Marita: Republicans advocating gas taxes


Count on the republicans to keep not keep their word on taxes in general and gasoline taxes in particular.  At this point in time, it should not surprise us that politicians sitting at the federal level make promises to raise money, with little intent to serve the people voting for them.

There are other ways of financing our transportation infrastructure and Marita finds them with little effort. READ


I generally beat up on President Obama and his Democrat allies—because they are such easy targets when it comes to bad energy policy. However, when Republicans do stupid things, I am quick to point it out. In this week’s column, Note to GOP: Talking about raising taxes is a bad idea (attached and pasted-in-below), I took that opportunity. Really, what is the GOP thinking? has posted a shortened version and I am offering you the full-length version. It is a complicated issue and my conversations with regular folks who don’t follow this stuff told me that a full explanation was needed—hence I suggest the longer version.

Whichever version suits your needs, I hope you will post it, pass it on, and/or personally enjoy it!

BTW, with the storms coming into the Northeast today, may I remind you of a column I wrote at the first cold snap in November? Give this another look: Dear Northeast: How’s that solar working out for ya?

Stay warm!

Marita Noon

Marita Noon

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998,

Note to GOP: Talking about raising taxes is a bad idea

What are the Republicans thinking? Coming right out of the gate, at the start of the new GOP-controlled Congress, they began talking about the crazy idea of increasing the gasoline tax. It has little chance of passing, yet can easily taint the party with a tax-raising reputation.

Just two days after the swearing in of the new Congress, the January 8 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) headline reads: “Senate Republicans: Higher Gas Taxes are on the Table.” It states: “Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R., Okla.), who just took the reins of the panel, said he is open to considering raising the gas tax as a way to help pay for the dwindling Highway Trust Fund that keeps up the nation’s roads and other transportation infrastructure.”

Many of Inhofe’s Senate colleagues are clear about gas tax increase’s future. According to the Associated Press (AP), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said: “I don’t know of any support for a gas tax increase in Congress.” The WSJ cites Senator John Barasso (R-WY), “who said he doesn’t support an increase and doesn’t think there is a political appetite for doing so on Capitol Hill.”

The House isn’t any more optimistic. According to the AP, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) doesn’t think there “are enough votes in the House for a gas tax increase.” Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, said: “I don’t think there’s a will in Congress and the American People don’t want it.”

Even the New York Times touts: “Gasoline-tax increase finds little support.”

However, Inhofe’s apparent willingness to consider an increase in the gas tax, along with Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and John Thune (R-SD), has given fodder to those who long for a carbon tax. A San Francisco Chronicle article titled: “Odds of gas-tax hike grow with quiet support of GOP Senators,” opens: “With Washington’s most famous climate-change skeptic expressing interest in raising the federal gasoline tax, Bay area Rep. Jared Huffman sees an opening to grab the brass ring of the environmental movement: a tax on carbon.” Huffman sees that “it’s a good time to make the tax a little more sophisticated so it reflects the carbon content of all fuels.”

The gas tax creates headlines because the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which finances the interstate highway system, faces insolvency due to spending more than it takes in. Had Congress not come up with a solution to the $16 billion shortfall by August 1, 2014, federal highway projects would have ground to a halt and as many as 700,000 people would have received lay-off notices. An agreed upon “patch” put the crisis off until after the elections. That fix ends in May and the new Congress must now come up with another way to fund America’s roads and bridges. A gas-tax increase is the obvious solution as the concept means those who use the roads most, pay for them—supposedly making it more of a “user fee” than a tax.

The tax is currently 18.4 cents a gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents for diesel—more than double the oil companies’ profit on that same gallon of gas. (Note: the gas tax is a flat figure, not a percent. With lower prices, people are driving more so revenues should be up.) With gasoline prices at historic lows, many think now is the time to raise the tax, as it will hardly be noticed.

But there are other options that don’t require raising taxes—or instituting a new carbon tax.

The fact that modern cars are more efficient than they were when the gas-tax was first instituted in 1956 at 3 cents a gallon is a major problem with HTF funding. Because drivers now go farther on less fuel, the roadways receive wear and tear without enough taxes collected to cover the use. As more electric cars fill our roads, the problem is exacerbated. Electric cars use the roadways for free while everyone else pays for them. Therefore many have proposed a mileage fee rather than a gas tax—or in addition to it. With a voluntary program passed in 2013, Oregon has been at the forefront of what is called mileage-based user fees (MBUF). The pilot program, which takes advantage of smart technology, has been hailed as a great success.

However, MBUFs should concern everyone concerned about more government involvement in our lives. At the Detroit auto show, BMW sounded an alarm about the “fine line between performance and privacy.” While the Financial Times (FT) report focuses on the pressure carmakers receive from technology companies and advertisers who want data collected by “connected cars,” one doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to imagine the data collection morphing into a big-brother-like intrusion. According to the FT: “About two-thirds of today’s new cars have sensors and communications systems that send and receive data.” At last year’s consumer electronics show, Jim Farley, then Ford’s head of marketing, said: “We know everyone breaks the law. We know exactly when you do it because we have a GPS sensor in your car.” Imagine Environmental Protection Agency officers showing up on your doorstep because you have driven more than the allowed amount. Or, more likely, your gas supply getting cut off because you used up this month’s allotment early.

