One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- Britain’s Labour Party Says They’ll Have Government Seize Private Broadband Networks - November 18, 2019
- The Private Sector Is Yet Again Rushing To Save Us From Government - October 21, 2019
- Almost All ‘Research’ ‘Studies’ – Forcefully Draw Liquids Through Straws - October 14, 2019
The federal government is constantly setting new records for income tax money fleeced from We the People. Then there are the dozens of other taxes, tariffs, fees and service charges the government imposes upon us. The total revenue to The Feds in Fiscal Year 2020 is projected to be $3.643 trillion. Our nation’s entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the combined total wealth created by every man, woman and child, is $18.6 trillion. Forget all the state, municipal and local governments just The Feds take from us about 20% of what we collectively create. Government theft is truly sickening. You get even more nauseous when you see the mind-numbingly ridiculous ways far too much of our money is wasted by the government.
The federal budget – is $4.5 trillion. The amount of waste tucked into those fatty, flabby folds – is easily in the hundreds of billions of dollars each and every year.
So whenever anyone in DC declares they want to raise taxes steam emits from hundreds of millions of ears throughout the nation. There is an unspoken assumption when DCs denizens decide they want even more of our money. That assumption is every cent they already take is being spent wisely and well. This is government. We KNOW this isn’t even REMOTELY true. And when it’s Republicans raising taxes the anger is intensified further still.
“Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) is urging Congress to double the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax, which has not been raised in more than a quarter century. He also wants to double the existing fee that airline passengers pay per flight.
“‘I not only support increasing the gas tax; I support doubling it. I support doubling the airline passenger fee from $4.50 to $8 or $9. Those are user fees. I won’t even call it a tax,’ Collins (said).”…
You know who will call it a tax? Every single American not residing in DC proper. And most of the ones who live there too. Then there’s Georgia Republican Congressman Buddy Carter. Who at a May 3rd House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing extruded:
“First of all, I’d like to mention the importance of updating the PFC, which is important for many airports across the country. In my district alone I have a number of airports that have stressed how critical it is that they are provided additional flexibility under the PFC to make improvements….By addressing the cap on the PFC we can give airports in nearly every congressional district the opportunity to modernize and meet their constituents’ needs.”
DC-to-English translation: The “PFC” – is the Passenger Facility Charge. The tax imposed upon anyone taking a commercial flight.
DC-to-English translation: “Updating the PFC,” “additional flexibility under the PFC” and “addressing the cap on the PFC” – mean “We want to increase the PFC tax.”
Collins and Brady want these new picks of our pockets to pay for the proposed $2 trillion infrastructure bill. The American people will be forgiven for being a little dubious about such a proposition. In 2009, Congress passed the $787 billion “Stimulus” bill. Hundreds of billions of which was supposed to go to infrastructure and millions of “shovel-ready jobs.”
If you’ll recall – not so much. Even then-President Barack Obama admitted it was a mess:
“Shovel-ready wasn’t as shovel-ready as we expected.”
Of course, Obama never actually built anything. President Donald Trump is a lifelong actual builder of actual things. I am certainly confident Trump would get more out an infrastructure bill than did his predecessor. But doubling the gas tax – is brutal to every single American. Four million of whom drive for a living. And everyone else who buys ridiculous extravagances like…food.
Since many of those four million driving gigs are about getting our food to supermarkets. And clothes to stores. And medicines to doctors and druggists. You know life’s luxuries. Doubling the PFC tax – is also brutal. Especially so for people who do not live in Democrat big cities and thus have to make multiple connecting flights to get anywhere.
Because PFCs are levied on passengers each time they board an aircraft. The tax isn’t imposed per trip – it’s imposed per leg of the trip. So if you have one connecting flight each way – you pay the tax four times round trip. Oh and did we mention the PFC tax is already setting records in fleecing us?
In 2018, U.S. airports collected a record $3.5 billion in PFC revenue – a $228 million increase from 2017 and exceeding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s estimate of $3.4 billion. In fact, 42% of airports reported record PFC receipts in 2017. Oh and did we mention airports are sitting on a mountain of existing money?
$14.7 billion in unrestricted cash (a 49% increase since 2010). Enough to finance their infrastructure needs for more than a year – without collecting a penny in taxes…let alone higher taxes.
And as much as that is that ain’t nothing. The Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) will have an uncommitted balance of $47.7 billion by the end of the decade up from the nearly $7 billion available now…at the existing PFC tax rate. This is like colleges sitting on trillions of dollars in endowment cash exorbitantly raising tuitions anyway.
And just like with anything and everything else, increasing taxes on flights will almost certainly decrease the number of flights people purchase. A new report from the American Consumer Institute estimates that a PFC hike would cause the number of air passengers in the U.S. to drop by 7.5 million in 2019.
Decreasing the number of flights will of course decrease US GDP – and the number of air industry gigs. When both direct and indirect impacts are considered, a study by the International Air Transport Association found that a higher PFC would reduce U.S. GDP by $5.1 billion and eliminate 52,000 jobs.
We can be pretty confident these drops will occur – because:
“Sixty-five percent of survey participants said they would be less likely to travel by air if the PFC was raised.”
That’s just “raised.” The poll didn’t mention DOUBLED. Both of these tax hikes are an exceedingly terrible idea. Neither should happen. If you want to infrastructure do so with the massive monies you already take from us.
[Originally Published at RedState]