Want to fix Missouri's roads and cut taxes at the same time? Well, two American conservative icons showed us the way almost 50 years ago. The Establishment likes to attack grassroots conservatives by claiming Reagan would have opposed the Tea Party. They're wrong, of course, and the Transportation Empowerment Act tells us why.
In 1967, shortly after Ronald Reagan became governor of California, William F. Buckley Jr. asked Governor Reagan if was even possible to be an effective governor.
"What's meant by that," Buckley went on:
Are we now so dependent on the federal government that the individual state is left without the scope to make its own crucial decisions? Isn't the individual state in the matter of taxation required to make do with what amounts to the leftovers?
Reagan's reply told the whole story:
The TEA would keep gasoline taxes in the state where they're generated. So all the taxes you pay at the pump here in Missouri would stay in Missouri for the Missouri governor and legislature to allocate.
The Transportation Empowerment Act
Here's how it works according to the bill's architect, Congressman Tom Graves:
How it Works
- Transfers almost all authority over federal highway and transit programs to the states over a five-year period.
- Lowers the federal gas tax to 3.7 cents from 18.4 cents over the same time period.
- During the five-year phase out, states will receive block grants that come with vastly fewer federal strings attached.
What It Does
- Immediately reduces the bureaucratic burden involved in the construction of critical transportation projects.
- Results in a faster administrative response to the transportation problems Americans face, such as traffic, commuting, and access.
- Gives states greater flexibility in their tax structure.
- Connects where people want to work with where they want to live.
- Opens opportunities to develop new mass-transit solutions, innovate environmental protections, and improve the financing of projects.
- Creates jobs and grows the economy.
Where Do Missouri's Republicans Stand on TEA?
So far, the only Missouri member of Congress to sign onto the TEA Bill is Rep. Billy Long (HA-78%). That means we need to work on Ann Wagner (HA-63%), Jason Smith (HA-74%), Vicky Hartzler (HA-64%), and Sam Graves (HA-65%). (Leutkemeyer[HA-57%] is a lost cause, so I won't ask anyone to waste their time.)
Heritage Action has key voted the Transportation Empowerment Act, meaning that all members of Congress will be judged by their performance on the bill. Because Establishment Republicans love Washington power, how our delegation handles the TEA Bill will tell us a lot about their commitment to Reagan-Buckley conservatism.
Call or visit Rep. Ann Wagner's Ballwin office and ask her to co-sponsor HR-3486, the Transportation Empowerment Act.
Ballwin District Office
hours: M-F 9-5:00pm
Phone: (636) 779-5449
“People want to spend less time in traffic and more time enjoying life. Our bill does away with the Washington middleman and streamlines the highway program, allowing more projects to be completed at a lower cost. This approach paves the way for commuters to move more easily between home and work, freeing up important family time and cutting out hours of frustration behind the wheel.” - Congressman Tom Graves
Sound a lot like Reagan, doesn't it?