MBUFs may serve as a good option for electric vehicles, but implementation should not be universal—and therefore do not create the full answer to the HTFs funding woes.

The answer requires an understanding of the problem.

Gas taxes used to be more of a user fee—which made it fairer. “But since the 1990s the Highway Trust Fund has come to fund much more than new roads and bridges and highway maintenance,” claims a WSJ editorial. Heritage Foundation transportation and infrastructure analyst Emily Goff believes the problem is: “Spending priorities are determined more by politicians appeasing special interests than local needs or consumer choices. And the federal regulatory burden delays projects and smothers state and private-sector innovation.” She points out: “Washington diverts more than 25% of that money to subways, streetcars, buses, bicycle and nature paths, and landscaping, at the expense of road and bridge projects.” Users of these HTF projects utilize the infrastructure but don’t contribute to it. Cutting non-highway spending would go a long way to closing the funding gap. As the WSJ puts it: “Simply using the taxes that are supposed to pay for highways to, well, pay for highways makes the HTF 98% solvent for the next decade, no tax increase necessary.”

Another part of the solution, would redirect highway projects to the states. Chris Chocola, president of The Club for Growth, explains: “All 50 states have Departments of Transportation. More than 70% of all transportation spending in this country is already financed and spent at the state and local level. Each state has very specific infrastructure needs, and those needs are most effectively addressed at the local level, where those making the decisions are held most accountable by the taxpayers.”

States can more easily innovate and have already solved some highway issues with toll-concession private-public partnerships (PPP). Douglas Holtz-Eakin, head of the American Action Forum, a conservative advocacy group, and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, sees creating more PPPs as an alternative to an increase in the gasoline tax.

A Reason Foundation FAQ on Toll Concession PPPs explains them this way: “A toll concession is a DBFOM (design-build-finance-operate-maintain) highway contract in which the principal funding source is tolls charged to users of the highway project. The projected toll revenue stream is used to support long-term revenue bonds, in addition to covering operation and maintenance costs of the project. In a toll concession, the consortium that wins the right to do the project takes on the risks of (a) construction cost overruns, (b) late completion, and (c) inadequate traffic and revenue. Those risks would otherwise be borne by the government (and hence, the taxpayers).”

I’ve outlined just four possible options to fund our roadways without raising the gas tax—which will still exist when gas prices go up and impacts the price of almost everything:

MBUFs for electric cars;
Limit spending to actual highway projects—not mass transit or nature trails;
Redirect some projects to the states; and
Toll concession PPPS.

Surely, the great minds in Washington could come up with more ideas.

With several options available to support the nation’s highways, the GOP needs to create, innovate, and unify in fixing problems—like the HTF—and show America that they can do it without raising taxes.

(A version of this content was originally published on

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column.

Still Checking Everything You Do

The following comes from The Patriot Post and they report the IRS is continuing their investigation of tea parties citing specific examples of their punishment by delay and other subterfuges.

Congress, at least many who have branded themselves “conservative,” have promised to put a stop to the targeting.  Or as I like to say line up with the law and compel IRS to stop their game of pick and choose, whose gonna’ lose.

News From the Swamp: IRS Targeting Continues


During congressional testimony on IRS political targeting of Tea Party and Patriot groups, an unidentified IRS agent revealed that, three months after the “phony scandal” broke, the IRS is still targeting the Tea Party. “[R]ight now we really don’t have any direction or we haven’t had any for the last month and a half,” the agent said. “At this point I would send [a Tea Party application] to secondary screening, political advocacy.”

In other words, applications for special tax status coming from Tea Party groups are still subject to additional scrutiny because the IRS hasn’t yet established new guidelines. But six weeks ago, acting IRS chief Danny Werfel promised Congress to end the IRS’s “be on the lookout” policy for conservative groups, which had continued into June. Even Barack Obama pledged, “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable, by putting in place new checks and new safeguards, and, going forward, by making sure that the law is applied as it should be — in a fair and impartial way.” Nothing of the sort has happened.

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), chair of the Oversight subcommittee, are demanding that Werfel provide an explanation and a report on corrective action by Friday.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Lois “Plead the Fifth” Lerner was using a private email account to conduct her official duties. Needless to say, the Obama administration’s espoused virtue of transparency is not a byproduct of such behavior. Lerner isn’t the only Obama bureaucrat to have used private email, either. Since her admission of the targeting, followed by her refusal to testify, she remains on paid vacation. And she’s demanding immunity in exchange for testimony.

