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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Earl Blumenauer
The first thought that pops into the mind of Rep. Earl Blumenauer when he sees prices at the gasoline pump is: They ought to be higher. The Oregon Democrat introduced legislation Tuesday to nearly double the federal gas tax from 18.4 cents per gallon to 33.4 cents over the next three years. By indexing the amount to inflation, the tax would hike itself automatically each year.
Talk about a liberal conundrum. If liberals succeed in forcing Americans into electric cars and tiny econo-boxes, it will starve state and federal gas tax revenue. In order to bridge the monetary gap, state and federal bureaucrats are considering the most Orwellian solution possible, a "vehicle miles traveled" tax.
Twenty members of Congress have sent a letter to the Boy Scouts of America, urging it to drop its ban on gay youth and adults.
The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday said the IRS scandal shows a "culture of cover-ups" and "political intimidation" within the Obama administration.
The ousted head of the IRS on Friday said he was sorry for his agency's targeting conservative and tea party groups for special scrutiny, while a Republican leader said blame could reach as high as the White House.
An Oregon Democrat has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for medical use at the federal level.
On a biggest day of the year for candy hearts and chocolate kisses, a bipartisan group of lawmakers argued that conditions are right to finally rein in federal sugar subsidies.
Gun grabbers aren't getting far in their attempt to ban handguns, so the next best step is to go after ammunition. They use scary terms to demonize ordinary self-defense equipment, hoping this will make Americans more comfortable with their incremental effort to diminish and ultimately eliminate the Second Amendment.
Lawmakers returning to Washington for the first time after last week's deadly movie-theater shooting mourned the victims, but there seemed little indication Congress is ready to take gun control off the back burner, where it's been sitting for more than a decade as Congress passed a handful of minor laws that mostly expanded access to firearms.
Reversing a politically delicate decision, the Obama administration will drop references to so-called "end-of-life" counseling from the ground rules for Medicare's new annual checkup, the White House said Wednesday.
Over the past year, it has become obvious that what leftists cannot win at the ballot box, they will accomplish via bureaucratic dictate. After the U.S. Senate in 2009 rejected the massive cap-and-tax scheme on carbon credits, the Obama administration rode to the rescue of global-warming fanatics. On Dec. 7, 2009, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson issued a ruling that the EPA would begin regulating five "anthropogenic" (man-made) greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, the air we exhale. The EPA based its finding on research from the now discredited U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and rejected at least 10 petitions for reconsideration.
I was interviewing one of the most liberal House Democrats, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, when suddenly he surprised me by saying, "I hope the president vetoes the farm bill, and if he does I'll try to round up votes on my side of the aisle to sustain the veto." Mr. Blumenauer added, if the veto is sustained, "then we can start over and do it right." President Bush did veto the bill Wednesday. But a clerical error in the bill is likely to force the House to vote on the bill again and prompt another veto.
"The gas tax hasn't been increased since the beginning of the Clinton administration," says Mr. Blumenauer, referring to the 4.3 cents per gallon hike in 1993.
This, coupled with an expanded tax code, led lower-level agency officials to make dangerous shortcuts, he said.