Clam the Vote: The Gas Tax

Greetings Clamlectorate! The user data streaming into our offices here at Clamedia Tower in the heart of the financial/salon district of Gloucester tells us you guys are asking how to vote. Furthermore, we know you’re thinking a satirical website featuring content like the video of Staff Photographer Stevens Brosnihan dressed as the Man at the Wheel twerking is the “go-to” source for this information. We’re all watching it on the big screen in the main conference room.

It’s life-changing, really.

So before the election we’re going to bring you a bunch of our opinions on the different ballot questions and candidates. Oh, and we’re turning off the comments because comments. If you disagree, swell. Go start your own fuckin blog.

Anyhoodle, the first ballot question is the Gas Tax or “Question 1.”

Gas stations in Japan have these pit crew dudes who check your tires, oil, wipers and clean your windshield. It's awesome.
Gas stations in Japan have these pit crew dudes who check your tires and oil and stuff. It’s pretty great.

Vote “No” on that. Ok? Good. Back to the mesmerizing rhythmic revolutions of Stevens’ buttcheeks…

What? What do I hear? You want to actually know why rather than just do our Clammsih bidding in the ballot box. Fiiiiiine, here is why you should vote “No” if you must:

Fun Facts:

The monthly average price of Gas in the United States, according to AAA is $3.34. The average monthly price in MA is $3.43. We’re very close to the average national price here.

But our state is heavily infrastructure-dependent, and that infrastructure is old. We have old roads, lots of aging bridges and tunnels, winters that are tough on roads. Those of us on “this” side of the bridge are even more dependent on that critical road link. Even if you never go to the other side of the Ansiquam, everything that affords us a modern life comes over those bridges. And plenty of our readers use the rail bridge to get to work in Boston or to court-mandated probation officer visits in Salem. We need that infrastructure to be in good working order to facilitate our economy and lives. The gas tax is used to pay for that infrastructure. It’s that simple.

Side benefit of crumbling infrastructure: Zombie movies become much easier to film

Side benefit of crumbling infrastructure: Zombie movies become much easier to stage

And pay it does. All three of our bridges need work. Isn’t it fun that people from Springfield are helping to pay repair them? For once Gloucester makes out on a state program rather than getting screwed. How did that happen? Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

Would you believe that MA actually has a gas tax lower than the national average? The average national tax on a gallon of gas is 50 cents. Here it’s only .45 cents on a gallon. MA HAS A LOWER TAX? BELIEVE THAT? Well it’s true. And considering how many more roads, bridges and tunnels we have per capita, and how important they are to our service-based economy, we should be investing more to keep them working.

Taxing gasoline makes people actually pay for use. You know that asshole with the truck that says, “Happily burning all the fuel your Prius is saving”? That guy is paying more taxes. Also has tiny peen. You know that person who does not drive and takes public transportation everywhere? That person is not paying gas tax. See how that works? Clever, eh?


Because America

Why should it be pegged to inflation? It’s so the legislature doesn’t have to waste time passing a bill every few years and giving some idiots the “We’re fighting to reduce taxes” flag they can wave, when all they are doing is making it harder to fix roads (thanks, guys!). It’s not “taxation without representation.” We’re voting on it. That’s representation. Holy stupidity.

We pay absurdly low taxes in this country and much of what we do pay goes to a military still rigged to fight WW III with a nonexistent superpower. Here in the Commonwealth we are 11th out of the states for our state and local tax burden at 10.3% As a resident I see some waste, but overall we have some pretty great shit other states don’t. Our health care systems is second to none and we’ve got close to universal access and have had so since Romneycare. We’ve got the best schools in the country. We’ve got low crime rates. We have healthier people, healthier kids, a cleaner environment an occasionally vexing but still at least working public transportation system. All in all, the average 3 grand a taxpayer dishes out in MA per year is a good deal.

Voting “NO” means don’t change, let it increase with inflation and the average person will shell out something like ten more bucks a year, max, when it goes up. Adults realize that things cost money, roads cost money and we have to pay for them. If you want to see how the “low tax” states fare on things like healthcare, education and so on, I invite you to look at Kansas, which was supposed to be an experiment for getting rid of the tax burden. It has been an unmitigated disaster. Check it out from the commie pinkos at The Socialist Worker Forbes Magazine. Adults did this. Very stupid adults.

So be a grownup and let’s keep letting people in Fitchburg pay for our bridges. Tee hee.


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  1. Great piece — except what you did to my Prius.

  2. Also worth noting, that our roads are among the worst in the country per various sources including:
    46 out of 50: “Among states, Rhode Island ranks last, with 55 percent of its 749 bridges rated either deficient or obsolete, followed by 52 percent of the 4,919 bridges in Massachusetts…”

  3. According to Mass DOR the gas tax in Mass is .24 cents not .45 cents Makes your argument even better!

    • As of July 2014, Mass. gas taxes (state, federal, and excise tax combined) per gallon were 44.9 cents; that’s lower than the national average of 49.62. -Boston Globe

    • Jim was including the federal taxes, which I think was a mistake, as everyone in every state pays that tax. Here are the data on state taxes:

      Note the two columns: “Excise Tax” and “Other Taxes and Fees”. Until this year’s increase, MA was at 23.5 cents total per gallon, which ranked it 29th out of the 50 states.

      Other nearby states, by total state tax burden:

      45.0 Connecticut (#4 of 50)
      33.0 Rhode Island (#13 of 50)
      31.5 Maine (#16 of 50
      26.7 Vermont (#23 of 50)
      19.6 New Hampshire (#41 of 50)

      So not only is Massachusetts under the national average, we are well under the average of the other nearby states (31.1 cents/gallon).

  4. How did I miss this? Time for more Xanax poultices.

    • Xanax poultices shall henceforth be the primary (and possibly only) benefit of The Clam’s healthcare plan.

  5. Pingback: Clam the Vote: The Bottle Bill | The Clam

  6. I THOUGHT YOU WERE TURNING OFF COMMENTS! But you know, it’s nice to see everyone being civil.

  7. “If you disagree, swell. Go start your own fuckin blog.” hehe

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