Free Markets, Free People

Trumka: Raise gas taxes to create jobs

If ever there was an example of the complete cluelessness much of the left commonly displays when it comes to economic matters, the AFL-CIO’s (and Obama advisor) Richard Trumka provides it:

What’s the best way to get Americans back to work?

Raise taxes, according to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Specifically, he wants to raise the federal gas tax as a means to fund infrastructure spending. "We need a dedicated source of revenue to create infrastructure in this country," he tells Aaron Task in the accompanying clip.

"We need to create jobs. The best way to do that is through infrastructure development." Simply maintaining the existing infrastructure in this country will cost $2.2 trillion over five years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. That doesn’t include Obama’s objective of high-speed rails and green energy projects.

So, to sum up, raise one of the most regressive taxes there is (it hits the poor the hardest at the gas pump because they end up having to pay a larger portion of their disposable income for gasoline) and declare this will help "create jobs".

What it will actually do, if that were to occur, is create more union jobs. And if the poor have to cut back on food or shelter, well, you know, a few eggs have to be cracked to make an omelet.   The key to economic recovery, per Trumka, is government created jobs with money taken from taxpayers who just might have a much different priority for it.  It calls for another “new revenue stream”.  And he has no qualms at all laying claim to your dollars to fund his nonsense.

Trumka didn’t say specifically how much he would raise the gas tax, but mentioned he’s shown the President a $256 billion plan to improve infrastructure.  If every billion spent on infrastructure creates 35,000 jobs, as he claims, this package would create close to 9 million jobs over the next five years. 

The idea would also improve America’s fiscal and competitive future, says Trumka. "There’s also a downstream effect, you put people back to work, they pay taxes, they don’t use services, they’re contributing, other jobs are created along the way as well," he explains.

Fantasy.  A) it is, as usual, the left’s answer to everything – tax and spend.  Someone tell Mr. Trumka that it is precisely that mindset that the majority of Americans have rejected.   B) it assumes something not in evidence.  We just spent over $800 billion on “infrastructure” – look around you, did you see the unemployment rate dip significantly or go up?  C) after the stimulus was spent there has apparently been no down-stream effect for jobs, service use is up and tax revenue is down.

If Trumka’s solution had any credibility, unemployment would be down below 8% (that was the promise, remember – spend the money on infrastructure and see jobs created) and we’d be riding the recovery train.  We have a million little signs up everywhere in America right now touting infrastructure projects – and the unemployment rate?

In fact, what Trumka is doing is asking for more to be spent on a plan that has already failed miserably and expecting different results.  Isn’t that the definition of “insanity”?

That’s precisely what this plan is – insane.  Government has wasted trillions on nonsense like this.  The solution to this isn’t government creating jobs.  It is private industry doing so.  That requires low taxes and a stable business atmosphere where government hasn’t declared war on business and corporations.  That requires less government, not more – something the Richard Trumkas and Barack Obamas of the world can’t quite seem to get through their heads.  In their world, government is always the answer.   Unfortunately, we’re living in their world right now.

Happy with it?

Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?



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17 Responses to Trumka: Raise gas taxes to create jobs

  • Lil’ Dick Trumka also soberly (!!!) intoned recently that America has PLENTY of money for EVERYTHING.  We just have to have the resolve to take it from the people who earn it.
    Truly delusional…and he expects his thug followers to be, as well.
    A VERY close confident to Obama, BTW.

