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Gas tax foolishness

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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Here’s a wild statistic: At any given moment, a third of the cars in Manhattan are just passing through on their way to somewhere else. Why? Because it’s cheaper than driving around it.

Thanks to a quirk of history, the East River bridges to Manhattan aren’t tolled, nor are the outbound Hudson tunnels — you can drive from Long Island to New Jersey for free if you go through Manhattan. Go around Manhattan, however, and you’ll hit tolls of up to $13. The system gives drivers a financial incentive to drive straight through the most crowded, most congested patch of land in the country.

With gas taxes, we make the same mistake: We artificially depress the price of fuel so that the least efficient way to get somewhere — in this case, a private car — is also sometimes the cheapest.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has given us an opportunity to discuss this absurdity. On Tuesday, the New York Times revealed the true reason he killed plans for a new rail tunnel from New York to New Jersey. Yes, he was genuflecting before Tea Party deficit hawks, but, said the paper, the decision was actually “more about avoiding the need to raise the state’s gasoline tax.”

Washington gets some flak (not nearly enough) for not raising the federal gas tax. The last time it budged, a T-Rex was

Jeff Goldblum, and Meat Loaf was in the Top 40. But individual states are just as guilty of keeping their gas taxes frozen, which, because of inflation, effectively adds up to more-deeply discounted gas every year. Fourteen states haven’t raised their gas taxes in at least two decades, including New Jersey, which now has the nation’s third-lowest rate — it hasn’t gone up since 1988. This has caused the state’s real-dollar gas-tax revenue to fall by 40 percent. By not keeping the tax apace with transportation costs, New Jersey loses half a billion dollars a year.

When we talk about the federal gas tax being too low, we talk about the fact that keeping the price of gas down encourages sprawl and discourages sales of fuel-efficient cars — both worthy concerns. But by ignoring the problem of states refusing to raise their rates as well, we miss out on the fact that, for instance, New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is now $12.5 billion in debt. Wyoming last year voted down an attempt to raise its gas tax, the country’s second-lowest, which would have allowed it to repair underground storage tanks that are leaking petroleum into the earth. And South Carolina, which borrowed $52 million from Washington last year to close a budget gap created by its super-low gas tax, recently moved to cut that tax by 10 percent more.

And why not? Gas is expensive now, right? The truth is, the price of gas is unnaturally low, held down by governors who would sooner take a handout from Washington than increase the price by a penny per gallon. This thinking is creating a fiscal disaster for state governments. And it’s put New Jersey on track to earn a dubious distinction: By mid-century, it will become the first state in America to literally run out of land. By making “drive till you qualify” so cheap, all the Garden State’s unprotected open space will be completely gone in a few short decades.

Maybe it’s best if we just drive around it.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/11/chris_christies_gas_tax_foolishness/singleton/

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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So you support taxing the hell out of the poor Steven?

You support robbing Peter to pay Paul?

I see how it is. Of course this doesn't surprise me one bit, but it's disgusting to be quite honest with you.

Oh and as for "private cars" being "inefficient" - what a load of #######. It's the most efficient way to get from point A to point B out there, unless you're travelling accross the country, then it's an airplane.. What kind of crack is the author smoking here?


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Put a half-cent per minute usage tax on cell phones and wireless data, and charge it directly to the carriers. That could raise more money than that eighteen-cent per gallon gas tax. Call it, "The Internet Highway Tax."

Edited by ☼

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Ireland
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So you support taxing the hell out of the poor Steven?

You support robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Think of it as a way to encorage poor Steven to demand proper public transport or live closer to his place of employment. Of course another side effect of this is that a tax would help reduce oil imports and help American's balance of trade.

Oh and as for "private cars" being "inefficient" - what a load of #######. It's the most efficient way to get from point A to point B out there, unless you're travelling accross the country, then it's an airplane.. What kind of crack is the author smoking here?

Well it depends doesn't it? Maybe having an American sized bus drive only a couple of people around town then ya. Private cars are going to be more efficient. But then again, if it's the kind of bus that the rest of world uses and it's completly full with people, then no. Private cars can't compete. Take fifty cars off the road and you not only save the 50 people having to buy gas, car insurance and registration, but you also make the roads less congested for everybody else with a car. Less time sitting in traffic with a aircondioner reducing your gas milage.


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Filed: Country: United Kingdom
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With gas taxes, we make the same mistake: We artificially depress the price of fuel so that the least efficient way to get somewhere — in this case, a private car — is also sometimes the cheapest.

How exactly do we do that?


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How exactly do we do that?

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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Think of it as a way to encorage poor Steven to demand proper public transport or live closer to his place of employment. Of course another side effect of this is that a tax would help reduce oil imports and help American's balance of trade.

