Feb 21, 2018

VIDEO | Top Obama Stimulus Salesman Back to Support Gas Tax Hike

Post by Freedom Partners

LaHood: “We need a big pot of money”

Arlington, VA — Pressed in a morning news interview on criticisms that a 25-cent gas tax hike is a regressive tax on the American people, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood employed the same failed reasoning used to champion the 2009 stimulus bill on behalf of President Obama: government needs more money to fix problems.

Arguing for an unprecedented increase to the federal gas tax, LaHood stated on CNBC’s Squawk Box, “If you want to build America. If you want to get back to being number one in infrastructure, you got to have a big pot of money.”

When asked to address concerns that a gas tax was regressive, LaHood reverted back to the same arguments he made in 2009: “The largest segment of unemployed people in America today are people who build roads and bridges. They need jobs.”

Freedom Partners spokesman Bill Riggs issued the following statement:

“It comes as no surprise that the top salesman for President Obama’s failed trillion-dollar stimulus is in support of an unprecedented increase to the federal gas tax to create a bigger ‘pot of money’ for infrastructure spending. Those policies didn’t work then, and they won’t work now. Efforts to modernize and maintain the nation’s transportation infrastructure should begin with undoing burdensome regulatory and permitting barriers and by rooting-out billions of dollars of waste and corporate welfare – not reaching back into the pockets of hardworking taxpayers who are only just seeing some of the benefits of tax reform.”

Freedom Partners and AFP sent a letter to the president on January 23 that argued against a gas tax increase saying, “efforts to improve our nation’s infrastructure should focus on maximizing taxpayer dollars by targeting priorities such as roads and bridges, eliminating wasteful spending, removing regulatory barriers that delay projects and drive up costs, and ensuring there is proper oversight and accountability.”

Last week, AFP led a coalition of nearly 30 taxpayer advocate organizations in a letter to Congress asserting opposition to increasing the federal gas tax as part of infrastructure legislation.

Yesterday, Freedom Partners and AFP issued a state-by-state report detailing the heavy burdens an increase to the federal gas tax would leave on hardworking taxpayers. Among the findings, some states would be especially hard hit by the increase, including Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Hawaii, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Connecticut and New Jersey.


Ray LaHood Championed Obama’s Stimulus As An Infrastructure Jobs Program

Huffington Post: “Ray LaHood: Obama’s GOP Ambassador And Stimulus Spearhead”. (Sam Stein, “Ray LaHood: Obama’s GOP Ambassador And Stimulus Spearhead,” The Huffington Post, 4/17/09)

  • LaHood: “Our Portion Of The Recovery Plan Is Very Helpful Because It Will Put An Enormous Number Of People To Work In Good Paying Jobs.”“And with transportation demanding stimulus cash and the nation’s infrastructure in severe disrepair, LaHood finds himself at the head of the spear of the economic recovery effort. It is a welcomed but tremendous amount of pressure. ‘My biggest concern is that we don’t get it right,’ LaHood said in a recent interview with the Huffington Post. ‘As a member of Congress for the last 14 years, I know that infrastructure needs in the country were pretty much ignored… There are some huge, huge infrastructure needs in the country, mainly because infrastructure was not a priority for the last eight years. Our job is to change that. Our portion of the recovery plan is very helpful because it will put an enormous number of people to work in good paying jobs.’” (Sam Stein, “Ray LaHood: Obama’s GOP Ambassador And Stimulus Spearhead,” The Huffington Post, 4/17/09)

LaHood: “This Landmark Legislation Is The Most Sweeping, Complex And Ambitious Domestic Aid Package We Have Enacted In Generations.” “The Recovery Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression. This landmark legislation is the most sweeping, complex and ambitious domestic aid package we have enacted in generations. It reflects an unprecedented effort to jump-start our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century.” (“The Recovery Act: Strengthening Our Economy,” House Budget Committee, 7/24/09)

LaHood: “There Were No Bad Stories Written About Any Of Those Projects — No Boondoggles, No Earmarks, No Sweetheart Deals.” “LaHood hit back with facts and figures, saying that the $48 billion infrastructure portion of the administration’s 2009 economic stimulus created 65,000 jobs and 15,000 projects. ‘There were no bad stories written about any of those projects — no boondoggles, no earmarks, no sweetheart deals,’ LaHood said.” (Scott Wong, “Dems To Push ‘Rebuild America Jobs’,” POLITICO, 10/21/11)

LaHood Also Championed Obama’s “Rebuild America Jobs Act”

LaHood Pushed For An Additional $50 Billion In Infrastructure Spending And $10 Billion For An Infrastructure Bank, Arguing That “America Is Ready To Go To Work.” “A day after a piece of Obama’s $447 billion jobs package went down in defeat in the Senate, Democrats said Friday they’ll turn to a separate $60 billion jobs bill that will provide an infusion of funding to rebuild roads, bridges, airports and rail, and create a national infrastructure bank that would leverage private and public capital to finance projects. ‘America is ready to go to work,’ Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on a conference call with reporters to unveil the ‘Rebuild America Jobs Act.’ ‘I think we’ve had enough speeches. What we need is some action.’ The bill, which LaHood said would put thousands of people back to work by next year, would allocate $50 billion for infrastructure projects and another $10 billion in seed money for the infrastructure bank.” (Scott Wong, “Dems To Push ‘Rebuild America Jobs’,” POLITICO, 10/21/11)