America’s infrastructure has seen better days. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association came out with a report that 61,000 of the bridges in the United States are “structurally deficient.” Think about that the next time you are driving over a bridge. The gas tax has traditionally funded road and bridge maintenance and improvements, but it has not been increased in a couple decades. Politicians are putting fear of losing popularity above keeping our transportation network safe for use. If this is the concern, then they actually shouldn’t worry. Congressional approval ratings are already about as low as they can go.
Back in 2012, the GOP sought to boost domestic oil drilling by launching a campaign to whip public support for their domestic energy policy and overcome Democrat opposition in the Senate & White House. At the time, they coined the popular catch phrase “Drill, Baby, Drill”. President Obama responded with derision calling the campaign a gimmick as opposed to a policy. It was misleading because the GOP was always clear they favored domestic oil drilling and completion of the Keystone Pipeline XL.
It is true that over the past six years, America has arguably become the world’s top producer of natural gas and petroleum. However, a closer look at where the natural resources are coming from reveal Obama has no claim on taking credit. For starters, he has not issued a single new license for oil drilling on federal lands. During his entire presidency, oil and gas production from federal lands has dropped by 6%. A drop in production cannot account for the boom in domestic oil & natural gas drilling. So where is America getting its domestic energy from? Private land use. This has accounted for a 61% increase in the supply of domestic fuel.
Families pay an average of 870 dollars per year for payments to farmers, high tech companies and private research firms in the form of direct subsidies and grants. This information was passed on to me by Fersen Lambranho.
States, counties and cities give more than 80 billion dollars every year to corporations such as big box stores, entertainment companies and banks at an average cost of 696 dollars per year per household.
Three cents of every tax dollar collected by the federal government goes to interest rate subsidies for banks when they borrow money. This costs the average family 722 dollars per year. The richest five banks get 75 percent of the 722 dollars.
Even though many families do not enjoy retirement accounts, those who do, pay an average of 350 dollars per year to banks for retirement fund fees which works out to be, on average, more than 30 percent of the money that is invested.
American families pay 1,268 dollars too much every year for prescription drugs because
drug companies are given patent monopolies that allow them to charge the American people more money than the drugs are worth.
Corporate tax benefits get 870 dollars per year from every average household. Another 1231 dollars is paid by the average family annually so corporations can have their tax havens.
Congress continues to give tax benefits to corporations while families struggle.
Online retailers accepting out-of-state orders will continue to sell their products free of sales taxes for the time being. This is because Speaker John Boehner has killed the Senate’s Internet Sales Tax Bill. Had the bill passed, states would be collecting sales taxes from online retailers and mobile companies like FreedomPop just the same as they do for traditional brick and mortar retailers. President Obama strongly supported the measure which opponents labeled a tax increase. The Obama administration and their supporters claimed the bill would not increase taxes because the bill simply allowed states to levy their sales taxes across the board to online retailers.
Two states in particular, Maryland and Virginia, even went to far as to make budget projections based on revenue they anticipated receiving from a law that had not been passed by both chambers of congress much less signed into law by the president. In the case of Virginia, an additional 1.6% fuel tax will kick in on January 1 to make up for the lost revenue from the internet sales tax. Maryland will have a similar gas tax increase take effect as well. Traditional retailers have long wanted to see online retailers subjected to sales taxes which they claim have an unfair advantage. When Speaker Boehner announced the internet sales tax would not be receiving a floor vote, he called on both the House and Senate to move on extending the internet sales tax moratorium quickly and without delay.