Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo says it’s time to repeal the federal gas tax. Tancredo says the tax was established decades ago to build the federal highway system and that job is now done.
Tancredo believes states, then, could keep levying that per-gallon tax and would end up spending the money better than the feds do.
"You also accomplish the task of telling the federal government to go fly a kite when they start demanding things like changing (state) laws with regard to highways: seat belts, speed limits, all the rest of that stuff," Tancredo says.
One of those federal pressure points over the years has been about state laws which require motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Tancredo, a congressman from Colorado, led the push 30 years ago to repeal Colorado’s manditory helmet law. "I was in the state legislature — I’d just gotten elected in ’76 — and I was the sponsor of that bill," Tancredo says.
Tancredo says doing away with the federal gas tax will also do away with the kind of federal bribery over highway rules. "The thing that really annoys me is that the federal government will now come in and say if you want to get money…for highways from the federal government, you’re have to do X, Y and Z and possibly have a helmet law," Tancredo says.
Tancredo rode a Harley "Fat Boy" motorcycle – without a helmet — from the Black Hawk County Courthouse to a Harley Davidson Dealership in Waterloo on Saturday as part of a rally to bring attention to motorcyle safety.
Iowa is one of only four states which have no requirements regarding helmets for motorcyclists. The other three are Tancredo’s home state of Colorado, Illinois and New Hampshire — the state which hosts the first primary contest in the presidential campaign.