Letters to the Editor

No New Diesel Taxes

As someone who has been in the trucking business and owned my own company for 35 years, I take exception to the June 15 editorial, “Hardly Free,” especially when you state the trucking industry is willing to pay an extra 13 cents per gallon in diesel fuel taxes.

I have never met an owner of a trucking company who says he wants to pay more money in fuel taxes. Who are you speaking about? I would like to meet them, because every trucking owner I have met says that with the amount of fuel taxes collected, our roads should be paved in gold.

It is my understanding that approximately $29 billion was collected from the gasoline and diesel tax in 2008. It is also my understanding that nearly half a billion dollars was diverted to other uses, including other transportation projects.

I might add that this is typical that we are paying for one reason and the government is using the money for other reasons. A case in point is the Harbor Maintenance Tax, which has been collected since the Clinton administration. Billions of dollars have been collected, but the money is diverted for other reasons and other uses, and much of the money is sitting in escrow, of course, not collecting any interest, either.

The same goes for the port authorities, especially in the tri-state (New York-New Jersey-Connecticut) area. The money was to be used to fix the tunnels and the bridges. Where did the money go?
If we spent the money on our ports and bridges, as promised, we probably would have the best bridges and ports, not only in the U.S., but maybe in the world.

It is obvious we can’t trust what our governments say. They constantly promise to collect money for one purpose, and use it for another. Why should we trust them when they say it would be different if they collected another 13 cents in diesel taxes?

Take, for example, our Social Security system. It is broke! What nonsense! If the money collected was used purely for Social Security purposes, with the interest accrued, we would all be millionaires by the time we retire. I can provide further examples, but I think I’ve made my point.

We don’t need more taxes. Remember, every penny of taxes we pay is one penny less going into the private sector, be for a refrigerator, a car or something else.

What we need — and this is what you should be stressing — is more integrity by our government officials, better utilization of the money and, most important, use of the money for the purpose it was collected.

Frank V. Folise
Resources Trucking Inc.
North Bergen, N.J.

Supply Chain Visibility

I read your article “Track and Trace, the Army Way” (Peter Tirschwell’s column, June 22) with interest. You’ve taken a small leap connecting the RFID III procurement contract with tracking 500,000 containers, but the Army is working to improve in-transit visibility and cargo security using various electronic technologies.

The cost of applying RFID and even satellite devices enriched with sensors on ISO containers is relatively low when the devices are recovered and reused. I think your article does justice to the debate over near real-time track and trace. The value gained by technology-enhanced track and trace is achieved when the customer, shipper and carrier act on the information provided.

We’ve learned over many years that even the best shippers and carriers spoil, lose, misroute and frustrate cargo. These technologies help us all to see into supply chains and be better stewards of the taxpayers’ resources.

Fred Naigle
LC&RS Inc.
Contract Support
Department of the Army
Washington

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