Gas Taxes

Most Americans Opposed to Higher Gas Taxes, Even For Roads

The more the government taxes the more it says it needs


Reason 24/7

The infrastructure crisis that isn't isn't convincing Americans they should pay higher prices at the pump.

From Politico:

Two-thirds of Americans oppose increasing gas taxes, even if it means the revenue would go toward improving roads and bridges, a new polls shows.

Sixty-six percent of those surveyed say they are against a gas tax of up to 20 cents per gallon, with the money going to improve roads, bridges and building more mass transportation, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. Only 29 percent support such an increase while the remainder aren't sure or didn't answer.

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  1. ROADZ!!! Americans apparently just don’t want to pay the price for civilization and would rather the country become Somalia.

    1. I knew libertarianism was on the rise.

      1. Whoo! We are now an existential threat to America!

        1. NIHILISTS!!!

          1. Say what you will about the tenants of libertarianism, John, but at least we have an ethos.

            1. +1 “aquatic rodent”

              1. The Dude: It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…
                Donny: I am the walrus.
                The Dude: You know what I’m trying to say…
                Donny: I am the walrus.
                Walter Sobchak: That fucking bitch…
                The Dude: Oh yeah!
                Donny: I am the walrus.
                Walter Sobchak: Shut the fuck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!
                Donny: What the fuck is he talking about, Dude?

    2. Where the heck have all the taxes they’ve been collecting gone?

      1. Right? I mean aren’t certain pundits and politicians always bitching about our ‘crumbling’ infrastructure?

        1. Maybe their roads and bridges would be in better shape if the taxes they were collecting to spend on maintenance and new construction weren’t dumped into the general revenues.


            Also – TRAAAAAAAAINZZZ!!!

            1. TRAINZ are indeed subsidized quite a lot at the federal level per passenger-mile, but it’s a comforting myth to say that roads net subsidize other modes of transport.

              That said, it’s also a myth that roads and bridges are “crumbling,” considering that also according to FHWA statistics they have a long term trend of being in better and better shape.

              1. They count structures that are still in good shape, but “inadequate” for their use today, as “crumbling infrastructure”.

              2. Where do you drive Mr. Thacker? Because it sure isn’t around Houston. The roads here are awful and have gotten worse in the ten years I’ve been here.

                There’s really no excuse for it, either. We don’t get frost or appreciable snow. We do get rain, but 40 inches a year isn’t that much.

                Where are the roads in better and better shape, and how are they determining this?

              3. I don’t buy the-infrastructure-is-doomed business, either.

          2. No, that’s a myth. You’re wrong.

            According to Table HF-10 of the FHWA’s Highway Statistics, the General Revenues contribute as much to road construction on a federal level as is taken out of the user fees for mass transit. At a federal level, roads are generally neither subsidized nor subsidize other things on net. (Except for during things like the stimulus, where General Fund money was used; or also by the Democratic Congress at the end of the last highway bill.)

            At the state and local levels, especially local, lots of general revenue money is used on roads.

            Now, roads, being not federally subsidized, are a lot worse off per passenger mile than transit, but your statements is very wrong.

            1. Where do the taxes go, then?

              1. They go to highway construction and maintenance. For example, in 2008, while it’s certainly true that $5.4 billion of federal gas tax and toll money was diverted to mass transit, it’s also true that $8 billion of general funds were added into the Highway Trust Fund.

                Local governments use a lot of non gas tax money for roads, though I suppose it’s somewhat less objectionable at the local level than federal.

                The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has statistics comparing per passenger-mile subsidies of different modes. Roads are neutral. Transit and trains are subsidized. Air is subsidized some, though if you break it down further, it’s general aviation being subsidized.

                1. You left out the effect of the subsidies to labor unions courtesy of the Davis-Bacon Act.

                  It forces taxpayers to pay for overpriced union labor on every federal construction contract and has been doing so since the 1930’s.

              2. It doesn’t matter. Even if 100% of fuel taxes went to roads, it would not fund anywhere near the amount of money required to maintain existing roads at the level that people think they are entitled to.

                Interstates and major state highways would be fine, but local streets and rural roads would still suck tons of non fuel tax revenue.

            2. Bull. Fucking. Shit.

              In my state, state gas taxes DEFINITELY pay for other forms of transportation.

              Feds – maybe not to the same degree. But it happens.

              1. Yeah, and in most states AT THE SAME TIME General Funds and bonds paid by General Funds are also used towards roads.

                As in 2008, when $8 B in state gas taxes were used for mass transit, but at the same time $7 B in General Funds and $7 B in non General Fund non plausible road user fee (non gas tax, car reg, etc.) taxes were spent on roads.

                It makes it difficult to track.

                1. And local governments spend a lot of taxes, primarily property taxes, on roads.

                  1. I would rather maintain the road in front of my property myself rather than pay property taxes and still not have the road maintained the way I want it.

      2. Blow is not going to snort itself off of hookers’ asses, ProL.

        1. I can’t argue with that.

        2. After all, all that austerity has to be hurting politicians something fierce.

          1. Lol, read a quote the other day from a gun control advocate lamenting that bribery (in the legislative process) just wasn’t what it used to be, and that she hoped that when the economy picked back up they could load a bill with enough goodies to get it passed.

      3. They just paved the closest government road to me. It runs past the now famous Pilot Oil HQ. It made the cliff-like shoulders even more cliff-like.

        The privately built roads inside the subdivision still remain a better than the government roads.

        1. You’re such a fucking liar. I have it on good authority that only the government can build roads.

          1. If that authority says our government can build roads well, they are the fucking liar.

            Romans built better roads than any government in the US does.

            1. You crazy anarchists! Only the government, which is wise and good and benevolent and efficient and smart and not motivated by evil nasty profits can build roads.

              Also bridges. I mean name one bridge built by a non governmental organization. It’s not like someone could build a bridge across a river and then charge people to use it. That is just impossible.

              1. I stand corrected. All means to travel comes from government, just like marriages.

      4. The most politically powerful parts of my state and a neighboring state have beautiful road systems.

  2. Higher fuel costs disproportionately affect the poor. IS THIS SOCIAL JUSTICE? I ASK YOU.

    1. Please. Real poor people are too poor to ride in gas-powered vehicles.

    2. Poor people are supposed to ride the bus.

    3. Here’s what I have to say about austerity:

      If you’re going to expand government programmes, fine, do it through taxation. Because spending through borrowing is inherently a wealth transfer mechanism. The government’s going to pay *someone* the interest, and if you don’t think that someone is the 1% I have a bridge I want to sell you.

      1. The government is also going to charge the 1% quite a bit in taxes to pay that interest as well.

  3. From what I’ve seen, most states want to roll out (no pun intended) mileage taxes, to offset perceived losses in tax money due to government mandated fuel efficiency standards. In the near future the fucking cars will use the internet to report your mileage, making it as “painless” as payroll deduction.

    1. I could never see how that could be abused. No way.

      1. We’re calling you in for an audit: Your car says it was only driven 7345 miles last year and the average for your area is 21,934. Be prepared to explain yourself.
        Or check this “no contest” box and remit $340.*

        1. Even worse, as I understand it, proposed VMT taxes aren’t simply odometer taxes, but instead rely on GPS units. No privacy issues there, no sirree Bob.

    2. “Red Barchetta” becomes reality as Almanian sticks with his transponder-free ’71 Camaro RS and ’48 BMW sidecar….

    3. The proportional amount of damage you do to a road is still directly related to how much fuel it took to shove your vehicle down that road. A ‘Smart’ car gets better mileage and causes less road wear. A Dodge 3500 might get decent mileage, but it still uses more fuel per mile and it causes more wear.

      If all roads were private, this would not be an issue for publicly employed morons to debate.

