Local 49 Responds to Gas Tax Holiday Proposal
There is no question that gas prices are out of control and there is a need to do something to address this issue. Elevated prices are hurting working class Americans and could slow down our economic growth.
We need solutions, but we need real ones. We need to open domestic production of oil and gas and to stop shutting these projects down. We need to support new pipelines that can deliver more oil from our friends in Canada and domestic suppliers. We need to look at price gouging as well to make sure corporations aren’t taking advantage of this situation to jack profits.
What we don’t need are election year gimmicks that do nothing to help people. And that is exactly what the notion of any fuel tax holiday is – a political gimmick.
The federal gas tax is around 18 cents a gallon. If you suspend it a year, it will save the average family about a buck a week. One dollar a week. I was raised by a single mother, we were poor, we lived check to check. A buck a week would have meant an extra soda from the vending machine in our apartment building. It would have done nothing to help my mom or people like her.
What it will do, because those dollars add up when you multiply them by millions of people, is rip a hole in the funding for infrastructure projects. The proposal promises backfilling, says the federal government can just find the money to fill the hole. Nobody should be comfortable when told don’t worry, Congress will make sure the money is replaced. Even bringing this notion up opens the door to every wing nut politician in our country to dream up schemes of raiding the highway trust fund to pay for whatever they can make up.
Our members have worked hard to push for and win the funding this state needs to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. We fight hard for our jobs and for the Minnesotan’s that depend on us to build the roads and bridges they need to get around safely.
We will oppose this ridiculous notion strongly, and we will make sure it remains a political gimmick, and not a serious idea. We will also continue to advocate for what all politicians should be advocating for – dedicating more money to infrastructure to stabilize our future funding and take advantage of the infrastructure investment the feds did manage to get done.
IUOE Local 49