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Letter: ‘Red list’ bridges? Traffic? Better than a tax increase!

With apologies to Jonathan Swift, I’m glad Mike Marland’s editorial cartoon in the March 15 Monitor exposed the devastating impacts of the proposed phased-in gas tax increase on us peasants.

Despite the crying need to repair bridges and roads and even expand Interstate 93 to the Bay State, the “taxers” here in New Hampshire will just have to find another way to do it. In a new energy era in which the United States will probably become a net oil exporter and natural gas is swiftly replacing petroleum in supplying much of our energy needs, I’d rather send more money to the obscenely-profitable oil companies than invest it in our own transportation infrastructure. Who cares if we can wake up each morning to 3-, 4-, 5-cent per gallon gas price changes as long as we’re not getting any lasting benefit from it?

I figured the devastating impact of a 4-cent increase on someone who commutes daily from Derry to Boston, a 100-mile round trip. Five days a week, 48 weeks a year is 24,000 miles. If the driver’s car gets 20 miles per gallon, that’s 1,200 gallons. A 4-cent increase squeezes an additional $48 per year from the poor wage slave. If she or he earns $60,000 a year and only gets a 1 percent raise, deduct that $48 from that $600 raise. A more typical New Hampshire worker who drives 13,000 miles a year and whose car gets 23 mpg will pay an extra $22.60 per year. Blasphemy, in the Live (for) Free or Die state!

Give me potholes, “red list” bridges and snarled traffic on my way to Boston. And if it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for my grandchildren!



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