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.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.
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.