Social Security, Medicare, Transportation trusts.
All were set up by Congress, all funded by taxes, all underfunded because Congress fails to act responsibly or tell Americans the truth about the need to keep raising taxes to maintain the obligations it creates.
If a program is established and funded by payroll taxes or in this case gasoline taxes, it should be expected those taxes must be raised to continue to fund the promises made by the programs.
Instead when it comes to raising the taxes many in Congress decide the taxes are unfair so nothing happens and trusts are depleted.
Or, funding must come from general revenue and these programs end up in the morass of politics and competing with all other funding demands and associated wrangling.
So much for dedicated funding.
The special interests groups will never allow an end to income taxes, they just love the tax breaks and social engineering it allows. I just wish the political class would come up with a system that would prioritize the needs of the country, without having to borrow Billions of Dollars each and every year.
At some point in the very near future, the interest on government debt, may grow to more than what we spend on National Defense, which by the way has grown 47% above inflation since 1995. The crazy debt economy our government is using for funding cannot be sustained forever.
A national/state sales tax instead of income taxes might be the answer for several reasons…more tax revenue, less loopholes, simplified accounting and everyone pays their FAIR share.
I am in favor of a national sale tax and flat income tax in theory.
I think the flat income tax could be very fair or should I say, an equal rate across all incomes. I probably could make the income tax code about 60 pages. Did you get money? Did report all sources here? No exemptions.
The sales tax would be a good idea if they 1) got rid of other taxes (never gonna happen) and 2) special interest don’t carve out all kinds of exemptions (which will happen over time). But I am sure anything would start off better than what we got now, at least before it gets to a floor vote in congress.
In New Jersey, exempt from sales tax is food and clothing which is not the case in all states. Then there are things that surprise you like US flags and gun safes are exempt. Go figure? So imagine what they could do at a national level.
To remain somewhat progressive and not destroy the poor, a sales tax should probably exempt food, shelter and medicine. On the plus side all those in the underground economy (like those working off the books or drug dealers) would be forced to contribute.
I have a lot of issues with electric vehicles, both pluses and minuses. EVs are not a bad thing but government mandates and subsidies have short circuited the free market system and as a result the list of unintended consequences list is growing. Like who is going to pay to upgrade your household electrical system so that you can plug in your car? We went to LED light to reduce electric consumption and now we want to increase it? If electric demand increases, won’t electric rates increase too? Will solar be enough to charge all those cars at night or are more gas powered electric plants going to be built?
But the big issue is the transportation trust funds that are funded by fuel taxes. EVs don’t use gas and therefore are not taxed. How are the roads going to be maintained? Are they going to replace those funds by taxing your electric bill? A mileage tax? More toll roads? Whatever the politicians come up with, nobody will like it.
As you eluded in your article, common sense tax payers become cynical about paying taxes. Mismanagement of funding programs coupled with funneling money to their pet projects. Most of which ultimately enrich their donors and ultimately themselves. I like to imagine when I stroke a check every quarter it’s funding our military personnel.