      1. Both are rounding errors compared to the damage an 80,000 lb. Peterbilt does. Now, if we forced trucks to pay their “fair share” of road damage via gas taxes, what would that do to the prices of goods and services? Or would most goods simply be shipped by rail instead?

        1. Both are rounding errors compared to the damage an 80,000 lb. Peterbilt does

          And Optimus Prime was one of the good Transformers.

  4. On the other hand, the American public is all for a higher gas tax to ever so slightly impact climate change!

  5. Americans are almost always opposed to taxes that they would pay, but if you asked them how many supported taxing the rich to pay for roads, I bet you would get a very high percent.

    Americans want lots of stuff, but make some one else pay for it.

  6. I canna wait for the P.M. links – this is just too good.

    NSFW language.

    1. I saw that this morning. I feel bad for the guy but he seemed a bit flustered to be a news personality anyway.

      1. You could tell he was nervous for his first time anchoring a news show. Hopefully he’ll land back on his feet.

        1. If nothing else he’ll probably get a “web redemption” on Tosh.0 at some point.

      2. Yeah, this lad definitely does not have the gift of gab. The whole segment was painful to watch. Right up there with “boom goes the dynamite” guy.

        1. I don’t know if you heard about the Sorority sister letter that was circulating Friday because of its awfulness, but whether you did or not this link also deserves a pre-PM links heads up.



          Michael Shannon offers competing dramatic reading of that insane sorority email


          1. First I’ve heard of this sorority letter. If it’s true, this woman has a bright future running a non-profit one day.

          2. I don’t know if you heard about the Sorority sister letter that was circulating Friday because of its awfulness,

            Awfulness? I think you mean awesomeness. That woman needs a blog. She has a way with vulgarities that borders on art.

            1. I agree, “cunt punt” may be the greatest term I’ve heard recently.

              1. ‘If you’re reading this right now and saying ‘OMG Becca, I’m having so much fun with my sisters’ then punch yourself in the fucking face, so that I don’t have to find you on campus and do it myself.’


                1. Downright Shakespearean.

            2. I posted this for both my daughters – recent college grads still in touch with their sorority.

              Luv. Dit.

            3. I couldn’t listen to it after the first minute.

              Her ‘artful’ use of profanity aside, her shallow personal drive is enough for me to demand the death penalty for whatever crimes she’s ever committed.

              1. Stop being such a bitch-ass, Paul.


                  1. I WILL CUNT PUNT YOU IN TO NEXT WEEK.

                    If she’s hot, I’ll consider it.

                2. Stop being such a bitch-ass, Paul.

                  Sorry, after listening to her Rant for two minutes, I had an uncontrollable visual of her being punched in the face, mid sentence ala Sarah Silverman’s character in Way of the Gun.

          3. Michael Shannon is awesome.

            1. I saw a movie recently in which he was a “prepper” making a shipping container into a shelter. He was very, very good.

              I love him in “Boardwalk Empire” best – that character “Mr. Mueller” is AWESOME!

              1. Take Shelter. He’s great in that.

          4. Best Rant Evah.

    2. man. I feel for that guy. thank god my resume tape is on VHS and under the steps.

    3. Damn, did I just click on a link to Deadspin?? What trickery is this?!

    4. Even the ladies at ‘The Naked News’ don’t utter obscenities. They are very professional.

      1. Even the ladies at ‘The Naked News’ don’t utter obscenities.

        They don’t have to.

  7. Well, since the will of a supermajority of the American people is held by the proggies to be inviolable, then surely they will lower the gas taxes.

    1. Gas is down to $3.11 where I live. That fucking Obama is in bed with Big Oil!

      1. Palin’s Buttplug just failed the turing test. This is a non-sensical reply; which, for you, is really saying something.

        1. It’s not necessarily failing a Turing Test if the person actually thinks one individual tinkering at the margins of policy can have a significant influence on the price of a worldwide commodity.

          Failing an IQ test, maybe.

        2. Gas taxes unpopular. Yawn.

          So I worked in a plug for our low gas prices. We are the envy of the civilized world.

