The NRSC is running some billboard ads against Joe Sestak, over his stated support in his book for a vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) fee to replace the gas tax.
Reasonable people can debate whether it makes more sense to switch to this exciting new tax or just keep raising the gas tax as fuel efficiency increases. Act 89 proved voters basically just don’t notice gas tax increases, and can’t differentiate it from the usual ups and downs in the cost of fuel.
But the uncomfortable fact for the NRSC is that this is an idea that enjoys bipartisan support.
Republican Congressman Bill Shuster, from the big red 9th District in the heartland of Pennsylvania, is one of this idea’s most prominent advocates in Congress. And Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer, respected in both parties as one of the real transportation heroes in Congress, is also a big fan of the idea.
So it’s pretty awkward for the NRSC to go jumping the gun attacking Joe Sestak when they don’t even have all their own members, or even their most prominent members, lined up against this idea. From what I can tell, the Republican Party’s position seems to be to want to scrap both revenue sources and replace them with nothing, which would obviously make our transportation funding shortage much worse at a time when the Highway Trust Fund is reeling from short-term patch to short-term patch.
This is exactly the type of budget nihilism ex-Club for Growth director Pat Toomey has become known for in the Senate, and it’s precisely why voters need to hand the keys back to the adults by voting for Joe Sestak and the Democrats next year.