Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 27, 2008

NY Times: Raise the Gas Tax

Editorial in the New York Times:  The Gas Tax:

There are several ways to tax gas. One would be to devise a variable consumption tax in such a way that a gallon of unleaded gasoline at the pump would never go below a floor of $4 or $5 (in 2008 dollars), fluctuating to accommodate changing oil prices and other costs. Robert Lawrence, an economist at Harvard, proposes a variable tariff on imported oil to achieve the same effect and also to stimulate the development of domestic energy sources. In both cases, the fuel taxes could be offset with tax credits to protect vulnerable segments of the population.

While oil prices are all but sure to rise again as the world emerges from recession, further tempering consumption with a gas tax would both slow the rise in the price of crude and steer more revenue from energy consumption to the United States budget, rather than that of oil-exporting countries.

A bitter recession is not the most opportune time to ratchet up the price of energy. But if the Obama administration is to meet its twin objectives of reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and cutting its emissions of greenhouse gases, it needs to start thinking now about mechanisms to curb the nation’s demand for energy when the economy emerges from recession in the future.

This also would serve as a signal to American automakers and American drivers that the era of cheap gasoline is not going to last.

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A gas tax at this time of lower prices makes sense if you also make it illegal in the US to purchase oil for refining above a certain price. The gasoline and oil reserves should be increased simultaneously so that oil producers and speculators cannot take advantage of availability to falsely inflate prices. This buffer and combination of actions would result in a more stable pump price because the producers, upon raising barrel prices would cause the user countries not to buy as much, eventually lowering barrel prices before the increased reserves could be affected and cause consumers to feel any pain.

Posted by: zeroth | Jan 6, 2009 3:40:27 AM

I would definitely approve a $1.00 per gallon tax on gas which is to be used to pay for infrastructure development and construction job creation.
I would rather pay my $1.00 per gallon for this purpose than give it to OPEC.

Posted by: Brad | Jan 6, 2009 3:40:27 AM

hey, pal, if you had any idea how much sustained pain your proposal would cause to the average working man, maybe you would keep your dumb ideas to yourself.Or maybe not-- I'm sure you take the subway to work every morning, and like the typical New Yorker, you begrudge everyone else their cars.

Posted by: gnostic 23-7 | Dec 29, 2008 4:41:22 PM

Mass transit/rail would be fine, but for one caveat, if the proponents thereof actually have to pay for it. As to the caveat, living in rabbit warrens is no substitute for freedom.

Posted by: Jake | Dec 29, 2008 6:51:37 AM

Tom Brokaw recently suggested to Barack Obama on Meet the Press that the gas tax should be raised to $4.00 a gallon. Now the New York Times, also run by fellow Council on Foreign Relations traitors like Brokaw, is singing the same exact tune. Gee, who woulda thunk?

Posted by: A. Magnus | Dec 29, 2008 6:51:37 AM

That's a great idea and if the person is vulnerable you give them a rebate that you hold until three months in to the following year. So that way the person loans the corrupt Federal Government money, at 0% interest, every time they purchase gas. That is a smashing idea! Let's do it. Let's not cut the military/industrial complex's throat! Let's give them even more money to piss away!

Posted by: Vox | Dec 29, 2008 6:51:37 AM

I think New York should realize one major issue . . . it has benefitted greatly from the theft of the American working class through the tax revenue generated from the profits of the financial institutions in it jurisdiction. As a result, it is time to demand a return of those revenues to the investors. Those tax revenues are the product of criminial activities are they not?

Posted by: K Brooks | Dec 27, 2008 1:01:40 PM

First off, everyone except the embedded reporter above knows that gasoline is not going away. We have vast reserves, both off our shores, and abroad. It is only when OPEC isin't making enough blood money that production gets cut, and the lies about running out come around. An oilman stole the election in 2000 and 2004 and we paid dearly for more than our gasoline. These same people are the ones that surpress the new technology that could eliminate gasoline and offer us more choices, but would rather milk us dry. To the reporter who wrote the above article...Wake up man, you are nothing more than a tool for your keepers, and spout what it is they wish to be the current hype. This is one of many reasons we now get our news from reputable sites on the net, you corporate types lie too much, and are without an ounce of integrity. As for your proposal, if such an agenda is pushed I might just walk myself down to your area, and teach you some truth. American's are getting past being fooled by corporate thugs, and corporate government who steal every dime we make, with taxes they are not entitled to. The time is comming for a good old fasioned reality check, as Americans are fed up with being robbed of every dime they make. I would not want to be a corporate anything when this happens..

Posted by: AAron | Dec 27, 2008 1:01:40 PM

Knowing that the deficit of the US is in the hundreds of trillions when adding up the (ongoing) "bailouts" and derivatives, those taxes would have to be pretty high, and for a long, long time. But as a country that has 5% of the world's population and uses 25% of the world's oil supply of 82 million barrels, daily; it is due time that that US coughed up it's share in revenues to be used to (hopefully) clean up the environment and to ensure alternative means of transportation are developed. Such as for mass transit/rail.

Posted by: Blunt Force Trauma | Dec 27, 2008 1:01:40 PM

Why are these idiots trying to drive a stake through the heart of every productive enterprise in America?

This will return as a defacto tax on everything you need to live. If you have it in your possession, it took fuel to get it to you.

What will happen is completely predictable, people will buy less and they will tailor their lifestyles around spending less on fuel, as for many this will become one of their single biggest expenses.. No matter if they realize it or not, as the cost of production is always born by the end user.

The greenies will rejoice at all this gaia faggotry, then scratch their heads in wonder as jobs begin to disappear and the economy contracts. Obama's approval numbers will plummet in a similar fashion.. Remember Jimmy Carter and his stupid cardigan? Obama's treatment will be far harsher.

What could have gone wrong? They will whine. Everything is so eco-friendly and people are driving less. Why are we losing jobs and who are those people with pitch forks coming down the road? How did we lose congress when we've done soooo much to save the planet? Don't these stupid people realize global warming would have killed them all?

And so it will go, the biggest social engineering experiment in our time, shot in the nuts by an angry mob of newly impoverished Americans.. And a political opportunity of massive proportions handed to anyone willing to reverse the damage.

Posted by: Jhoffa_ | Dec 27, 2008 1:01:40 PM

Just remember, according to the Left high gas prices are the fault of those greedy oil corporations.

Posted by: Borris | Dec 27, 2008 1:01:39 PM