Thursday, May 11, 2006

Feeling Better About Gas Prices?

House minority leader Bradley Jones (R-North Reading) has teamed up with Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey to destroy our roads and bridges by eliminating the means to pay for their repairs. In his call for cutting the gas tax, Jones gave this explanation:

Yesterday, [Jones] said, "This proposal recognizes the people who don't have the immediate needs to go out and buy a hybrid vehicle overnight. When people feel like they're not paying something to the government, they feel a lot better."
Personally, I'd feel a lot better knowing that the potholes on my street or the guardrails on the bridges I cross will be repaired. Maybe that's just me, though. Look, we've seen gas prices go up 21 cents in an afternoon lately. There is absolutely no reason to think that repealing the gas tax will lower prices for more than a couple days. The price will rise to meet demand; if we lower the price, more people will buy, the supply will go down and the price will come back up. More importantly, the oil companies know what we're willing to pay, tax or no, and they're going to wring every last dollar they can out of us. I, for one, am not going to 'feel better' because the next oil executive can afford a $500 million retirement package.

And you know you're on the wrong side of a tax cut when even panderbunny Mitt Romney is at odds with you. He opposes the gas tax repeal.

So, never mind that the American Society of Civil Engineers found last year that 71% of our major roads are in "poor or mediocre condition" and 51% of our bridges are "structurally deficient or functionally obsolete." Never mind that this same group found that driving on roads that need repair costs each Massachusetts driver $501 dollars a year, for a total of $2.3 billion, in "extra vehicle repairs and operating costs." These things are not as important as lowering the price of gas for maybe a week.

Still feel better?