Senator Kip Bateman has held elected office since 1983. He's been in the Legislature for over two decades. During all that time, while the fund that pays for our roads and bridges was running out of money, Kip Bateman did nothing but borrow more and kick the can down the road.
The gas tax has remained at 14 1/2 cents since 1988. While every other state in America raised its gas tax to keep up with inflation, while President Ronald Reagan increased the federal gas tax to keep up with inflation, people like Kip Bateman did the politically popular thing of not raising the gas tax and instead borrowed more and more -- and New Jersey fell deeper and deeper into debt.
While everything else was adjusted for inflation again and again, the gas tax was not. Why? Because politicians like Kip Bateman could point to low gas prices whenever a property taxpayer complained about having the highest in the nation property taxes.
As property taxes doubled and then doubled again -- costing taxpayers thousands upon thousands each year -- politicians like Kip Bateman would point to the gas tax and tell them that he'd save them a couple hundred.
But he hadn't. He just passed the taxes on to their children and grandchildren.
The last time the gas tax produced enough revenue to pay for New Jersey's transportation needs was in 1990. Because of the debt politicians like Kip Bateman allowed to accumulate, by 2015 the annual cost of that debt to taxpayers was $1.1 billion -- outstripping the $750 million revenue from the gas tax.
If Kip Bateman wants to know why it was necessary to raise the gas tax by 23 cents, he should look into a mirror and ask the question, because the answer is: Senator Kip Bateman.
23 cents a gallon, all in one hit, is what you get when politicians suspend the iron rules of economics and tell people that they can have something for nothing. This is what happens when you don't adjust the cost of something for inflation. A business would have gone bankrupt, but Kip Bateman knows that he can be a hero today and get re-elected, by passing the bill to a future generation. It will be their problem, not his.
What Bateman and the other "Red Shirt" Republicans are doing to children, piling debt upon them so that their future begins in a hole, is made worse by the current lie coming out of the "Red Shirt" camp: That the 23-cents increase applies to baby oil.
This lie is up there with the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the "Flat Earth" movement, and George Bush "is responsible for September 11th." What makes it even more disgusting is that those who are spreading this lie have consistently voted to kill unborn babies in the womb and have resisted humanitarian legislation to recognize (as does almost every other civilized nation outside of North Korea, China, and Vietnam) that 20-week old unborn babies feel pain.
Europe recognizes this medical fact. So does Latin America, Australia, most of Asia, and Africa. But not New Jersey. And it is because of those "baby oilers" that this state doesn't