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Editor’s Note

After recent changes at The Patriot Post, some readers have asked what happened to our PDF format. We opted to discontinue the PDF, but we plan to release a new and improved printer friendly version that will look and function much like the PDF. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

And a correction: In Monday’s Digest, we inadvertently referred to Rep. James Clyburn as a Republican. He is a Democrat. Our sincerest apologies to the Republican Party and to the voters of South Carolina.

Obama’s Washington: Chocked Full Of Nuts

Just when we thought Obama and his silly administration members had damaged this country and its producers to the very end, Obama kicks dirt in the face of sensible solutions.  I didn’t vote for him either time and I suggest those voting for him at all, learn how to kick your own buttocks and quickly apologize to the rest of the betrayed.

Joe Biden und Barack Obama in Springfield, Ill...

Joe Biden und Barack Obama in Springfield, Illinois, right after Biden was formerly introduced by Obama as his running mate (Photo credit: Wikipedia) AKA A Puppeteer And His Puppet

He wishes to limit retirement accumulation for the “rich,” folks, but hasn’t his ploy always started with the rich to get the poor used to the idea?  I hope he and his minions get the ass-ets sued off of everything they have.  Here’s a link to some text and a video reporting on the dumbness of yet another Obama crapshoot … except his latest budget idea is predictable, unlike a crapshoot, which is risky and not predictable: :

Let Me Have it … You Didn’t Build it

RPNM’s Weekly Update (Week of 3/10/13)

RPNM’s Weekly E-Update. Thanks for subscribing. Visit us online at for all the latest.
Republican Party of New Mexico

RPNM E-Update
Week of March 10, 2013

Dear Charles E.,

Best wishes to you this Sunday from the Republican Party of New Mexico.

This week, our Republican lawmakers have continued the uphill battle of trying to positively reform New Mexico despite Democrat majorities in both chambers.Senate Democrats voted to pass Senate Bill 276, which reinstates straight ticket voting in New Mexico. The bill passed along a straight party vote, with Republicans opposing the measure. There is no doubt that this is a political game, and that eliminating straight ticket voting allows voters to look at each candidate individually and make more informed choices. The bill will now go to the House, and we should all let our Representatives know that this is a bad bill.

Additionally the Senate Rules Committee has continued to delay a vote on confirming Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera. After over seven hours of testimony at the beginning of March and three hours more on Saturday, they have failed to move forward. We can all agree that Secretary-designate Skandera has made positive changes to our troubled education system and deserves confirmation. Call those on the Senate Rules Committee and let them know that it is past time to put aside political ploys and confirm Skandera.

This week, the House saw its share of partisanship as well. On Wednesday, following a Call of the House, Republican Representative Nate Gentry attempted to bring House Bill 606—the driver’s license compromise bill—to the House floor. While a few Democrats helped to vote the bill out of House Labor and Human Resources Committee and House Judiciary Committee, the vote to bring it out of House Appropriations and Finance Committee failed.

On Saturday, Democrats in Appropriations voted against the bill, tabling it once more. This is an issue of public safety and an issue for which many New Mexicans have expressed their concerns. Each year, our efforts to repeal the law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses fail because of Democrat opposition. But, it is beyond time for the State Legislature to deal with this issue so that we can move on and focus on other areas of reform.

On a positive note, the House voted unanimously to pass House Bill 36, introduced by Representative Dianne Miller Hamilton. The bill sets up a pilot program using virtual reality therapy to help treat veterans who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a great way to help our veterans and show our gratitude for all that they have done to serve our great nation, and we are thankful to Representative Hamilton for bringing forward this legislation.

We are now 6 days away from the end of the session, and we—like many of you—are excited to see what the next 6 days hold. We hope that both sides—and both chambers—can come together to pass legitimate reform for New Mexico families.

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Nothing New — He’s Consistent In Wasting Money

He’ll travel most anywhere for a photo-op or vacation paid for by your scarce money.  At this moment, instead of taking care of real business, he is in Las Vegas, NV speaking to people at a high school.  The subject? His idea of immigration changes, never mind Congress already has a plan which includes a secure border … something absent from Obama’s plan.

Read the story found at this link and keep scratching your head like a pensive baboon might scratch his backside, as he puzzles at something which has gained his attention.

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Would Biden In Black Face Be Any Worse

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Biden is not a common man, he is a lawyer, and some would say, a polished politico.  You look and listen and decide for yourself:

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If all the polls coming on like a gathering storm (no pun intended)  are any indication, Obama will serve out his term and leave the country in decent hands.  There is hardly a poll, “exit,” or otherwise,  which grants much chance for Obama to fast forward.

There are news stories coming daily adding to the corruption in this president’s regime.  Still, the stalwarts among his MainScream media supporters continue hiding the truth from their readership and the sap citizens.

Here’s a link to a story of corruption which hurt at least 20,000 little people to line the pockets of unions and bigger people:

Pensions decreased … Complaints dismissed