One only need to look at the crumbling infrastructure of Maine roads to understand the temptation laid at our feet. At first blush, the plummeting oil prices appear to present the ideal opportunity to stimulate the economy and fix our roads by generating revenue by means of a dedicated and temporary increase in the gasoline tax.

Letters and an editorial (Feb. 17) recently published on these pages have opined the wisdom and benefits of such a plan, which would generate jobs for people who would correct the decay in our transportation arterials.

Although this concept is laudable, I believe that the proposed plans are absent acknowledgment of two concerns that are rife with historical precedent.

First, no tax is temporary. One writer suggested a small tax increase would not be onerous with the currently declining gasoline prices. Further, it could be rescinded when prices rise beyond a pre-set threshold.

Legislators have universally proven recalcitrant to abandoning a source of revenue once it is established. One need not look further than the Maine Turnpike tolls as an example of “temporary” revenue both extended and diverted despite initial legislated parameters.

Secondly, no income stream available to the government and earmarked for a specific purpose can be considered to be inviolate to the pressures of political budgetary wrangling.

This has been repeatedly demonstrated despite specific purpose included in the original legislation and is also well represented in historical precedent. A recent article in this newspaper (Feb. 23) discussed the impending insolvency of the Clean Election Fund, which has been repeatedly raided by the Legislature to pay for unrelated expenditures.

I support the intent of the opinions expressed by other writers. It is paucity of legislative will to adhere to the prescribed budget parameters of “temporary” legislation that predicts subverted funding supported by another user tax founded on good intentions.