Is It Time to Raise the Gasoline Tax?

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January 3, 2009

By Bob Difley
It’s a good thing I’m not a politician. That kind of headline would hardly garner me the popular vote. But it seems that most Americans don’t get it.

CNNMoney.com rerpoorted on Dec. 22, “After nearly a year of flagging sales, low gas prices and fat incentives are reigniting America’s taste for big vehicles. Trucks and S.U.V.’s will outsell cars in December … something that hasn’t happened since February. Meanwhile, the forecast finds that sales of hybrid vehicles are expected to be way down.”

What are we, dense and selfish both? So self-centered that all we can think about are our own self interests? Of course, this doesn’t apply to RVers. Most RVers have demonstrated there is more to the RV Lifestyle than gas prices, that there is an environment that is of concern, a warming planet, protection of wildlife habitat, and the value of recycling and other green concerns. We are a bunch concerned with conserving, wasting less, being environmentally responsible. So we are probably not the ones contributing to the statistic that CNN is reporting on, which has the result of negatively affecting all those concerns.

But if you have any doubts that we have to change the minds of “those others” and induce them to buy more fuel efficient vehicles–that they’re just not going to make those decisions of their own free will–here are some reasons why it is imperative that we do so. And why raising the gasoline tax may be the only way.

  • Price matters. When gas prices go up, people change their habits. High gas prices are what drives consumers toward cars with better mileage.
  • Bailing out the auto industry will fail miserably if at the same time we don’t create a climate where car buyers will buy the more fuel-efficient vehicles that we are giving the Big 3 all those bucks to produce. If they manufacture the cars and buyers buy them it’s a Win-Win. Jobs are saved. The climate thanks us. How do we do that? With taxes on gasoline to keep the price of gas high. If we don’t keep the price of gas high, buyers will just return to buying large vehicles wherever they can find them.
  • These new gas taxes would go to clean energy development, and especially to new battery technology. Batteries need to store more energy in a smaller space at lower prices to make electric and hybrid vehicles appeal to mainstream Americans. And new, more efficient battery technology is needed also to store the energy produced by solar and wind when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. This influx of money will drive investment in battery technology as well as create clean tech jobs–right here in America.

And most important. The money spent on these gasoline taxes would stay in this country, instead of flowing to petro-dictatorships, and to hostile countries like Iran, and reduce the influence of those countries with large oil resources. Less money would flow to terrorists funded by these countries, improving our own security.

As Tom Friedman said in a recent New York Times column, “gasoline prices go up, pressure rises for more fuel-efficient cars, then gasoline prices fall and the pressure for low-mileage vehicles vanishes, consumers stop buying those cars, the oil producers celebrate, we remain addicted to oil and prices gradually go up again, petro-dictators get rich, we lose.”

And we lose in more ways than just continuing to feed our dollars to OPEC countries. As Friedman continues, “We’ve done that for three decades, and we know with absolute certainty how the play ends — with an America that is less innovative, less wealthy, less respected, and less powerful.”

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31 comments

  1. Jeff

    How about if we raise the price of hybrid and high-economy vehicles so that the typical buyer of these vehicles can help fund the development of future ‘green’ vehicles?

    You could pat yourself on the back knowing that you are helping promote these vehicles and the rest of us could still afford to eat.

  2. I agree with you to a point. I drive a 2001 Lincoln Continental V8, I like a bigger car
    for the comfort and the safety features. There is more crushable metal and air bags, than the small cars. I have gotten as high 28.7 miles per galon on the
    highway, right now I am getting over 22 miles per galon in town. Why would I want
    drive one of those cracker boxes? So they get 34 m.p.h. on the highway. I will drive my Lincolm until the wheels fall off. Pat N

  3. Why is someone dense and selfish when they buy a car that is bigger than what you think is the right size. When the politicians in Washington start driving fuel efficient cars then I will. Lead or get out of the way.
    Raising the gasoline tax will slow an already crashing economy and punish those that need the most help, namely the poor.

  4. Jim Crockett

    For at least 40 years we have been hearing this same old worn-out argument that we need to raise gas taxes to eliminate importing foreign oil. This canard just keeps on ticking. Let’s think this through, maybe seriously this time.
    If we raise gas taxes, then we will automatically take that money and invest it in a new technology that will be good for the climate, reduce foreign oil imports, and protect wildlife. Well, I have some land for sale here in Florida too, so come on down if you think that’s going to happen. What do you think Congress will do once they get their hands on the gas taxes? My guess – they’ll do the same thing the governments of France, the UK, et al have done with theirs – averaging something like $4-5 US a gallon. There is a direct correlation between the availability of money for government to spend and socialist programs in Europe. Socialized medicine, sure let’s have it for all, funded of course by an increase in gas taxes for those who drive. Is there any doubt that the US Congress, having had such a spending free-for-all with our Social Security “Trust Fund” dollars, will behave any differently. Do Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac ring any bells here?
    In our country, Social Security notwithstanding, there is a pretty good principle that tax receipts should go to those being taxed. Thus the US general fund was intended to support the general welfare of the citizens, which was pretty well-defined in the Constitution. Similarly, specific taxes (e.g., fuels, transportation) would normally be to offset costs by those who use those services. Thus, fuel taxes by and large should go directly to support the infrastructure used by the people who use the fuels, i.e., roads and bridges by truck and automobile drivers. Makes perfect sense to me. Where we invariably get in trouble is when we divert these funds to some “better good”. The problem here is who determines what the “better good” is? Our current argument to this is that the government should not be in the business of picking technology winners. Some clear examples of bad technological decisions already made by government are ethanol (with 75% of the specific energy value of gasoline, we burn more gasoline and increase pollution), CFLs (wouldn’t LED technology make more sense?). These are clear examples of where the market would not have picked these inefficient solutions.
    Batteries? Yes, battery technology is a critical component to our future. Clearly the most cost-effective technology in the mid-term is to shift as much of our gasoline-powered traffic to plug-in technology. But understanding the scale of the electrical power requirements in the US right now, without the addition of electric vehicles, a statement that battery technology improvements will store wind and solar power is staggeringly naive. Secondly, since the wind doesn’t blow all the time and we do have cloudy days, we will require 100% backup power sources for these generators. Since the current electrical load in the US is somewhat over 500,000 megawatts, if we built that much wind and solar generation, we would still require the capital investment and operation and maintenance expense to maintain that capacity in standby (or the lights go out). That means coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric will be with us no matter what we do in any “alternative energy” scenario.
    Finally, what Tom Friedman has said is flat wrong – just look at the improvements we have made in the US energy supply and usage situation since the 1970s oil embargo. The electrical transmission system in this country is vastly improved over the 1970s. Look at the average fuel economies of our vehicles – substantial improvement. RVers, remember the Chevrolet pickups of the 1970s with their 350 cubic inch V8s? My last 2001Chevy V8 pickup got something like 22 mpg highway versus the 8 mpg of my 1976. Our appliances are vastly more efficient than then – ditto our building efficiency standards. Friedman’s argument, as comforting as it is, simply does not hold with real-world events.
    So what are the answers? Well, first we need to know the right questions. We can be pretty sure that blaming foreign oil imports and our energy usage in the US for all the ills in this article is probably not the answer to the question we need to posit. I think the question correctly stated is “How do we shift our economy and society to one that replaces to the maximum extent possible its reliance on petroleum products, given the their finite nature?” The obvious corollary then becomes “How soon do we need to do this and in what areas first?” Let’s just look at petroleum products and what they are: gasoline, diesel, heavy crude fuels, chemical feedstock (plastics, industrial chemicals), and asphalt to name the majority of a barrel of crude usage. So, if we go 100% electric with our light gasoline vehicles, we still have to fuel our heavy trucks, barge traffic, ships, trains, and aircraft. How do we do that to eliminate that component of petroleum usage? What do we do about the chemical feedstock issue? How about asphalt? These are all important questions that are lost in the haze of our specious discussion on “energy independence” . Certainly if we think raising fuel taxes in any way is going to get us to where we need to be as a society in the long term, well we’re back to the Florida land situation again. Believing that raising taxes is the answer is just a diversion with another agenda – more tax and spend and we still will not have solved the real problem.

