Eliminating the gas user fee this summer as an economic stimulus measure, proposed by Sen. John McCain, is an unproductive idea, says The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
AEM President Dennis Slater outlined the following reasons as to why this would be unproductive move:
- Eliminating the federal gas tax would further delay badly needed road and bridge repairs and improvements. An estimated $9 billion dollars would be lost ($7 billion for highway improvements and $2 billion for transit).
- Removing the federal user fee, even temporarily, will have a ripple effect on state and local governments, as they match federal spending to make local surface transportation improvements.
- The proposal would also have a ripple effect on employment. It is estimated that more than 310,000 American jobs related to federal highway/transit investments would be at risk.
- Federal user fees have not been raised since 1993, and therefore have not been a factor in the increase in fuel prices.
- If the "gas tax holiday" was enacted, drivers would spend even more of their summer holiday stuck in congested traffic.
AEM is the Milwaukee based international organization representing off-road equipment manufacturing (agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility).