Monday, December 08, 2008

Washington Post: time to raise gasoline taxes, now, big time!

The Washington Post today (Monday, December 8, 2008) has a strident editorial calling to the Obama administration and Congress to implement a stiff gasoline tax now, while oil prices are low again (relatively speaking). The Post says that the tax could be offset by income tax credits for the poor or businesses in other areas. The idea is to incentivize consumers into buying fuel-efficient cars, and help a revitalized, restructured auto industry get back on its feet and be able to provide steady employment making cars that Americans and actually will need. Another idea is to reduce dependence on foreign oil for national security reasons, and be prepared for possible “peak oil”, as well as to reduce greenhouse gasses.

A gasoline tax could go hand-in-hand with cap-and-trade systems and public policy that makes individuals much more conscious of their personal “carbon footprints.”

The editorial points out that Europeans have been used to much higher gasoline taxes and prices for years. I remember in France in 1999 that a fill-up of a small Europcar rental car with diesel fuel cost about $30.

The name of the Editorial is “Start Making Sense: America must end its denial about gas taxes”, link here.

Update: Dec 9, 2008

The Washington Post has a related editorial "Invest in Mass Transit: A farsighted way to jolt the economy", link here.

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