Readers React

Want better roads and bridges? Then raise the gas tax

To the editor: Tim Phillips wrongly suggests that an increased gas tax would have an adverse effect on our national economy. ("A higher gasoline tax would throttle back economic growth," Op-Ed, Jan. 28)

Boosting the gas tax, which is a user fee, will make it possible to repair and maintain the network of roads and bridges that span the nation, enabling freight and travelers to move freely and efficiently across states. Our economy depends on this transportation network. That is a fact, not a supposition.

Previous generations built and paid for this transportation network. To let it fall into disrepair — which would make transportation even more expensive for businesses to ship goods, consumers to buy goods and for people to travel to see family or friends — is fiscally irresponsible and hardly a conservative position.

Jeff Loveng, Washington

The writer is president and chief executive of America's Infrastructure Alliance.

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To the editor: Phillips' piece is so cross-footed, I thought for a while it was tongue in cheek.

Californians have proved themselves willing and able to pay more than $4 a gallon for gasoline, as they still crowd streets and highways when prices are that high. That is because we are far behind other cities in the United States and worldwide in providing desirable public transportation.

Wider highways lead to more congestion and more pollution. Gasoline taxes need to be higher in order to discourage avoidable driving and to provide funds for a 21st century transit system.

Maitland Alexander, Oxnard

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