Ever heard of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission? Well, they want your money. This quasi-governmental body is suggesting that gasoline taxes be TRIPLED over the next five years. Big Government, not Big Oil,  is already the biggest profit-taker on each gallon of gas we buy, but they have so far only managed to waste our money. So, of course, they want even more.

Who is the National Surface Transportation Policy and Review Commission? It’s made up of people, no surprise, who benefit from taking your money. In the words of the NSTPRC website, “Federal, state and local governments; metropolitan planning organizations; transportation-related industries; and public interest organizations” — actual taxpayers not permitted. The Republican Congress appointed the group in 2005. (And those same GOP congressman cannot figure out why they lost in 2006… could it be bone-headed creations like this? Yes.)

At least the proposal isn’t getting a free pass. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the idea “a crippling blow to our economic future and disastrous for fast growing states like Texas.” A congressman from Florida was less polite: the proposal “does not stand a snowball’s chance in hell.”

Texas is what’s known euphemistically as a “donor state” on gas taxes. That means we send the federal government more — a LOT more — than we get back in federal transportation money. According to Gov. Perry, for every dollar in gas-tax money we send to Washington, only about 78 cents meanders back to the Lone Star State. That is commonly known as a “bad return.”

Despite the colorful rhetoric of the gentleman from Florida, no bad idea involving your money and growing government actually ever seems to die — the rhetoric just changes. Watch closely for discussions of gas-tax increases to simmer and brew this year, with the proposal being hailed as a cure for everything from collapsing bridges built by unionized thugs to global warming to starving children to the lack of quality programming on television.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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