Printer Friendly

AAA TELLS CLINTON HE'S RIGHT TO OPPOSE HIGHER GAS TAXES

 ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- President-elect Bill Clinton received strong support from the American Automobile Association today for opposing higher gasoline taxes.
 In a letter, AAA President Paul A. Verkuil said, "As you have repeatedly indicated the last thing the United States needs now is a gas tax increase which burdens the middle class or the economy."
 In addition to being opposed by 70 percent of the public, higher gasoline taxes would slow economic growth, harm the tourism industry and create regional inequities, AAA said.
 "Why should a resident of Arkansas pay almost twice as much as a resident of the District of Columbia to cut the federal deficit, solely because the person in Arkansas must drive longer distances?" Verkuil asked.
 The motoring federation, serving 34 million members, agreed with Clinton's emphasis on rehabilitation and expansion of the nation's highway infrastructure, but said the new administration should use funds already set aside for this purpose.
 "Right now more than $21 billion languishes in the Federal Highway Trust Fund," Verkuil said. "Moreover, only 2 1/2 cents of the 1990 five-cent gas tax increase is earmarked for investment in highway infrastructure.
 "AAA strongly believes that no increase in the federal gasoline tax is justified until the balance in the Federal Highway Trust Fund and the revenues from the 1990 gas tax increase are fully spent on surface transportation."
 AAA is a not-for-profit federation of 139 motor clubs with more than 1,000 offices providing members in the United States and Canada with travel, insurance, financial and auto-related services.
 Following is a letter from Verkuil to President-elect Clinton:
 The Honorable Bill Clinton January 15, 1993
 The President-elect
 of the United States
 Transition Office
 1020 Vermont Avenue, NW
 Washington, DC 20005
 Dear President-elect Clinton:
 The American Automobile Association, which serves 34 million
 members, congratulates you on electoral victory and applauds your
 emphasis on rehabilitation and expansion of the nation's highway
 infrastructure. In the near term such an investment would create
 jobs and stimulate economic recovery; in the long run it would
 enhance United States' productivity and competitiveness.
 But the key issue remains: Where does the money come from to fund
 needed highway improvements? Right now more than $21 billion
 languishes in the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Moreover, only 2-1/2
 cents of the 1990 5-cent federal gas tax increase is earmarked for
 investment in highway infrastructure.
 Consequently, AAA strongly believes that no increase in the federal
 gasoline tax is justified until the balance in the Federal Highway
 Trust Fund and the revenues from the 1990 gas tax increase are fully
 spent on surface transportation.
 The federal gasoline tax earmarked for roads is the most successful
 user fee in history, having largely financed the construction of the
 Interstate system as well as proving substantial assistance to a
 variety of other meritorious highway and highway safety projects.
 The highway system it helped fund ensures the traveling public
 personal mobility unparalleled in the world. And is fair -- the
 more you drive the more you pay.
 But, as you have repeatedly indicated, the last thing the United
 States needs now is a gas tax increase which burdens the middle
 class or the economy. Trying to balance the deficit at the gas pump
 would do both.
 Proponents of a federal gas tax for deficit reduction must confront
 the following critical considerations:
 Americans are against it. Public opinion polls consistently
 show that about 70 percent of Americans disapprove of raising
 taxes on gasoline to balance the federal budget.
 A gas tax increase could harm the economy. For example, a
 study by Wharton Econometrics found that in the near term a
 10-cent increase in the gasoline tax could reduce the GNP by
 nearly $10 million. Moreover, another study by Data Resources
 Incorporated found a new federal tax on motor fuels over a
 five year period on average would cut the deficit by only
 27 cents for every dollar of tax raised because of its
 detrimental effects on the economy.
 Tourism would be harmed. The tourism industry, one of our
 country's top three employers, would be adversely affected.
 Tourism is very sensitive to the price of gasoline because
 approximately four-fifths of vacation travel is done by
 private vehicles.
 Regional inequities would be created. Why should a resident
 of Arkansas pay almost twice as much as a resident of the
 District of Columbia to cut the federal deficit, solely because
 the person in Arkansas must drive longer distances?
 In short, balancing the budget at the gas pump won't work and shouldn't be considered. AAA and its member clubs stand ready to be of assistance to you and your administration on these and other matters. Please call upon us. We wish you well as your administration commences.
 Respectfully yours,
 Paul R. Verkuil
 -0- 1/18/93
 /CONTACT: Dick Hebert, 202-942-2050, or Jerry Cheske, 407-444-8000, both of the American Automobile Association/


CO: American Automobile Association ST: Florida IN: SU:

JJ -- FL001 -- 5727 01/18/93 08:32 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 18, 1993
Words:824
Previous Article:CHAMPION PARTS REPORTS EXPECTED LOSS FOR 1992 AND A COST-REDUCTION PROGRAM
Next Article:CRUISE LINES LURE PASSENGERS WITH EARLY BOOKING INCENTIVES


Related Articles
AMERICANS OPPOSE GAS TAX HIKE, AAA SURVEY SHOWS
AAA MICHIGAN OPPOSES GAS TAX
AAA OBJECTS TO CLINTON PLAN TO DIVERT TRUST FUND; CALLS FOR SPINOFF OF FHWA
RNC: Clinton/Gore to Blame for Soaring Gas Prices - Nicholson to Gore: 'Gore Has Long Advocated Higher Energy Prices' -.
Where AAA and its critics have disagreed.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters