spent on the estimated 17,000 bridges that are in serious need of repair. Displaying what has become boringly typical audacity and pig-headedness, President Bush has voiced his opposition to the tax, instead lecturing Congress on how they currently spend money. While Congressional spending is surely not without fault, President Bush is in no position to lecture fiscal responsibility, and his opposition to the bill only does harm to American citizens.
Mr. Bush entered the presidency with a record surplus that he quickly squandered on tax cuts for the rich and Republican pork projects. President Bush failed to veto any Congressional spending requests during the Republicans’ six year rule of Congress, and his discredited fiscal policies of trickle down economics has increased income disparity in our society while doing grave damage to the finances of middle- and low-income Americans. Mr. Bush should be ashamed of himself for consistently putting forward policies that hurt the vast majority of Americans.
A gas tax dedicated to infrastructure improvements is a sound idea on several levels. First, as I have mentioned before, American urban infrastructure is in dire need of attention, and help from the federal government is necessary. Second, America would benefit from higher gas prices. Our currently low prices, subsidized by terrorist-supporting regimes and high European prices, encourage wasteful practices such the production of gas-guzzling SUVs. As we buy more gas, we send more money to oil rich nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran (remember 17 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis), and our dependence on foreign oil increases. Weaning Americans off of foreign oil would make our country safer, both internally and externally.
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