          1. PB employes “smartest kid with down syndrome argumentation”

            Aim high, PB, aim high.

    2. Wrong.
      The majority is inviolable only when it gets it right. In this case the majority has it wrong. So it is the duty of the courts to intervene.

      Remember that the game isn’t over until they’ve won.

  8. why is it that every solution always involves more taxes?

    1. Because we have a revenue problem.

    2. Because FUCK YOU, that’s why.

  9. Letter in Dear Prudence today from a woman who says her mother told her that she disliked her since she was six. Who hates their kid when they are six? Six year old kids are adorable. You hate them when they become teenagers sure. But six? God I hate humanity.

    1. How about the guy with an ex-wife who bought their five year old son a puppy and then took it away so the son would hate spending time with his dad?

      That bitch belongs in the Ninth Circle of Hell.

      1. She really does. She gets the daily double of being cruel to both a child and a puppy in one act. That one was too disturbing to contemplate.

      2. Who would do that to a puppy? Screw the kid…but the puppy?

        TOO FAR!

      3. How is that supposed to get the kid to hate his dad?

        1. Probably along the lines of, “Well, we could have kept of the puppy, but mommy wasn’t getting enough money for nights at the club with her friends child support, so we have to get rid of it.”

    2. I hate most 6-year-olds, but that’s mainly because a chunk of parents these days refuse to say “no”, and allowed the 6-year-olds to run around screaming (oh gawd, the screaming!) in restaurants and movie theaters.

      1. You mean modern parents suck? I am shocked. Next you will be telling me they refuse to put diapers on their kids.…..share&_r=0

        Reason number 8 million why hipsters must die.

        1. Once was on an airplane from China years ago, and the woman next to me had a kid somewhere in the 2-3 years old bracket. At any rate, not potty trained. Well, in China, kids that age just have big old holes in the ass of their pants instead of diapers. The kid was getting antsy, so she decided she would walk him around the plane. Rather than saying “excuse me” or motioning that she and the kid wanted to get up (I was on the aisle), she plopped the kid and his bare ass on my lap, then pushed him over into the aisle. I didn’t get too upset by it until the end of the flight when she got up with the kid and when she came back HE WAS WEARING A FUCKING DIAPER. She had diapers on her the whole time and didn’t use them until we were almost to JFK!

          1. I just vomited a little hearing that. And in China they just let their kids shit on the streets. I figure the New York hipsters are not far from that if they are not already doing that. Won’t the return of cholera be great?

            1. This is what public breast feeding will lead to.

            2. From your link above:

              parents exchange tips like how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars.

              RAGE. TAKING. OVER.

              1. That is so fucking disgusting. That is a crime. Can you imagine coming back to your car and having your tires covered in urine? How about the cops in NYC stop frisking black kids looking for dope and go after hipster fucks letting their kids foul the streets?

                1. You want to shit and piss in the streets? Come to San Francisco. It is actually encouraged here.

            3. I saw an adult shit on the street in Vietnam. to be fair, he was obviously disabled. either way, when it comes here, it won’t just be the kids.

              1. Yeah. It happens in SE Asia all of the time. The thing is that human feces is much much more harmful to humans than animal feces. It is incredibly unhealthy. This literally is how cholera epidemics start. It would be one thing to move way out in the country and live like pigs. But these people are doing it in a crowded city. It is just a matter of time before people start showing up with cholera and disentary and all of the other things that people used to get back when they lived in their own fifth and did understand what causes disease.

                And as an added bonus antibiotics are losing their effectiveness. So our days of getting a free pass on real public sanitation and health issues are probably coming to an end.

            4. How are they “getting” their offspring to piss between parked cars in a way that they couldn’t just get them to use a urinal?

              1. The comments are a riot. Get this one

                The negativity and amusement I am reading in these responses reveal how well we have been conditioned by the diaper industry to fear the waste of our children.

                Baby shit or anyone’s shit for that matter isn’t unhealthy. No reason to worry about it. Wow, just wow.

                1. i wonder if they sell “”You Have Died of Dysentery” shirts at the Caribou Baby shop mentioned below.

                2. But John, they feed their babies all natural cruelty free organic tofu. So therefore, the babies waste is all natural and organic.

                  See, it’s good for the environment and the soul.


                  1. They should recycle their child’s adorable waste if they have nothing to fear about it. Sprinkle it all over the organic community garden.

              2. it’s not hard. probably turn it into a game. I let my kid piss on a tree in our backyard once. for a week, all he wanted to do was piss on that tree.

        2. Caribou Baby, an “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store” on the border of artsy Greenpoint and Williamsburg

          What. The. Fuck. *facepalm*

          The only hope for the future is that the kids being raised by these fucking hipster shitstacks completely rebel against their feauxhemian bullshit.

      2. You’d have loved my six-year-old. Her mom and I broke her spirit when she was two.

        (My ex-wife hates it when I say that)

        1. Your ex didn’t engage in psychological warfare by being her a dog and then taking it away I hope.

          1. No, her mom and I get along very well. Our divorce was amicable and clean.

            I consider myself to be very lucky in marriage: I was able to get divorced with almost no fanfare and the only money I lost was being stuck with a two-income house payment on one income, leaving me utterly broke for five years.

            It was such a clean, uneventful divorce, it’s made me utterly against marriage, because I know that most divorces are completely unlike mine. Which means if I ever get married again, my second divorce can’t be as good. Because odds.

            1. I honestly don’t blame any guy who goes through a divorce and decides to never marry again. The whole family law system is so stacked against men in general and fathers in particular that it’s near insanity to want to risk putting yourself through it one or several more times.

              1. Neither do I. I have a buddy who had a brain aneurysm and was in a coma for a while. His wife basically dropped the kids off at grandma’s and went partying for a year. When he woke up, she was sleeping around and didn’t want to take care of him during his recovery. She filed for divorce.

                Even though she abandoned her kids, cheated on her husband, and blew all their savings, the courts gave her full custody (he had to fight for visitation), the house (that he was still paying for), child support (for kids he never got to see), and alimony.

                Poor guy was living in a shitty trailer for 10 years till his last kid turned 18 and the bitch finally remarried some rich guy.

              2. whole family law system is so stacked against men in general and fathers in particular that it’s near insanity to want to risk putting yourself through it one or several more times.

                Going through my divorce was like being grazed in the temple by a bullet. I’m not likely to have the same luck.

                For lulz, my then-wife and I filled out the ‘child support’ agreement.

                She made more than I did, and her expenses were lower, way lower– I would have owed a nominal monthly amount in ‘suppport’.

                When my wife showed me the worksheet, she said, “This is going to piss you off”.

      3. it’s really unconscionable how some people can’t/won’t handling kids.

        and i think it has everything to do with attempting to be your child’s friend. my almost 4-year-old has tried the “you’re not my friend” card when he’s upset i’ve either disciplined him or said no to something. and the stunned look he gives me when i respond, “yes, i’m not your friend, i’m in charge” is the best.

        1. You are certainly not there to be their friend. But I have no idea how cruel of a person you would have to be to actively dislike your own six year old child. Be aggravated sure. But actually dislike them to the point that you tell them as much later in life?

          1. i think something else is going on in cases like that.

            my wife’s grandmother hated one of her daughters. but she was also an alcoholic and had depression — which she blamed on the daughter, who was the last of 6 kids.

            1. Usually. A lot of times people have a bad marriage and view their kids as symbols of that and hate them for it. People are fucked up.

    3. Who hates their kid when they are six? Six year old kids are adorable.

      When you’re a mom is a young party animal, forgot or didn’t give a shit about birth control, and gets ‘stuck’ with a baby she didn’t want (but maybe though it would be ‘cool’ to be a mom, so she gave her baby a ‘cool’ name until the novelty of changing diapers wore off after the first week), then fails to internalize all these fucked up choices she’s made and consequently blames the kid for her being a waitress at 31 with no prospects and a dad with a Mullet who doesn’t help support her.

