New Jersey just raised its gas tax by $0.23 a gallon. Needless to say, a lot of people are upset; ignoring the past tax history and modest offsetting tax cuts, including a small decrease in the sales tax.
The last time the tax was increased was 1988 so the average annual increase amounts to less than a penny a year. A driver who puts 15,000 miles a year on their car and gets 25 miles to the gallon will spend $11.50 more a month.
Nobody wants to hear about the past, all they know is gas is going to be more expensive.
There is a lesson here. Delaying prudent action to address a well know problem and correcting it before it becomes a crisis creates another crisis often unacceptable to voters.
That is exactly what has happened to Social Security.
Congress has failed to take action to keep Social Security sustainable. If it had done so a decade ago and had made necessary adjustments along the way only modest changes would have been necessary. Instead we are in an unnecessary debate over what to do all because of inaction by political cowards.
Instead of all Americans sharing in responsibility for the solvency of their insurance program, under the guise of “fair share,” politicians seek to place the full responsibility on those they deem to be wealthy.