  • This man is an ass.
    We already have a dedicated source of revenue to fund transportation infrastructure projects. It’s called a gas tax and the federal government collects $.184 per gallon for every gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel sold in the nation, excepting qualified uses, largely stationary power and farm usage. Not only do we collect that, but every heavy truck (GVW >55K lbs) is subject to an annual fee of hundreds of dollars. All these proceeds are deposited into the Federal Highway Trust Fund. IE the THE DEDICATED SOURCE OF FEDERAL FUNDS TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE. (Can you hear me now?)
    (I will leave aside two points that would probably confuse this person. First, since the 1970s the HIGHWAY Trust Fund has been used as a ready source of cash to buy votes in large metropolitan areas by subsidizing mass transit; wherein much like the Commerce Clause being the source of the power to make me eat broccoli, the noun “highway” includes “stuff that we want to spend money on”. Second, funds not spent from the highway trust fund “count” as “offsets” to federal deficit spending. (See we’re doing much better than you though on that whole responsible spending thing!))
    As to the issue of stimulus, to quote from noted economist John Taylor (yes, the guy who propounded The Taylor Rule used by the Federal Reserve) that of the billions of stimulus dollars that were supposed to create 3 million jobs, only 24 billion was increased federal consumption spending (ie purchases and investments) and of that 24 billion only 5.6 billion was categorized as “infrastructure”. Let’s not forget the states, per Taylor “State and local governments received substantial grants under ARRA as shown in the bar chart. The assumed purpose of sending these grants to the states was to encourage them to start infrastructure projects and make other government purchases which would add directly to GDP and create jobs. But when you look at what state and local governments did with the funds, you find that they did not increase purchases of goods and services or increase infrastructure projects.”
    Yes, the states and municipal governments used their stimulus checks mostly to fund current operations. I believe a radio personality has been making that point for 18 months.
    Why, oh why, are these people stuck on stupid?

    • You really have to ask why the “stimulus” didn’t do more of this (it had about $50 billion or about 6%) infrastructure enhancement.
      Blame Nancy, Harry and Barack for spending it badly.

      • Well, that would depend on what your definition of “is” is…or more aptly, your definition of “bad”.  See, to the Collective, that money was VERY well spent.  Untold numbers of people were bought, and campaign cash assured, along with votes from really gullible people.
        Taxpayer money out: campaign money to Deemocrats in, along with the block votes of various beneficiary groups.
        See?  It has a certain simplicity.

        • If this is such a great idea now, it should have been a great idea back then, so the obviously spent it badly.

          • Uh, because the first one didn’t work out well enough so now we need to really get the economy going so Obama can be re-elected.

  • So at what point is it then that taxes become basically insufferable and spending needs to be curtailed?
    Please throw out a percentage for me, as I already feel as though I’m taxed at a 40% rate now, between making money and adding another 7% in taxes when I spend it.
    Isn’t the American public already up to its neck in taxes and starting to revolt?

  • I have a different idea … a union tax.
    These folks seem to have money to do virtually anything … maybe a bit too much.

  • “We need a dedicated source of revenue to create infrastructure in this country,

    >>>LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!  Silly me, I thought there was already a dedicated source of revenue for that sort of thing.

  • If government is always the answer and is so good to the entire population, why do government employees need a union in the first place?

    • Yeah, that’s one of those “you have to wonder” tidbits.  Much like wondering how, if we plan to phase out the use of gasoline, do we plan to fund continuing infrastructure projects by increasing the gas tax?

  • I think NOW is an excellent time – since gas at the pump just went up 30 cents a gallon locally, and I’m sure it’s wonderfully priced in the paradise of California if we’re paying $3.25 for it here in Texas.

    Yes, these guys, I don’t know why they wasted their talents in union organizing and government, if they’d gone into rocket science and medicine we’d be zipping across the universe in the Starship Enterprise and every known ill would be cured. 

  • Looker: Here in the Peoples Rupublic of California gas prices just went up 12 cents in the last week to $3.57 a gallon for 87 octane(self serve, cash. add 10 cents for credit card in many places). I’ve seen 4 and 5 cent jumps in hours here. The newest stations have electronic price signs (so the employees don’t have to keep running about to change the price). It’ll be another 3 or 4 more cents tomorrow, i guess.

  • Trumka: Neo-Blosheviks of the U.S. unite!
    Obama: Yes we can.

  • If he wasn’t a union thug, he’d be challenged by, “Paper or plastic”.

  • Now remember when Federal fuel taxes rise, this presents a perfect opportunity for the states to rise their taxes and/or for the producers to raise their pump prices. Why? It creates confusion as to who raised what tax/price by how much.
    Everyone picks their favorite villain, then a game of circular finger pointing starts. In the end no-one really knows who’s gouging whom, and by how much.
    This has already happen last year n the raising on “sin” taxes on alcohol and tobacco.
    File under: “Never waste a crisis”