      I see them all the time in my neighborhood.

      Hair pulled back, adidas track suit, pushing a stroller with two toddlers walking behind. Always screaming at the kids.

      1. But all of my friends have kids. I want one too.

      2. This is why I want to start something like kickstarter, but for sterilizing people. It’d be an awesomely passive aggressive intervention where your friends and family would chip in a little here and there until they’d met the goal for a vasectomy or tubal ligation.

        It’d be voluntary. If they don’t get the procedure the money isn’t taken out of your bank account, but if they do you’d have the satisfaction that you’ve prevented someone from unleashing their awful spawn onto the world.

        1. I’ll sign up to be the first vasectomy recipient. My wife is already sterile, but I’ll do it just on principle.

          1. And now you’ve exposed the primary flaw with my plan: the people who will gleefully go out and get snipped are the people who are responsible enough to have kids, but smart enough not to.

            I want to encourage people like my coworker’s ex who kept having kids with random women but wouldn’t wear a condom because sensation and wouldn’t get snipped because he was discomfited by the idea of knives near his sac.

            1. So you’re saying “round up everyone who doesn’t show up”. Interesting.

              1. Were I a dictator there’d be a lot of not so voluntary sterilization, which is why I’m a libertarian. If I don’t trust myself with power, I’m hardly about to trust a degenerate politician.

            2. Sorry, I was only trying to help.

              Unfortunately, you are correct in the fatal flaw of your plan. It would mostly just increase the speed at which we are approaching the comedy/documentary line of idiocracy. Intelligent people who don’t want/should have kids would take up the offer and remove their intelligence from the gene pool. Meanwhile, fucking morons would continue to breed like rabbits and continue to create a terrible generation of spoiled, entitled fucktards.

              I’m considering donating sperm just so I can help humanity’s overall genetic profile.

            3. I want to encourage people like my coworker’s ex who kept having kids with random women

              Is your co-worker’s ex Antonio Cromartie or Travis Henry?

        2. As Chris Rock said: Get your ass home ‘n take care o’ them kids before they rob me in ten years.

    4. You hate them when they become teenagers sure.

      Ugh, this is … I don’t even …

      1. That was a joke Sparky.

        1. Yeah, I’m sure it was. One of those jokes that’s uncomfortably close to the truth I’d bet.

  10. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed say they are against a gas tax of up to 20 cents per gallon, with the money going to improve roads, bridges and building more mass transportation

    Wonder what the numbers would be like if that last pork barrel item were excluded.

  11. SOMALIA!!!111!!!!

  12. Two-thirds of Americans oppose increasing gas taxes, even if it means the revenue [sic] would go toward improving roads and bridges, a new polls shows.

    Or more likely, because they’re beginning to wake up and smell the bullshit.

  13. So one of my libtard friends was complaining about not getting her curbs fixed, while all her neighbers curbs WERE fixed. Why? Turns out it was some local pol fucking with her because she’d complained about something, or they were political foes…or something. So – poltician being a dick, making your life miserable, and NOTHING you can do about it. Cause no one would take the guy on cause it’s small ball.

    I pointed out that I live on a private road, and that my curbs are in perfect condition. Maybe because no dick local pol can fuck with me by intentionally witholding services.

    Whenever she starts to go on about SOMALIA! and ROADZ!, and how the KOCHPORASHUNZ are just there to KILL BABIES and POLLUTE and, and….CITIZENS UNITED, I just ask, “….and how are your curbs these days?”


    1. Yes, unlimited power does seem to take on a rather arbitrary character, doesn’t it? Wonder why no one noticed that before? Could anything be done about that?

      1. Could anything be done about that

        More unlimited power.

