Washington Wants You to Guzzle Gas

Tax dollars should subsidize mass transit, not cars
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2008 3:28 PM CDT
In this April 20, 2008 file photo, unsold 2008 Ram pickup trucks sit at a Dodge dealership in the south Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As gas prices rise, Americans are driving less—and fewer dollars are flowing into the gas-tax-fueled Federal Highway Trust Fund. President Bush’s illogical response? To take money out of public transportation and put it in the highway fund—the latest bizarre example of officials intent on promoting and subsidizing the automobile, Daniel Gross writes in Newsweek.

Conservatives hate mass transit, accusing it of undermining America's independent spirit and free-market ethos. But driving is only possible because tax dollars maintain vast road systems—far from a free market approach. Moreover, the system is supported by tax incentives on many cars. Isn't it time to stop subsidizing cars, Gross writes, and start backing alternative transportation?