Lawmaker defends plan to hike gas tax to fix infrastructure


STEVE FORBES: Yeah. Chattanooga. Bad behavior. This deal is one of the worst in diplomatic history, it’s going to lead to tens of thousands of deaths. It gives Iran over 100 billion dollars for these kinds of activities, allows them on a glide path to get missiles, atomic bombs, and conventional weapons. It’s also going to lead to nuclear proliferation not just with Egypt and Turkey, but with other countries. Around the world people see the U.S. as pulling back so South Korea is going to do it, Japan is going to do it, and already some rumblings in Argentina and Venezuela. This thing’s a disaster.

MIKE OZANIAN: I think you’re right. Iran has come out and said they want to annihilate us. So why would you want to make someone who wants to annihilate you, annihilate Israel, who is one of our best friends in the world, stronger? But I think you have to look at the statement and see what Obama is doing on a grand scheme. Now he’s not just doing this. He’s making our military weaker, he’s telling our border patrol not to stop murderers, rapists and terrorists from coming into this country and he’s letting criminals come out of prison. So when you package it all together, it’s very scary.

ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Yeah I’m more pessimistic about the Middle East after this. Yeah the IAEA has already said that Iran is already cheating, they’re building smaller centrifuges to cheat. They’re burying their capabilities in mountains, and now we can’t visit military sites. This is a really bad deal. Basically what Susan Rice is doing, and this is this administration’s way of doing things, it’s tactical. It’s their way of saying we were on the record of saying this could happen, we told you so ahead of time. The President has already said ‘yeah we know Iran does supply Hezbollah and Hamas, nothing we can do about it.’

CARRIE SHEFFIELD: Absolutely. It doesn’t matter if they have their own internal military assets. They have proxies throughout the entire region. Whether it’s in Syria, whether it’s in Lebanon, whether it’s in Gaza. Whether it’s all over. You know, they just gave a billion dollar line of credit to a dictator our president said he would draw a red line around. That red line is a joke. Now he’s enriching someone who’s gassing his own people. Now we’re going to be paying for that.

JOHN TAMNY: Well I think it’s tragic but I think we have to separate the two and know if it’s going to make any difference. If Iran is as corrupt as critics say, they are going to search for nukes and try to obtain them no matter what. Let’s assume they get them. They don’t have a navy, they don’t have an air force. I don’t see the threat to us. What about Vis a Vis Israel? Israel has 200 nukes. As soon as Iran focuses on Israel, they could knock them into the Stone Age. I don’t see the worry in a country like Iran.

MARK TATGE: I think that’s rather alarmist. Look, we were headed towards war in the Middle East. And certainly if we don’t stop this nuclear proliferation there’s going to be war within a year or two. This is a compromise. It’s not the best deal, yes there are problems with it, but this will stave it off for at least a decade if not more. In that amount of time, I think there could be some meaningful changes in the Middle East. I’m more optimistic about the Middle East than I have been in a long time.


STEVE FORBES: Revenue neutral is a convoluted idea.  The Highway Trust fund would be fine if the original purpose was maintained which was to build the freeways and then maintain them. Make it pure again, problem solved.

MARK TATGE: The problem is infrastructure- we need to spend more money on bridges and roads they are falling apart. Highway Tax should be doubled or tripled and I would double it for trucks, trucks are the ones tearing up our roads.

JOHN TAMNY: Republicans increasingly don’t disappoint. The idea that they lack revenues- there are all sorts of revenue they are just being spent on the wrong thing. Steve has pointed out that capitalism is about turning scarcity into abundance. Why not hand roads over the private sector and see what they do to it in terms of innovations that reduce traffic and cost.

MIKE OZANIAN: 25 cents out of every dollar in this Highway Trust fund is being spend on other things than highways.  Too many taxpayers are going along with this crazy idea. They think there is a lockbox where this money goes and it gets funneled out to paying for highways- nothing could be further from the truth.

BILL BALDWIN: 50 cents! Tax consumption not work! With 50 cents I would relieve every worker of social security taxes on the first 3.00/hour of pay.

ELIZABETH MACDONALD: We spent about 10B on bicycles and pedestrian paths since ’92- remember bridge to nowhere- we need to let the states handle it and not raise taxes.


JOHN TAMNY: We should multiply these people. Look at what 1 individual can do to transform a company (Steve Jobs..) We want more of these and paid well because of what they can do for all of us.

BILL BALDWIN: I’m all for pay-for-performance but the performance has to be very good and it has to be measured over a long time.

CARRIE SHEFFIELD: Good for her! We need more women speaking out about this so that people can understand American exceptionalism. And the fact is – American income is 42% higher because we allow competition and wealth creation.

MARK TATGE: This is part of our income inequality. The biggest problem is that we still pay these people when they screw up companies. They continue to receive the incomes and bonuses and they get paid if they do a good job or bad job. The system is rigged.

ELIZABETH MACDONALD: I don’t think Tim Cook getting a good salary has anything to do with the teacher who is getting underpaid. It has to do with policies. By the way fat-cat labor union bosses get paid a lot of money taking their dues from teachers.

STEVE FORBES: If you want to get talent you have to pay up for it.