      2. If only the right people were in charge…

  14. And I’ll happily pay more gas tax when the fuckheads in Washington and Lansing can prove to me that:

    1) they aren’t using the receipts for anything BUT roads and shit related to roads (no TRAINZ, no MONORAILS, no LIGHT RAIL, no STREETCARS – roadz – for cars and trucks) and

    2) Mmmm – I know they’ll never be able to show #1, so we’ll stop there.

    1. If by roads you mean hookers and blow, then I’m sure they can prove it.

      1. Well if there’s hookers and blow, I’m in.

        Wait, you meant hookers and blow for the important people. Silly me.

        1. Just for now, once the revolution comes the state will provide hookers and blow for everyone. To each according to his need and whatnot.

    2. And I’ll happily pay more gas tax when…

      How about never…

    3. More General Revenues go to roads than gas taxes are diverted to mass transit. It’d be even higher if you included the stimulus, or the 2009 injection of General Revenues because of the highway trust fund running low at the end of the highway bill (and gas tax revenues being lower than expected.)

      So I guess you’ll happily pay more gas tax, then.

      1. Me, I would condition my support of a gas tax on other things than just the money being aimed at roads, because there is such a thing as too much infrastructure.

        1. Yes there is. And that is why privatizing all roads would be grossly inefficient. There may only be need for one road to go between two cities. Well if a private company builds such a road, it then has a monopoly and can artificially raise prices for use of that road. If someone comes along and builds a second road to compete, you have eliminated that problem and prices for use of the road come down. But to get to that point, someone has to build an extra road you don’t need.

          1. If people do not like the private road situation where they live, they can alter their lifestyle to rely on the road less or move somewhere where the private road situation is more to their liking. Roads are not an entitlement.

            1. Sure they can alter their lifestyles. But they will do so in ways that are less efficient and more expensive and they will be poorer as a result.

              Think of it this way. In medieval Germany, local lords would build castles and trow chains across the Rhine to take tolls. Rivers were just highways of the day. Was there a limit to what they could charge? Sure. You could always go over land or just not ship the stuff. So the market worked it out. But when Germany eliminated those lords’ ability to do that and made the Rhine free for passage, it got a lot richer.

              Same thing would happen with highways. Some places there is only a need for one road. And the person controlling that road will be able to skin off a nice rent at everyone else’ expense. And the only way to prevent that is to build a second unneeded competing road or change your lifestyle to other less efficient things.

              1. First of all, only major highways can really be “privatized” in the sense of tolls being charged for use. Everything else can just be privatized meaning adjacent property owners “own” the road and can maintain it if they like, but it is still unrestricted to everyone for travel. This is how roads existed before the idea of a road changed to solely support automobile traffic.

                1. But fixing the 20 feet of road in front of my house doesn’t make the road very useful. Everyone has to fix it or it isn’t any good. It seems to me that such a system would lead to a tragedy of the commons. Why should I fix my road if the person next door doesn’t? It only takes one deadbeat to ruin it for everyone.

                  1. The road can just be compacted dirt from people just traveling on it regularly, but it would still exist as an open right of way that people can travel on.

                    People- especially business owners who want to provide convenience for customers- still have an incentive to maintain a road beyond that. Put down some fucking bricks, which last a long time, or collaborate with neighbors to have the whole street paved. If they don’t, that’s just the way it is (and was before roads were subsidized).

              2. Changing behavior in response to the market leads to more long term efficiency anyway. If a road is too expensive for people to pay the direct cost of using it, that means resources were being inefficiently allocated when it was subsidized, and peoples’ lifestyles just formed around that inefficiency.

        2. So the low gas prices are encouraging fuel use which INCREASES tax revenue?

          That Obama is a supply side genius!

        3. because there is such a thing as too much infrastructure.

          Not when your spouse/sibling/cousin/in-law is a developer!

          There’s this holy-crap-super-rich Chinese student at school I’ve had my eye on. I asked her what her parents did; she said her father was a city planner and her mother was an exec at a real estate firm.

          I’m sure there are no conflicts of interest.

