WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition Citizens Council is urging Senators to oppose legislation that would transfer the 4.3 cents-per-gallon federal gasoline tax enacted in 1993 from deficit reduction to various transportation trust funds.
"The increase in the federal fuels tax in 1993 decreased the deficit in subsequent years," wrote Concord Executive Director Martha Phillips in a letter sent today to all Senators. "If the money that this tax raises is now dedicated to increasing federal transportation spending, it will either increase the federal deficit or decrease spending in other domestic discretionary programs."
Phillips said the transfer of the gas tax to transportation programs could add as much as $24 billion to the national debt over the next six years, and make it even more difficult to balance the budget by 2002.
"Transportation spending should undergo the same scrutiny and be subject to the same pressures as every other domestic discretionary category," Phillips wrote. "We should not borrow any more money from our children to lock in higher transportation spending."
The full text of the letter follows.