Mark’s Musings – April 3, 2019

| April 2, 2019

Mark Fortune

Yes, spring is actually here – just look at the calendar if you need proof. And, the grass is showing glimmers of more green each and every day. Sure, we may vault into summer after a week of spring just like last year but a vault into summer is certainly better than a flop back into winter. I’ll certainly take it as it comes. We can’t do anything about it anyway but if memory serves – and I admit I lose a tad more each year – you better get that mower ready. Something tells me the grass is going to grow. But just to throw this in – I do recall mowing some yards as a kid in March.

The Ohio Senate is looking at a bill to make daylight savings time permanent as you may have heard by now. Two senators proposed the bill – Senate Bill 119 – which would allow Ohio to join Hawaii and Arizona as the only two states that do not observe daylight savings time. (The Navajo tribe does observe it on their lands) I think you have to look at the origins of daylight savings time to know if this is a good idea or not. And I wonder – why is this not a federal issue? It seems like everything else is. Believe it or not (you can Google this) the idea was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin – who actually proposed moving two hours of time -but not the actual clock – just a sleep schedule. He got this idea from the French.

And Germany was the first nation to enact DST – during World War I – and they got the idea from an Englishman. The premise was simple – to save electricity. Now Germany is working to get rid of DST as is much of Europe. The European Union is proposing to stop the twice yearly change of clocks in case you wanted to know. Russia, Iceland, Turkey and several other nations no longer observe DST.

And contrary to popular belief, the move was not made to benefit farmers. It was to save electricity and famers actually opposed the move, and worked to have it repealed. The United States started observing DST in 1919.

Speaking of the Ohio Legislature, your opinions on their proposed gas tax increase? Not enough. It’s that simple. I, like everyone else, prefer not to pay more taxes. But in this case, it is like putting your finger in a dike. You know the story – you plug one hole and another pops up. Either put in an increase that actually does some good or don’t do it at all. This also works at the local level. Either way, the gas tax debate will continue into this week as lawmakers missed the deadline. Our current gas tax in Ohio is 28 cents per gallon, enacted in 2005.

And here’s a tidbit for you – which state has the highest gas tax? Our neighbor to the east – no, not West Virginia but Pennsylvania – at 58.7 cents per gallon. And you guessed it; California is next at 55.22 cents per gallon. The federal excise tax on gasoline (yes, we pay that too!) is 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. It has not been increased since 1993 and is not tied to inflation or we would be paying a lot more for gasoline and diesel fuel. And in my opinion, the tax is not helping Pennsylvania roads. Have you been on any of their roads lately? I speak from experience in this case.

It’s pretty simple really. The cost of road construction, replacing aging bridges and other infrastructure, let alone keeping up with the increase in the number of vehicles on the highways and miles driven does not allow for enough funds to keep pace with inflation. There’s that ugly word raising its head. Despite what some of the pundits might tell us, inflation does exist. Talk to anyone that buys food lately?

Okay, enough of the history lesson – it’s time for baseball and the final four!

Category: Mark's Musings, Opinion

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