          Philosophical question for all you upstanding citizens here on H&R: say I were to date and then marry her (unlikely, b/c she’d want to move me to Communist China) and thus had access to her family’s wealth. Is it morally wrong to live a life of luxury using money you know or at least surmise was gained through cronyism?

          1. Is it morally wrong to live a life of luxury using money you know or at least surmise was gained through cronyism?

            No. Any crimes or immoralities were committed prior to obtaining said wealth. The money does not carry any original sin, it just is. What you’d do with it is what matters.

  15. Update:

    The RCMP accuses the two men of conspiring to commit “al-Qaeda-supported attack” against a Via passenger train.

    “Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or seriously injured,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia told reporters.

    While Malizia said the two had the “capacity and intent” to carry out the attack, he added there was “no imminent threat to the public, rail employees or infrastructure

    1. Undercover agents had replaced the shipment with harmless chemicals.

      That’s what you get for saying “Sure” when an agent provocateur offers to help you make a bomb.

    2. Why do I think that LE in Canada and the U.S. is taking the opportunity now to roll up absolutely every single Islamic or separatist person in their files who looks like they might think of doing something criminal? Or did they just learn about all of these cells yesterday?

  16. Wouldn’t dream of just privatizing road construction, though. I mean, where’s the payoff in actually solving a problem, right?

  17. Unfortunately, I think the real story here is, “Most Americans opposed to paying their bills.”

  18. FWIW, taxes on gas, mileage, cars, registration, tires, motor oil, etc (IDK what the “ideal” combination is) are the way to go when it comes to funding ROADZ.

    I was actually briefly pondering the issue this morning in the shower. It seems to me that there should be USPS-style GSEs that get that tax money directly and devote it all to the ROADZ.

    1. “I was actually briefly pondering the issue this morning in the shower.”

      Pondering the issue? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

    2. I was actually briefly pondering the issue this morning in the shower.

      I’d hate to tell you what I “ponder” in the shower…

  19. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed say they are against a gas tax of up to 20 cents per gallon, with the money going to improve roads, bridges and building more mass transportation


  20. Fuel taxes are too indirect of a form of “user fees” for me to be okay with them. Fucking privatize the highways and roads.

    1. I totally agree. And if they have a problem with the cost they should demand a repeal of union-friendly laws that double the cost of road work.

      1. demand a repeal of union-friendly laws that double the cost of road work


        One of my friend’s fathers had a construction company that could do roads. He primarily did private roads in new developments. He was non-union and had a wonderful machine that could tear up the road, melt it down to tar, clean out the junk in the mix, add new material, and lay down new perfectly flat road all with one machine. He could redo 1 mile of road in about 2 hours from start to finish. He got the contract to do the road in front of my house. I watched in awe as this giant machine inched down the road, leaving pristine asphalt behind it.

        Of course, he was promptly sued into oblivion by the unions for daring to do things more efficiently.

  21. Screw the kid

    You’re on a list.

  22. Yet people favor a tax on the rich to pay for infrastructure spending. People need to pay for the government they want.

  23. And the US government wants to help you in other ways:…..anada.html

    U.S. proposal for border crossing fee from Canadians.

    The cross border shopping/tourism trade balance runs about 4 to 1 in the US favor. I am glad to see that DHS is doing its bit to shoot America in the foot.

    1. Hey, I oppose this. We need the Canadian cash down here. Also, Canadian tipping makes me look generous to those who I tip down here.

      1. Canadians are so easy to tip and they don’t know how to stand back up when they’re drunk.

      2. Canadian cash won’t ever make it as far south as Florida. It’s all watered down by then.

        1. Next to Spanish, Quebecois is Florida’s third language.

  24. The difference between a Canadian and a canoe? A canoe tips, also why do Canadians have sex doggie style? So they can both watch the hockey game.

    1. Why is American beer like making love in a canoe?

      Because it’s fucking near water.

  25. Somehow you just have to wonder dude. Wow.

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