Segments in this Video

Introduction: Raise the Federal Gas Tax to Fund Infrastructure (03:36)


Moderator John Donvan introduces Robert Rosenkranz who discusses "the perfect tax" and paying for the cost of a service.

"Debate Housekeeping" (07:37)

Donvan explains the format for the debate, and introduces panelists for and against the motion. Audience members participate in the pre-debate vote.

Opening Statement For: Shailen Bhatt (07:49)

Executive Director for the Colorado Department of Transportation, Bhatt likens the government to a business. The federal gas tax was last raised in 1992; state DOTs are focused on doing more with less. The current tax does not pay for the upkeep of the transportation system.

Opening Statement Against: Stephen Moore (07:38)

Fellow for the Heritage Foundation's Project for Economic Growth and Fox News contributor, Moore agrees the transportation system needs a renovation. We should reduce the federal gasoline tax and let each state raise its gas tax appropriately. Competitive bidding would reduce the cost of federal road building.

Opening Statement For: Alison Black (07:36)

Senior vice president and chief economist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Black states that a federal gas tax increase means an investment in the federal highway system. Approximately 70% of all U.S. freight is shipped by truck; the federal aid program is essential for the designing and construction of transportation projects.

Opening Statement Against: Adrian Moore (07:34)

Vice president of policy at the Reason Foundation, Moore questions if we are getting "the most bang for our buck" on taxes already in place. We need to focus on the spending efficiency of each state; there is too much funding for things that people do not use.

Opening Statement Recap (01:46)

Donvan summarizes arguments made by the sides of the debate on raising the federal gas tax to fund infrastructure.

Why are the Roads Different from Defense? (04:49)

Moore states that interstates are a national project; most of the money collected from the federal gas tax is used for local roads. Bhatt cites the deferred maintenance of the Northeast Corridor.

Shared Interest (05:11)

Black states that "states choose where they spend their money;" Moore provides an example of why that is a bad idea. Moore states that the predominant list of needs is more state and local. Bhatt quotes Moore from his 2010 article, "Restoring the Highway Trust Fund."

Comparing Local Cops to Local Roads (02:19)

Black states that local spending is different from federal spending. Bhatt and Moore argue the "enlightenment" of the federal government.

"Bang for the Buck" (03:59)

Black states there are many reasons why roads cost different amounts. Moore argues that federal funding decreases incentives for local governments to address local issues. Black argues current costs of road maintenance.

Transportation User Fees (01:53)

Bhatt states that a user fee is a great solution, but unpopular; Moore agrees.

QA: Will the Country Move as One to Build Infrastructure? (03:50)

Bhatt discusses infrastructure uniformity; he cites fairness and technology. Moore discusses regressive tax. Black questions how the investment outcome will help the lower and middle class; she cites a study by Harvard.

QA: Supporting Centers of Economic Activity Loci (04:54)

Panelists argue the benefits and costs for out of state residents and the percentage the federal government reallocates to states. Bhatt states the shift from building highways to building infrastructure. Moore discusses transit versus congestion.

QA: How Could Increasing the Federal Gas Tax Improve the Environment? (02:27)

Bhatt states that congestion does not help the environment. Moore considers if a gas tax encourages more conservation.

QA: How Will the Federal Gas Tax Affect the "Have and Have Nots?" (05:33)

Bhatt cites the challenges of eliminating the federal gas tax and increasing state gas tax. Moore states that we have not exhausted other possibilities for solving transportation problems; Bhatt counters the perception of inefficiency. Moore states that not all decisions need to be made by the federal government. Black cites the structure of the federal program.

Volley Round (03:21)

Panelists debate if the federal system can be sustained with a five cent federal gas tax and why that is a good thing.

Concluding Statement: Bhatt (02:27)

Bhatt calls for a 10 cent rise in the federal gas tax. He shares a story about the transportation infrastructure in India in 1988 and its transformation by 2010.

Concluding Statement: Moore (02:19)

Is it the best to tax everybody and continue managing the transportation system in the same manner, or find more efficient means of spending current funding?

Concluding Statement: Black (01:53)

Transportation system users will pay for better infrastructure by increasing taxes or by sitting in congestion.

Concluding Statement: Moore (02:17)

Traffic congestion increased after raising the federal gas tax in 1982. Participants at a Senate Finance Committee did not discuss ways to improve efficient spending.

Time to Vote (03:40)

Donvan instructs the audience to vote and thanks all participants. He discusses funding for IQ2 debates and upcoming debates on printing prosperity, smart drug use, and the power of prosecutors.

Audience Voting Results (01:09)

Pre-debate - For: 51% - Against: 10% - Undecided 38% Post-debate - For: 66% - Against: 23% - Undecided 10%

Credits: Raise the Federal Gas Tax to Fund Infrastructure: A Debate (00:0-5767)

Credits: Raise the Federal Gas Tax to Fund Infrastructure: A Debate

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Raise the Federal Gas Tax to Fund Infrastructure: A Debate

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The Highway Trust Fund that helps finance road, bridge, mass transit, and other infrastructure projects across the United States is running out of money. Its revenue source, the federal gasoline tax, at 18.4 cents per gallon, has not changed since 1993. Some argue that Congress should raise the gasoline tax to fund infrastructure projects. But others oppose raising the tax, arguing that states should shoulder more of the costs. Should Congress raise the federal gasoline tax?

Length: 97 minutes

Item#: EDP114402

ISBN: 978-1-68272-682-2

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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