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Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Buy Gas Again...

Well, the Boston Globe is proving once again that, politically, it is the equivalent of the guys who go on the battlefield after the fighting is over and bayonets the wounded.

In Massachusetts, the state is running a bit low on transportation money, so the Globe has solution:

AN INCREASE in the gasoline tax is the obvious answer to transportation funding shortfalls, and the gymnastics that state officials go through to avoid it are worthy of the Olympics.

Let's see... the economy's in a bit of a slump right now (although it's still growing, defying the proclamations that we're in a recession), gas prices are finally coming down from record highs (although still higher than any previous years), so the Globe is recommending transferring more money from the people of Massachusetts (who are already taxed quite severely) and to the state, which has NEVER shown the slightest bit of fiscal responsibility.

And do it through a gas tax, which tends to hit the poor and working class harder? At a time when gas consumption is dropping in response to those high prices?

Yup, sounds like a grand notion.

I've got a far less obvious answer, but one that, to me, makes far more sense:

SPEND LESS MONEY.

Cut spending. Cut programs. Cut pay. Cut workers.

When a government has a funding shortfall, cutting spending should be the first thing looked at. As well as the second, third, fourth, and fifth thing. Jacking up taxes, fees, and other "revenue enhancements" should be a last resort.

But not in Massachusetts. It's often before the first resort -- they do it sometimes just because they can.


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Comments (9)

Ah, yes, the People's Repub... (Below threshold)
Adam:

Ah, yes, the People's Republik of Taxachusetts strikes again...

If Obama is elected you can... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

If Obama is elected you can expect a similar increase in the federal gas tax.

But...but...when gas prices... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

But...but...when gas prices fall, tax revenues fall at the same rate! How can we possibly serve our citizens? We've already cut our budgets to the BONE! Whatever are we to do? We'll have to start cutting critical services next, like police, fire, and education!

And we reelect these turkeys over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

Listen, I have my own probl... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Listen, I have my own problems - I just heard on Fox Morning News here in Maine this morning that Maine passed on the opportunity to limit welfare recipients to five years on the dole.

wtf?

Transportation is the least... (Below threshold)
John S:

Transportation is the least of Massachusetts money woes. They've got that socialized medicine boondoggle to pay for. What's the deficit on that this year? $1 billion?

But...but...when g... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
But...but...when gas prices fall, tax revenues fall at the same rate!

The state and federal gas tax is per gallon, not a percentage of the price. When price goes down people buy more gas so tax revenues go up.

They talk about this in Col... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

They talk about this in Colorado too. Of course, we had a brutal winter last year and the Dept. of Transportation did run short of money to plow the roads and they are in pretty bad shape this summer.

But this is sort of typical. Denver had a bad drought a few summers ago and they urged everyone to conserve which they did. The following year they raised the rates for water because the conservation was so effective and THEY WEREN'T MAKING ENOUGH MONEY!!!

Yep, they need to look at where to cut programs and get their hands out of our pockets!

Sorry, Mac. I confused Mass... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Sorry, Mac. I confused Massachusetts with Illinois, which is a 10.25% sales tax on top of other taxes. It's a very easy mistake to make, considering the similarity of political thought in each state.

Actually, Mass "user" or "c... (Below threshold)
Jess:

Actually, Mass "user" or "consumer" taxes aren't too bad (most are below average). It's the property & corporate taxes that are brutal (along w/local taxes).

J




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