Letter: Biden’s federal gas tax suspension follies

Gas Station
As gas prices surge across the nation, Bronx motorists are paying more than $5 per gallon at the pump.
Photo Adrian Childress

To the Editor,

President Biden is contemplating a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax as a means to reduce the price which is now averaging more than $5 per gallon nationally and growing each week. 

This makes no sense in the long run. He reminds me of the emperor during the decline of ancient Rome. The emperor would offer the masses free bread and circuses as a means to placate them. 

Biden fails to explain how Washington would deal with less money going into the Highway Trust Fund as a result of his federal gas tax holiday. This is a critical source of funding for highway and transit projects. A federal gas tax holiday would result in Uncle Sam not collecting $0.18 for every gallon of gas purchased. The Highway Trust Fund already faces financial difficulties. The loss would have to be made up. 

Congress would have to decide how to make up the lost dollars. They will either raise other taxes, transfer revenue from another source, borrow more (raising our growing $30.4 trillion national debt) or reduce the scope or number of transportation-funded projects. 

In the end, both motorists and transit riders will be the losers if federal gasoline taxes are temporarily suspended. 

How did we go from an energy independent nation to an energy dependent nation under President Biden? Why have gasoline prices increased from $3-$5 or more under his watch? Why haven’t Senate Majority Leader Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi convened a special commission to investigate this?

Larry Penner

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