Monday, October 24, 2005
This is gonna hurt: But it's for your own good.
As gas prices have slowly declined over the past couple of weeks, the New York Times editorial page has decided to advocate increasing the federal gas tax.
Now, however, the energy risks so apparent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have created both the urgency and the political opportunity for the nation's leaders to respond appropriately. The government must capitalize on the end of the era of perpetually cheap gas, and it must do so in a way that makes America less vulnerable to all manner of threats - terrorist, environmental and economic.
The best solution is to increase the federal gasoline tax, in order to keep the price of gas near its post-Katrina highs of $3-plus a gallon. That would put a dent in gas-guzzling behavior, as has already been seen in the dramatic drop in the sale of sport-utility vehicles. And it would help cure oil dependency in the long run, as automakers and other manufacturers responded to consumer demand for fuel-efficient products.
It's amusing, but typical, that the Times chooses to ignore the most recent news regarding the gas tax -- the federal highway bill is funded by the gas tax and includes two of Alaska's "bridges to nowhere." It's probably not the best time to ask people to count on the wisdom of the federal government when it comes to spending the public's money.
There's so many other things wrong with this editorial, that it's laughable.
The idea that higher gas prices will result in less dependence on foreign oil is amusing -- except that they don't want to drill here in America for needed oil, and the fact that the Saudis and others in the Middle East can always produce gas more cheaply than we can here in America.
The use of yet another tax as a method to redistribute wealth -- the editorial notes the regressive nature of a gas tax -- and suggests using the proceeds of the new tax to extend the earned income tax credit.
The sad/funny thing about this whole plan is that it comes to you courtesy of people who work in New York City and likely take the subway. It's always good when you can suggest a new tax that you'll never feel the sting from.