Thursday, May 27, 2004


Fed Up - Just the Latest Example:Taxes, Like Water
We would adopt a 50-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax , the Patriot Tax (along with my wife's proposal: free public parking anywhere in America for any hybrid or other car getting more than 35 m.p.g.). A Patriot Tax would help pay for the Afghan and Iraq wars and help finance a Manhattan project to speed the development of a hydrogen economy, enabling the public to make a contribution to the war effort while lessening our dependence on foreign oil.

There is simply no way to stimulate a process of economic and political reform in the Arab-Muslim world without radically reducing their revenues from oil, thereby forcing these governments to reform their economies, and societies, to produce real jobs for their people. Is there anything dumber than the Bush campaign ads chastising John Kerry for once favoring a gasoline tax? Had we imposed a Patriot Tax a year ago, gasoline might still cost $2 a gallon today, but 50 cents of that would have gone to paying for American schools rather than Saudi madrassas.
Okay, this really doesn't have anything to do with Friedman's column, although I do like the free parking for fuel-efficient vehicles or incentive-type policies in general. However, what I am sick and tired of hearing about, year in and year out, typically from the 'left' -whether it's politicians, bloggers or individuals in conversation around the water cooler is ... raising taxes as an answer. We often hear that it is or was the brave thing to do -suggestions that politicians, like Walter Mondale, paid the price for attempting to do the right thing at the time. You know, as long as the pentagon has trillions of dollars that it cannot account for, and we are financing a rain forest in Iowa, raising taxes is not the courageous or correct thing to do, it's the lazy and expedient thing to do.

4 Comments:

Blogger Nitpicker said...

CJ-

I think the worst part of all this kind of talk is that it's exactly what those of us who opposed Bush's huge tax cuts expected to happen. They cut taxes for those who can afford to pay more and now people like Friedman, who said little about those cuts, would like to raise them across the board, an act that would disproportionately hurt the poor (who, by the way, can little afford to be picking up a new hybrid car right now).

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget buying a hybrid, there's a six-month to one year wait if you pay up front, and you can forget the myth printed as the "sticker price".

Because of China, only the Saudis have a production capability left, and they don't have much. We can't get it out of the ground fast enough to impact pricing.

First we should stop buy at $40+ per barrel for the petroleum reserve. I'm not talking about moving from the reserve, just stop buying any more at these prices.

We need incentives for solar, wind, and biomass, including research funds, not just tax boondoggles. We also need to look at some of the bogus programs that help coal but don't do anything for the environment.

Carter was on track and Reagan killed the programs.

Bryan D.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A gas tax is not the answer. A thoughtful energy conservation policy is the only answer. Of course most Americans are ignorant of energy usage trends(www.eia.doe.gov) in this country, and some are too selfish to change their lifestyles. Had we taken Carters' advice seriously we could be free of Mid East oil today. Of course that would have entailed discipline and effort and that is not the way of the true Patriot. It is like saving for retirement, the sooner you start, the better off you are. What especially troubles me is parents who seem not to care about the world they are making for their children.

10:20 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Yes, Terry, we were not alone in seeing what was coming with his ludicrous cuts. Bryan -what not buy at $40? - then his good buddies won't being making out as well. Yes Bryan & Anon, Jimmy did many of the 'right' things but paid the price for his courage. We have neglected conservation efforts far too long. Personally, I think Humvees should not be available for civilian use and we should have a steep annual user tax on all personal use gas guzzlers and incentives for companies to produce alternate energy sources and energy-efficient, even energy-producing homes as well. We can dream anyway.

10:59 PM  

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