There has been a lively discussion over at the Post Review. Bob Barrett responded to Senator Rick Olseen’s earlier justification of his vote on the Transportation Bill and that stimulated numerous comments.
As usual, Barrett states things quite clearly and accurately and then Wade Vitalis mucks it up.
Barrett showed how costly the Transportation Bill is for taxpayers compared to how cheap Senator Olseen characterized it.
The T Bill will cost $6,600,000,000 over ten years. That is the real cost to taxpayers. The $41/year gas tax is just one of the revenue streams that will pay for the total package.
Forget the gas tax increase, it is extremely easy to calculate a per capita cost for the entire package. The population of Minnesota is currently 5,200,000. In the next ten years, the population will increase and thus lessen the per capita tax burden somewhat, but let’s use the current figures. The total transportation bill will cost $1,269 per person in the next ten years.
That is $127 per person per year which is more than the $41 gas tax increase which will help pay for the $127. To fund the total package each year, each of us must pay $86 more in taxes on top of the $41.
A family of four will kick out $508 in various forms of taxes in each of the next ten years to cover the cost of the transportation package. This figure is exactly what Patrick Tepoorten stated in his article that Olseen disliked, which Barrett addressed. Tepoorten also gave the income range of taxpayers who would pay the $500. That is the average cost per family in the middle income bracket. Others will pay less and some more.
Tepoorten is justified by these figures. Barrett is justified. Barrett’s calculated cost is actually too low, so the err is in his favor.
Vitalis (in his comments on Barrett’s letter) never could figure out what Barrett was talking about and then got sidetracked, talking about tax rates.
Tax rates might be unfair, but Vitalis uses that to obfuscate his failure to answer Barrett. Inequitable tax rates are simply a red herring dragged in to divert attention from a failed answer.
We have a couple of conclusions we may draw from this. Some Democrats will do about anything to keep a person from doing simple mathematical division so the true cost will never be realized by the general public. Or we may conclude that Vitalis doesn’t even realize how much the T bill will cost his family.
Vitalis complained to Barrett, "For some reason you took 10 years of gas tax and made it one number. No one pays for all their gas all at once - so why calculate it that way?" Well, whether Vitalis pays out $500 per year or $5,000 in the next ten years to cover his family’s share of the T bill, either way he will have $5,000 less in his 401K or Roth IRA. And so will the rest of us, because too many Dems can’t be honest with numbers.