Well it depends doesn't it? Maybe having an American sized bus drive only a couple of people around town then ya. Private cars are going to be more efficient. But then again, if it's the kind of bus that the rest of world uses and it's completly full with people, then no. Private cars can't compete. Take fifty cars off the road and you not only save the 50 people having to buy gas, car insurance and registration, but you also make the roads less congested for everybody else with a car. Less time sitting in traffic with a aircondioner reducing your gas milage.

Without having 100% dedicated bus lanes to by-pass traffic, there's no way in hell this is viable.

I can take the bus now to get to places, but it gets me there in an hour vs. 20 mins because of all the stops, etc...

I still pay a $2 one-way fare or a $5/day pass to get where I'm going if I wanted to take the bus... I spend less on gas than I would on bus fare.. and I lose time.

It's really more of a personal thing and it depends on how well you value your time.

I've got a route to work so that I don't sit in traffic, some people don't have that option...


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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"Maybe it’s best if we just drive around it."

That's pretty much what NY resisdents have said about NJ for as long as I've lived here. Or more closely stated as, "New Jersey is just a state to drive through to get somewhere else.


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Filed: Other Country: Afghanistan
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SF seems to have it right. From my area it costs 6.00 in tolls + about 4 in fuel to get downtown. Then its anywhere between 4 and 10 for parking. It takes about 25-30 min.

Mass Transit is 8 and is about 35 min

Some cities were just poorly planned.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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SF seems to have it right. From my area it costs 6.00 in tolls + about 4 in fuel to get downtown. Then its anywhere between 4 and 10 for parking. It takes about 25-30 min.

Mass Transit is 8 and is about 35 min

Some cities were just poorly planned.

I don't think it's necessarily that cities were poorly planned, it's just that a lot of cities weren't expecting the grow #### massively as they have (or lose what they had in the case of Detroit).

We've doubled our population here in the past decade, which is insane when you compare to previous growth rates. Due to our land area, we are actually expected to overtake the population of Dallas within the next 10-20 years and that says A LOT...

We've had a plan for a long time and were ready to put it into place over time, but the population boom hit and now they're scrambling to add the new freeways, expansions, rail lines, etc...

Sometimes the economy and what you have that other people want catches up with you, and you didn't see it coming...

Personally I'd be glad to get rid of the population growth.. Being a "native" to this area is becoming very thin.. Way too many Cali transplants and it shows...


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The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Ireland
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Without having 100% dedicated bus lanes to by-pass traffic, there's no way in hell this is viable.

I can take the bus now to get to places, but it gets me there in an hour vs. 20 mins because of all the stops, etc...

I still pay a $2 one-way fare or a $5/day pass to get where I'm going if I wanted to take the bus... I spend less on gas than I would on bus fare.. and I lose time.

It's really more of a personal thing and it depends on how well you value your time.

I've got a route to work so that I don't sit in traffic, some people don't have that option...

This is only becasue cities over the past century have been planed around the car. Take LA for example, it used to have a really efficient public tram system, but the car companies decided to buy the tram companies out and then close them all down. Traffic congestion now now sucks in LA and all over over the United States because of short sighted planning.

P.S. Most US highways are plenty big enough to accomodate bus and taxi lanes without too much inconvience to other road users.


Oct 19, 2010 I-130 application submitted to US Embassy Seoul, South Korea

Oct 22, 2010 I-130 application approved

Oct 22, 2010 packet 3 received via email

Nov 15, 2010 DS-230 part 1 faxed to US Embassy Seoul

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Nov 16, 2010 Confirmation of appointment received via email

Dec 13, 2010 Interview date

Dec 15, 2010 CR-1 received via courier

Mar 29, 2011 POE Detroit Michigan

Feb 15, 2012 Change of address via telephone

Jan 10, 2013 I-751 packet mailed to Vermont Service CenterJan 15, 2013 NOA1

Jan 31, 2013 Biometrics appointment letter received

Feb 20, 2013 Biometric appointment date

June 14, 2013 RFE

June 24, 2013 Responded to RFE

July 24, 2013 Removal of conditions approved

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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This is only becasue cities over the past century have been planed around the car. Take LA for example, it used to have a really efficient public tram system, but the car companies decided to buy the tram companies out and then close them all down. Traffic congestion now now sucks in LA and all over over the United States because of short sighted planning.

P.S. Most US highways are plenty big enough to accomodate bus and taxi lanes without too much inconvience to other road users.

Please. HOV lanes are a proven failure for what they are supposed to be. They're supposed to alleviate traffic and they don't. If you dedicate lanes for "buses and taxis" all you are doing is enhancing the problem that there already is.

The automobile won the day because it's convenient. People don't like having to walk to a bus/train stop, then having to wait for said train/bus... When a better option comes to pass, then people go that route. It's not about anyone or anything being bought out. If it's viable the market will call for it.

There will not be a "better" mode of transportation than the private automobile until someone invents a teleportation device.


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The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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