7.11.2008

GAS TAX THEN, OR WEALTH TRANSFER NOW

I don’t agree with everything in this article, but it does make a nice point that I’ve been banging on a number of times in this space. Here’s the quote:
“And it is yet another failure of President Bush that after 9/11, he encouraged Americans to go shopping instead of leading the charge for a gas tax. A purely consumptive tax on gasoline - that is, a tax whose revenue was entirely refunded through income tax breaks - would have curbed our consumption, stimulated innovation in the energy sector, and kept much of our money at home. But no one in the political class, Republican or Democrat, had the courage to start that conversation.”
The author says it’s too late, but it’s not. It’s just much more painful now, now that gas prices are well north of $4 a gallon. But there’s also more awareness now, of the unsustainability of an economy built on cheap oil, and of the merits of taxing energy to move us towards more optimal levels of consumption. So there’s a way; is there the will?
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