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Reason Alert: Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll, Remy's New Video

Seventy-seven percent of Americans oppose increasing the federal gas tax, just 19 percent favor raising it

December 21, 2011

Reason Alert – December 21, 2011

- New Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll
- Poll: Banks Looked Upon Much More Favorably Than Government
- New Remy Video: Grandma Got Run Over By...TSA
- Government’s Unconstitutional Restrictions on Our Freedom to Travel
- Ron Paul vs. the GOP on Foreign Policy
- New at Reason

New Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll
The U.S. is struggling with how to prioritize, pay for and build new infrastructure, as well as how to maintain, repair and expand existing roads, highways, bridges and airports. The latest Reason-Rupe public opinion poll surveyed 1,200 adults (777 on landlines, 423 on cell phones) across the country to see how Americans think we should prioritize and pay for the transportation challenges we face. The findings include:
- 77 percent of Americans oppose increasing the federal gas tax, just 19 percent favor raising it;
- 58 percent say they think new roads and highways should be funded by tolls not tax increases, while 28 percent prefer tax increases to tolls;
- 59 percent of Americans say they would pay to use a toll road if it saved them "significant" time;
- 65 percent say the government spends transportation funding ineffectively;
- 62 percent want to prioritize funding for road and highway projects, while 30 percent would rather prioritize mass transit projects;
- 55 percent say the private sector should build high-speed train systems where it thinks riders will pay to use rail compared to the 35 percent who say federal and state governments should build high-speed rail systems;
- 33 percent say transit should get a slice of the funding pie that exceeds its ridership share and 33 percent say it should get funding equal to its ridership share;
- 55 percent of Americans support using public-private partnerships to build critical infrastructure projects;
- 69 percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that talking on a cell phone while driving should be illegal;
- 89 percent say texting while driving should be illegal.
For More, See the Full Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll (.pdf)
Robert Poole: How People Think We Should Pay for Roads, Transit, High-Speed Rail and Other Infrastructure

Poll: Banks Looked Upon Much More Favorably Than Government
Additional findings from the Reason-Rupe poll include:
- 76 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of their banks and just 15 percent view them unfavorably;
- 32 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the federal government, 62 percent of voters rate the federal government unfavorably;
- 49 percent approve of the job President Obama is doing, 47 percent disapprove;
- 13 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, 80 percent disapprove;
- 50 percent view their state government favorably;
- 58 percent view their local government and school districts favorably;
- 88 percent view their grocery stores favorably;
- 34 percent of voters say they will consider voting for Rep. Ron Paul if he runs as an independent or third-party candidate;
- 21 percent will consider voting for Gov. Gary Johnson as a third-party candidate;
- 45 percent of Americans are ready to eliminate or consolidate the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
- 61 percent oppose eliminating the Department of Education;
- 54 percent of Americans also say they are more worried that the federal government will do something to make the economy worse, while 40 percent are more worried that the government will fail to take action on the economy.
The Complete Reason-Rupe Poll (.pdf)
Previous Reason-Rupe Polls

New Remy Video: Grandma Got Run Over By...TSA
Happy holidays. In seasons past, Grandma only had to worry about getting run over by a reindeer. With "Grandma Got Run Over by TSA," comedian Remy gets us in the holiday mood with a song about Christmas, the Department of Homeland Security, and the joys of civil rights abuses.

Government’s Unconstitutional Restrictions on Our Freedom to Travel
In an essay for Reason magazine that is adapted from his book "It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong," Fox Business Anchor Judge Andrew Napolitano writes that travel and immigration laws are a serious threat to the Constitution: "After self-preservation, the urge to move about the world is the most fundamental of human yearnings. Although our human desires to think and work hard may be chilled with free speech restrictions and taxation, as animate beings we lose our naturally endowed vitality when the government mandates where we can and cannot go. Thus, the right to travel is not only essential to, but directly symbolizes our freedom. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that curfews, internment camps, and unlawful imprisonment are common denominators among despotic regimes. Although the U.S. government may claim to have our best interests at heart when it commands who may go where and at what times, to grant Washington that power means subjecting our liberty to the beneficence of a government which legitimized slavery for 200 years. The War on Terror is no excuse to abandon what strands remain of our withering Constitution.”
Watch Jacob Sullum Discuss Newt Gingrich and Reason’s Tim Cavanaugh Talk Unions Tonight on Freedom Watch at 8 pm ET

Ron Paul vs. the GOP on Foreign Policy
In his nationally syndicated column, Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum writes: "For 35 years Ron Paul has been speaking truths that the foreign policy mavens of both parties prefer to ignore: that the Constitution gives Congress alone the power to declare war, that unjustified interventions breed resentment that undermines our security, that there is a difference between military spending and defense spending, that foreign aid rewards autocrats and their cronies, and that economic sanctions are an 'an act of war' that hurts people in the name of punishing the governments that oppress them. If there really is no room for these arguments in the Republican Party, that is the party's fault, not Paul's."
Voicing Tepid Support for Ron Paul Is Apparently the Craziest Thing Ann Coulter Has Ever Said
Matt Welch: Ron Paul's Old Newsletters Back in the News
Watch Reason’s Brian Doherty Discuss Ron Paul Tonight at 7 pm ET on CNN’s OutFront With Erin Burnett

New at Reason

Peter Suderman Talks the Year in Freedom With Judge Napolitano

Congress Plays Charades with Insider Trading

Why Would Consumers Object to Forcing Them to Buy Expensive Products They Don't Want?

How the Velvet Underground and Václav Havel Toppled Totalitarians

Remembering Kim Jong-Il's Victims

Kurt Loder Reviews This Week's New Movies

Peter Suderman Reviews The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Gingrich's Court-Sacking Plan: When Two Out of Three Is Bad

President Obama's Electric Car Aid Goes Bust

The Year in Government Waste

Why Not Abolish Payroll Taxes Altogether?

Fixing California's Broken Legislature

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