To the Editor:

My somewhat older dictionary defines “onerous,” adj. 1. hard to take or carry, burdensome, oppressive, troublesome…

I cannot think of another word that better describes the proposed increase in the Texas state fuel tax described by Texas state Rep. Aycock in Sunday’s (March 24) Killeen Daily Herald.

Gasoline to the working family is almost as important as food. Not many of us walk or ride a bicycle to work in Texas or grow our own food. We drive to the place that sells food. Increasing the gasoline tax will increase food costs directly by adding to the cost of driving to the supermarket and indirectly by food purveyors raising their prices to pay for food delivery. This is a bad idea in today’s sagging economy.

Another tax will exacerbate our declining purchasing power, and weaken America’s dollar against foreign currencies. Representative Aycock described his support for the gasoline tax increase as “suicidal.” I assume he meant politically. I think he is correct.

He ran as a fiscal conservative and I voted for him because of his stance. Now he seems to be waning from fiscal conservative principles by offering gasoline tax ratios in California and New York as something to be considered for Texas.

Surely, with Texas’ amazing population growth more gasoline is sold every day. That means fuel tax revenue is increasing.

If TxDOT is $13 billion in debt, as reported in Sunday’s article, I would think a fiscal conservative would suggest:

(1) shutting down TxDOT non-critical projects until such time coffers are refilled by the current state fuel tax and

(2) replacing the TxDOT management team that caused the $13 billion debt.

It is indeed time to rethink highway funding; however, doing it right will take courage and conviction.

Living beyond our means and taking no action to change incompetent federal agency management is what has our federal government in fiscal crisis.

Yet, the U.S. Congress still wants to tax and spend more. This amounts to stupidity and theft in my mind.

Please don’t tell me that Texans are not smarter than this. And please do not compare Texas’ gasoline tax structure with those of New York and California unless you want to end up as broke as New York and California. Remember, many people are leaving New York and California for a better life in Texas.

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

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