Tags: gasoline | tax | budget | waste

Ex-Transportation Secretary LaHood: US Needs Higher Gas Tax

Monday, 13 Jan 2014 06:18 PM

By Greg Richter

America is "one big pothole," says former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and the gasoline tax has to be raised to fix it.

But LaHood had trouble convincing Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto, who makes no secret that he thinks the money already being collected for that purpose is being squandered.

By September 30, the Highway Trust Fund will be out of money, LaHood warned, and the tax hasn't been raised since 1993. The fund is depleted because people are driving less, driving more fuel-efficient cars and gas tax hasn't been raised, he said.

Cavuto countered that there already are $85 billion in federal and state fuel taxes, $12 billion in tolls, $10 billion in property tax earmarked and $14.5 billion ancillary fees collected to repair roads and bridges.

"You might be right," Cavuto told LaHood. "There's definitely some infrastructure problems going on here because we're not fixing this stuff, but methinks that someone is absconding with a lot of that money."

"Well, I think that's a little ridiculous to say that," LaHood countered.

This is not the first fight Cavuto has had over a proposed gas tax hike. In December, he battled Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who wants to double the federal tax from 18.4 cents per gallon to 33.4 cents.

That battle, too, ended in a draw.

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