How many lies can you find in a short article about a gas tax increase?



Washington State is raising its gas tax to the second highest in the nation, after Pennsylvania (way to go, Pennsylvania!). Admittedly, Washington state has no income tax, but it has a relatively high (6.5%) sales tax. But just because taxes are going up doesn't mean we can't have some fun! Have a look at the following article. It's a short article, but contains one lie after another. How many misrepresentations and out and out lies can you spot?

With state gas taxes now up to 44.5 cents a gallon, adding in the current federal gas tax of 18.4 cents, the total per gallon gas tax in Washington is now 62.9 cents. The state increase was part of a $16 billion, 16-year transportation revenue package approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this summer. Next summer, the tax will increase an additional 4.9 cents a gallon, putting the total state tax at 49.4 cents

"Nobody likes to have a tax increase. But we haven't been as diligent on maintenance and preservation as we've needed to be," Republican Sen. Curtis King of Yakima said. "We need to invest in that to get caught up. If we don't do it in the next two or three years, those repairs, it's going to cost us three or four times more."

The plan spends $8.8 billion on state and local road projects and $1.4 billion on maintenance and preservation. About $1 billion will go to non-highway projects, such as bike paths, pedestrian walkways and transit. It also allows Sound Transit to ask voters to pay for potential expansions of its rail line.

Because the gas tax is paid by fuel wholesalers, not added directly to prices at the pump, it's uncertain how much of an increase drivers will see in the coming days and weeks, especially since gas prices fluctuate regularly.

"By the time the fuel arrives at the gas station, the actual tax has been paid on it, however the retailers and distributors factor it into their price," said Tony Sermonti, with the state Department of Licensing, which collects the tax.

Ok, now stop reading, get a pen and pencil, and write down all the lies you can find.

Are you finished? Ok, here are the lies:

1) "Nobody likes a tax increase." Of course politicians like tax increases. If they didn't like them, why do they push for them so often? More taxes equals more money to spend equals more power for politicians.

2) "We haven't been diligent on maintenance and preservation". Can you imagine the Washington state government spending conservatively, on highways or anything? Highly unlikely.

3) "If we don't spend now those repairs will cost three or four times more." Why will repairs cost more if they are deferred? There is no explanation for that. But, more importantly, later in the article it states that while $8.8 billion is being spent on new projects, only $1.4 billion, a much smaller amount, is being spent on maintenance. In other words, most of the tax increase is going to new projects, not maintenance. And why is money from a gas tax going to bike paths and walkways... neither of which use gas, nor can substantially replace the use of gas?

4) " By the time the fuel arrives at the gas station, the actual tax has been paid on it". Pure sophistry. The tax is passed along to the consumer, who pays for it.

5) "It's uncertain how much of an increase drivers will see". I'm certain: the entire amount of the gas tax.

When it comes to reporting whatever a liberal politician says, formerly inquiring reporters suddenly become parrots and stenographers. I was just amazed by the sheer volume of incorrect statements in such a short article.



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