Friday, August 10, 2007

Excoriating a Tax That's Already in Place

Bush Rejects Gas Tax To Fund Bridge Repair, Decries Hill Spending

Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, August 10, 2007; Page A03

President Bush yesterday rejected a gasoline tax increase to repair thousands of structurally deficient bridges such as the one that collapsed in Minneapolis, pointing the finger instead at Congress for what he called misguided spending policies that have neglected high priorities in favor of pork politics.

The president's broadside triggered a furious reaction from congressional Democrats, who said he is in no position to lecture anyone on priorities. The heated exchange suggested the issue of infrastructure safety, dramatized as cars plunged into the Mississippi River last week, has become one more front in a broader battle between the White House and Congress over national goals.

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We already have a tax on gasoline to maintain the Interstate Highway System, although it's most often used for resurfacing rather than maintaining. But the tax is in place. Will priorities follow? Not until both Bush and the Congress use the Minneapolis incident to maximum effect.


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