Tea Party Gas-Tax Fix Is Bad Economics, Worse History If the debt-ceiling showdown made your blood boil, if the shutdown of air-traffic-control work related to the airline-ticket tax drove you crazy, then you should unplug your TV and power down your computer in late September, as the deadline for extension of the federal gasoline tax draws near. Because while President Barack Obama and most experts are pushing for a greater federal investment in roads and infrastructure to create jobs and strengthen our economy, a growing minority in Washington wants to end the federal gas tax and phase out funding for new construction under the federal roads program. Thatâs right: A sizable chunk of Republicans, led by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona, want to abolish the tax that pays for the federal highway program and replace the whole system with one overseen by individual states. This insurgency, inspired by the Tea Party, reflects flawed thinking on economics, transportation policy and even American history. Like many other excise taxes, the federal highway tax comes up for periodic renewal, which is usually noncontroversial. But not this time. If Congress doesnât act to renew the tax by Sept. 30, gas stations all over the country have to stop collecting it; the highway trust fund will never get the money; and new work on federal highway projects will come screeching to a halt...... ---------------------- Simple solution to prevent dumb people from voting: Aptitude tests.