  5. Roger

    Yes we should raise fuel tax.
    While I don’t want to pay more there is no better way to get people to pay attention and buy what they really need for their personal transportation. This tax can be offset with a limited credit against business taxes for companies doing heavy hauling i.e. trucks.
    Many decry government intervention and I certainly agree that many times some of the decisions those in Washington have made were not the best but usually that occurs when special interests get in the way of data.
    For years people refused to be responsible and wear seat belts but when they were injured they were not willing to be held responsible for their actions so now we all get to pay for air bags. The result is a few thousand lives being saved in spite of driver negligence. Some may want their 3.5 ton vehicles to use to drive a single 150 pound passenger on their daily commute but personally I don’t like the fact that their selfish wastefulness not only adds to waste and pollution but supports the Petro-Dictators in the Mid-East and Venezuela.

    Increase $0.01 per week on gas & diesel till the price is $3.00 a gallon. This will have many side benefits. With a firm base price known competitive costs for alternative energy sources can be developed. One way to ensure the user benefited from this tax would be to require a major portion go directly to repair of existing roads & bridges.

  6. Ron

    For more than 30 years Congress has said they would act to make the United States energy independent. During those 30 plus years all they have done is make us more dependent on foreign sources while vilifying the energy companies that have done an outstanding job of providing fuels to us inspite of all the taxes (yes- be honest and admit the extremely high rate of taxes paid by big oil). As a nation, we have the knowledge and resources to be virtually free of foreign sources yet the inept Congress continues to stifle free enterprise and economic growth in their attempts to impose their socialist agenda. Spend some time in the UK and on the Continent and see what their high fuel taxes buy – socialism and votes to keep the socialist politicians in office.

    Don’t legislate your restrictions on me! Let me keep my freedom to choose and let the free market prevail. (Even Stalin resorted to free market practices to help the Soviet Union in tough times.)

  7. Bob Smith

    wE PAY A TON OF TAXES as it is at one time they had a overage of fuel tax collected and not used so they used it for pork barrel items and spent it for other than what it was set up for. IN HAVE AQLREADY NOTIFIED MY CONGRESSMAN, STATE AND FEDDERAL AND THE SENITORS OF TEXAS OF MY FEELINGS AND THAT i WOULD CONTINUE TO SPEAK AGINST THEIR RASING OUR FUEL TAXES. Yes I drive a f350m dicel pickup and pull my rv with it.. But I also try to be fuel saving and make a trip count. In the northern part of texas pandhandle they tell us they can’t build any roads or re due roads because there is no funds but they can pend m,illions of ddollars in houston, austin, dallas, sanantonio building new super highways.

  8. Don

    The wining, crying and demanding I see here in these replies reminds me of spoiled children I see in stores trying to bully their parents into buying them whatever they see. These are the same folks that question my patriotism for believing there’s a better way to make sure this country regains its position as World Leader. We can’t be a World Leader by printing funny money to buy foreign oil or foreign manufactured products and vehicles. That’s sure recipe for bringing our country to its knees.

    America has become a country of spoiled brats, bullies and whiners. There’s no other way to describe our actions – demanding drill here, drill now – I want my big SUV – I want it NOW! Give ME! I WANT IT! Why aren’t we prepared to make any sacrifice for future generations like our forefathers did for us?

    We should be willing to do everything we can to become energy self-sufficient. We need to become self-sufficient with our manufacturing base again. There is no way we can be a World Power while being dependent on others for our energy and manufactured goods.

    Let’s be responsible – let’s build a better tomorrow for ourselves and future generations. Do what’s right for an strong independent America! Alternate Renewable Energy Sources guarantee a stronger America. Time is running out on the era of oil. It’s been a good ride but this too shall pass. It’s time to do the right thing.

  9. Raise this...

    Apparently Bob has bought into the whole global warming the earth is coming to an end crowd… Newsflash… If the government and the states looking to raise taxes would manage their money better, then our politicians would not need to keep hammering we the people… This is an excuse for our government and our elected officials to hit us up for money.. As we speak, some states are explaining a tax increase on fuel as needed because people are driving less.. So which is it Bob?? We are driving too much and too big or not enough? Make up your collective minds..

  10. Amos White

    There you go again, wanting to raise taxes, taxes,taxes.

    We seem to forget that President Carter (1997-1998) , started us on a program to develop an alternatve to foreign oil. It was scuddled by his successor and “Big Oil Men”. What we need is an alternative energy program, fuel efficient vehicles and people who care more about the welfare of America than their fat bank accounts.

    Yes we have some “spoiled brats, bullies and whiners”, but thats not the problem. The problem is GREED. Our companies ship our jobs overseas in order to make a larger profit; American workers be damned. If we had more jobs we would have more tax money.
    If we were forced into a World War, we would not have the manufacturing capacity to defend ourselves.

    NO MORE TAXES. More responsible goverment.

  11. Ron Butler

    Bob, you have really stirred up the hornets nest with this one!! Let me see if I can keep these “free-marketers” ranting and raving that its more important to stick with an economic philsophy that was conconted on a resturant napkin by an non-economic trained “thinker” and has never been successful in any society!! I can see their spitting red faces already!!

    First – lets say that ALL of the global warming stuff is just artifically created propaganda. Doesn’t make sense, in the long run and for the good of our future generations, that we take some of these steps for the betterment of our mother earths environment anyway? Were we really happy that the industrialists left us with their pollution to clean up so we would have safe water to drink and air to breath, etc?

    Second – NOONE likes to pay taxes!! However, it is a necessary burden in our society. If you don’t want government and taxes, why don’t you try Somalia or someother such country? Paying taxes to maintain, replace and improve our infrastructure IS American!! WHY do we complain about paying higher gas taxes and keeping that money here in our own country rather than it going to Middle Eastern countries to build their artifical ski mountains and island resorts for the mega-rich? Are you truly planning on an extended vacation to those “attractions”? Have you ever factored in the REAL cost of our gas by including the military costs over the past 30+ years to maintain and protect that flow of oil to us? I’m not even going to remind you of the expense of that endeavor over the past 7+ years!!

    Third – it isnot socialism for the government to take steps to improve the infrastructure and “general welfare” of our citizens. The constitution does not establish or define any type of economic system that we must observe or protect. I find it interesting that the fall-back position of the anti-tax, anti-government crowd is always that it is “socialism” or violates the “free market system”!! Well, we have seen what the “free market” philosophy has done not only our economy, but on the worlds economy as well!! If that/this is the best that philosophy has to offer, I will take socialism with our democratic/republican form of government any day of the week! One of the many shames of the last 7+ years is the amount of money that we have gone through and we have nothing to show for it with regards to the improvement of daily life, the quality of life and the betterment of life for our citizens and our standard of living. Your argument that the government misspends is equally bogus. Why? Because we allow it then! Unfortunately, living in a representative democracy is more than just complaining and only voting every 4 years. It does take time and effort.

    I can remember the naysayers and opponents of Pres. Eisenhower when he first proposed the interstate freeway system. He had to defend it on the military aspect and benefits of tying our country together with his proposal! I guess we need to show that we could create greater weapons of mass destruction by using renewable natural resources in order to justify the expenditure. Oh wait, would nuclear power already be it?!?

    I know that all of you Rush, Sean, Ann and Fox believers will be ready to hand me my head on your platter of ideological lunacy, but I have found over the past 7 years that your not able to defend the philosophy nor the record! Oh well, its been fun adding fuel to the fire! I do enjoy reading all the comments, even though I don’t agree with some of them, even though there are comments from the same person that I am in full agreement with!

  12. Dan Rambow

    First a correction to Amos White, it was President Nixon who first proposed Energy Independence in response to the Oil Embargo of 1973, and the programs were dropped later under President Carter when the Oil Cartels of the Middle East opened the oil pipelines again, and the prices plummeted. Unfortunately the american public went back to buying the fuel thirsty cars once the prices dropped.
    And in November and December of course big pickups and SUV’s out-sold smaller vehicles, there were price reductions and price incentives to bring most of the big vehicles down to 1/2 msrp prices.
    Raising of gas taxes only hurts those who can afford it the least, the poor and minium wage folks. Their need to drive to get to work far exceeds the gas used by the upper income folks for work and recreation. And I’m sorry, mass transit just doesn’t work for a huge percentage of the population.
    The carrot is always better than a stick to change behaviour. Keep offering incentives (taxes and rebates) to encourage purchase of efficent vehicles. Attitude and education of our law makers and population at large is the way to spur development of efficent, eco-friendly vehicles. Where is Hollywood, they should be glorifying the new generation vehicles in the movies? Racing events, hopped up electric cars are unbelievably fast in the quarter mile. What about some cross-country events to highlight new vehicle technology? I remember a cross-Austrialian solar car race a few years back.
    If we raise the gas taxes, the politicans will find all the wrong places to spend the money. And you just wait, with lowered prices, it won’t be long before they change the taxing structure from dollars and gallons used, to miles driven. Effectively trying to use social engineering to curb our driving. I don’t want the government to limit my RV driving, by taxing the miles I might choose to travel.

  13. GaryLowman

    Ron Butler …stated…”Second – NOONE likes to pay taxes!! However, it is a necessary burden in our society. If you don’t want government and taxes, why don’t you try Somalia or someother such country?””

    Better yet why don’t you take our politicians and go live there…You are like all the far left…Tax…Tax…TAX…then Spend…spend …spend…and in the end, nothing to show for it except more debt…Bush ended up being the greatest Democratic president your side has had with his spend agenda…

    I for one don’t mind paying a tax that we the Public get benefit from, I just get tired of all the rhetoric espousing the need to spend more, all the while we end up with less. Govt has never been adept at running anything unless it was into the ground.

    If we need to stop the fuel guzzlers, put a special tax on them but exempt the people who need them for jobs…I have a MH, that it would not bother me to pay a fuel tax on, but to pay one while I am using my car that gets 30 mpg…does…

    If a tax is imposed, it will be a negative hidden tax that keeps on sticking it to us…It would mean higher fuel costs for the individual, the business that uses gas for delivering goods and services would pay more and would either have to raise prices or eliminate employees to offset the cost…something would have to give.

    It has been shown that a tax of this sort is regressive, that it would cut down driving more so and leave a bigger gap than the original that he tax was meant to cover.

    The one positive that could come out of this is that it would get many more fired up and we could get some of the democrats out of office…

  14. Thank you all for the great discussion on adding new taxing to gas prices. Like most of us, I don’t like taxes either, though without taxes to pay for the infrastructure, support, and protection of our country we would not be able to enjoy the standard of living we now enjoy. However, what I should have added to my blog–and which is a personal belief of mine–but overlooked it, is that at the same time that good and necessary taxes are being considered, we should offset the new taxes with out-dated ones or taxes that drop to the lowest priority. Unfortunately, many taxes that get imposed, even after they have done their job, just stay there. These are the ones that should disappear. Both McCain and Obama declared during the presidential run that they would go through the federal budget line-by-line and eliminate those kinds of taxes. If Obama actually does that, then we should be able to eliminate unwanted or unnecessary taxes enough to cover the new gas tax. It is kind of the lesson I learned when I lived on my sailboat several years ago and now that I am a fulltime RVer. If something comes aboard, something has to go off to accommodate it. Just as the tax policy of this country should. New taxes should be paid for by eliminating others, so that the tax level doesn’t go up. And they should expire after a defined period of time, and can only be renewed by again passing congressional vote. Another point that I did not make is that the proceeds of any new taxes would have to defined–as used as defined–not just flow into the general fund and disappear into a black hole of vague expenditures.
    Again, I thank you all for your participation and your comments. Happy travels.

  15. Fred

    If adding an additional 0.01 cent tax to what we are already paying is designated to go to very specific road, bridge and infrastructure projects or for research toward more efficient energy technologies, that would seem okay. But, those funds must be in an account that will be monitored and placed on a website to allow the public to “see” where the money is going.

    As far as the idea of taxes goes, I know from personal experience that there is not one citizen in this country that could afford to have a road, bridge or waterway built right up to the front yard of their house. Just research the cost to build even 1 mile of two-lane country road. It would take you a lifetime of taxes to pay for it.

    It is hard to believe some of the comments I’ve read here:
    Killing Bob Difley the messenger won’t kill the source of the message.

    And:
    Like it or not folks, you are the cause of your own woes. In a very, very radical sense, stop having kids and stop driving. Both will totally stop the demand for fuel; now, and in the future.

    And:
    Calling Bush a Democrat that spends, spends and spends, is just blindly throwing blame for the sake of relieving the horror of 8 years of the Republican/Bush politics. If you voted for him, point your finger at yourself.

  16. bill

    Let’s see now, for the last several years all the talking heads have been saying that the high price of gas or oil has been killing our economy and they were right, our economy right now is dead. Now the price of oil and gas has come down and we get people like you advocating higher taxes on gas. Has anyone thought that if we are able to keep gas and oil price’s at a reasonable rate that maybe just maybe our economy will start to improve a little if people have some money left over at the end of the month to buy products and keep our business solvent. But then the oil companies wouldn’t be able to make 10’s of billions of dollars in profits per quarter. Maybe the oil companies might want to give a billion or so dollars toward infrastructure repairs I for one will cast my vote for no tax on fuel.

  17. Scott

    Remember the only good taxes are the one’s going DOWN!!!! Who is any one to tell me what I can drive, unless you are paying for it shut up and get out the way! I have a jeep with a 4.0, 6 and would like to have an V8 for the more get up and go and in So Cal to go any where you have to go over mountains and the extra power would be nice. But if Al Gore and the other fruit cakes have there way I will be trying to pull my trailer with a law mower engine. As for the global warming crap, its been getting colder since 1998 and I feel it every day as I am a mailman and I walk in what ever the weather is. Bottom line get gov. off my back!!!!!!!!!

  18. GMAs

    Bob.. here you go again… just when you thought it was safe to come out of the water.. you jump right back in with both feet.

    Hey someone has to pay for the war over their… and all the security over here.

    Seems to me that one of the things that Mr. Obama (the bad guy) said… was … we will bring you down… econmically… Well… he is doing it.

    With all the ” We have our rights… and you offend us and our religion.”.. its all part of the orginal planted action plan to depleate you of your resources and MONEY.

    . I always thought americans were tough, smart and didn’t put up for much –junk. Now I can see where the leadership is again faultering and losing its insight. Maybe that is what is planned for the US by others. Congress and the government is more interested in keeping you working so you can pay taxes. They don’t want you out doing what you want to do… but doing what they want you to do and spend what little money you have on … necessities.

    We no longer hold dear any of our forfathers ideas. We would rather give up and resign than fight for our rights…. and look we have to fight our own people who are supposed to represent us that make laws. How many times do we have to pay for the same thing…maybe its because they didn’t lose any loved ones for the freedoms were loseing. Either way the eastern people are winning the war. Our leadership fiddles while the country burns out.
    (I hate getting political but…)

    Look at our current status… oh ya the new guy is going to solve all the problems… the president is going to take care of us. He is going to make a Change… If you believe that you need to take some whoppie pills with that drink too. What happend to we the People.

    Is congress waiting so you can forget what happened… we still have the old president who committed a crime… agains morals … yet we honor him… no wonder the kids today are all messed up. Its Ok to lie cheat and steal if you look at it without rose colored glasses

    They control us by making laws and we are committed to obey or lose all. They nibble away at our rights daily. The latest is this … were out of money… syndrome. Yet we give money away to third world country’s like were rich. We support more illegals than homeless… why? (someone wrote .. quit having kids… ya that works.. then they have twice as many and we lose again)

    We paid the taxes… yet they need more? Where is the accountability, where is the plan to deliver us from the grips of haties. As the congressmen/women head back to the hill… they are already holding their hand out… for pay off. They could care less about you and I and only themselves. They don’t care in case you haven’t noticed. Most just pay lip service and pass the buck. (note they gave themselves a hefty raise before they went home too…for doing such a goood job of giving our money away… ya that works)

    People lose houses to the bank… yet banks get money given to them from the leadership that is supposed to help the homeowner. But instead they buy competive banks out and take large bonus’ for being so smart. They got theirs’ and you are going to pay for it … like it or not. yet had they give the money to the homeowners… the houses would be all paid for… and the banks would not be able to give the CEO’s free vacations and million dollar Christmas bonuses.

    Where is the plan to make america independent on energy? Where is the new push for other forms of energy. No instead they make us believe that buying that new hybr car is going to make it all … good again. Only the smart ones are saying … so what are you going to plug that recharge plug into?? most people havn’t a clue even when the mileage numbers are posted where the elect cars are worse than the gas powered ones. Remember what was said in the movie THE FORMULA… the gas companies ARE the arabs… but the powers to be cloud it and confuse you to the point where you believe they are the good guys.

    (HERE IS A QUESTION FOR YOU BOB… THE ENGLISH OWN HOW MUCH OF OUR OIL INFRASTRUCTURE.) (I.E how much money goes to the brits vs the arabs) (hint most of the oil leases that the US government holds in the gulf of mexico (our offshore oil) is operated by which oil company that is owned by who??) Begining to get the big picture here Bob?

    On the horizon is the new deal with nat gas from south america… open your eyes and see. They are building LNG harbors, new pipe lines from mexico ports to bring more Nat Gas to america. Only the name changes… we are still stuck on someone elses energy to fuel america. So where is the leadership? Well they say we need money to fund the new forms. Then why not give the power companies tax breaks instead of taxing the rest of us to build the new powerplant that would recharge the elect cars. No they like using someone elses money to make more money for themselves. And its your money the are… before and after the plant is built.

    I never did understand why the envoronmental nazi’s were against nuclear in the first place … till I understood that they invested heavy into OIL. Now they want you to buy into the Global warming and burning of oil. Yep they invested heavy into the nuclear stocks now after they drove them down. Hey can we say “its all about the money?”

    All the billions of dollars spent on research and nothing to show for it but a good time was had by all.

    No the gas tax is a bad idea… so is the taxing of the oil company for making profits. (actually that won’t work because they (politicans and gas CEO’s)
    are like two peas in a pod) Taxing them on profits only adds to the cost of the product which is passed along to … you guessed it… YOU.

    I will be looking for this salvation change that is supposed to happen real soon… but I won’t be holding my breath until it does… and I am warming up the words.. Told you so….

    as to the RV industry… I think it struggled to its peak in the 70’s and 80’s and will never come back again to the greatness it once had. The powers to be controling the government won’t allow it to. Their is no money in it for ’em –sad to say.

    Now you want to talk about the CFL hazzards Bob. that is another rip off that paid off the congress to make the law… forcing you to buy ’em and outlawing the old. Once in place… where is the savings when the power companies then can raise the rate for your power… again its all about the money… not your rights and enjoyment. Not to worry though… its all planned out and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. They are going to… take … good care of you and your money

  19. james a rotella

    It seems thet thoes that have the money to buy new cars that get better mileage or electric cars that use less or no gas, will not be taxed for the same use of road or bridges. Because they will buy less or no gas. So the rest of us will pay the ballance.
    Some of us on a fixed income will pay for thoes that have disposable income, to afford new cars.

    When gas was high and the tax was comming in hand over fist that was OK. Now that we economized ,planed our trips to be efficient, and save gas, this what we get. We are not buying enough gas to pay for road tax. But then again we are not on the road as much. Does that sound like less ware and tare.

    It seems that could be a better way to tax fairly to pay for road work, if it gets used for that.

  20. James – One of the alternatives to a gas tax that has been suggested as a way to pay for road and bridge infrastructure upkeep and repair is with a mileage tax. You would pay a tax on the miles you drive, rather than a tax on the amount of gasoline you buy. Sounds fair. But how would taxing authorities keep track of everyone’s miles driven and collect the tax? An interesting concept.

  21. Roger

    Bob
    Your comment on mileage tax instead of gas tax does raise some interesng questions.

    I think it is fair to say that when most cars got 8 to 12 mpg and gas was $0.35 a gallon the tax income was spread out fairly evenly (socialism?) But at ths same time most users benefited at a similar level for the roads & ridges (Interstate system) in the 50’6 and 60’s were a significant mprovement to pre-war roads.

    We are now looking at a different picture and it is time to formulate a new approach to financing the repair of our crumbling roads and bridges.

    1. I still believe in a gas tax generate income but with a tax credit for businesses such as trucking and delivery companies. Some would argue that if car A gets 20 mpg and drives 15,000 miles a year and car B gets 40 mpg and also drives 15,000 miles driver of car B is getting unfair benefit but it is also just as reasonable to believe that car A probably weighs significantly more than B so is doing more damage to the roads.

    2. For vehicles that depend on external “fuel” such as electricity, LPG, or other non petrolium based “fuel” there needs to be a different tax rate developed. This really isn’t too difficult to do. The tax could be on the “fuel” or based on the vehicle registration fee which would really be a road use fee just as much of our current gas tax is.

    One thing many seem to forget is that manipulating taxes has always been a form of behavior modification. We get tax deduductions of home mortgage or RV interest because it was felt to be good for the general poulation to encourage more home ownership. Taxes are increased on cigarettes in an effort to discourage their use because of the health costs to society.

    Those that advocate a flat tax seem to want to ignore the need to encouage some actions and discourage others. Taxation is the method we have chosen. Noone is forced to drive a car. Noone is forced to buy a house. No business is forced to locate their factory in a given state. Noone is prevented from buying cigarettes and stinking up their RV or home. The tax coniquences are just one of the items we all take into consideration when we make decisions.

    Is the system perfect? Of course not, but I believe our system is vastely superior to others.

    Want cheep gas? Move to Venezuela where is is still $0.30 a gallon. Of course you will need an 8″ brick wall topped wth razor wire around your home due to the high crime rate and you can expect to have your car or one that belongs to a friend to be hijacked about once a year.

    At least here, for the most part, we are all free to make our own decisions and to speak our mind.

  22. Ron Butler

    Gary,

    Great comeback!! Let’s see – spend, spend, spend and we have nothing to show for it!! I’m assuming that you are referring to the past 8 years!! You are so right! All the spending and NONE of it for our own benefit and infrastructure during that time. I guess its alright to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, pour 8-10 billion a month on our military involvement and their country while we have allowed our country to go into bankruptcy!! Great economics and use of our money!!

    We have had parents, grandparents and great grandparents that spent their tax money on the infrastructure that we and our future generations have benefitted with our standard of living. Are we so selfish now that we are satisfied with our environment and infrastructure that we are passing off to our future generations? Or should it just be this large debit that hasn’t provided for any improvements?

    Yes, those countries that are emboiled in internal strife and starvation could benefit from leaders that are willing to put the interests of the people above theirs and yes, use taxes to do that with. Do you really believe that private business wants to invest in that type of society?

    I guess we just let our bridges keep falling down and leave communties in devestation from natural disasters “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” so we can have a few more bucks in our pockets!!

    Again, what if all of this “global warming” is a hoax and will soon pass? Shouldn’t we still be attempting and willing to develop the technoloy and renewable resources to improve our society? Let alone so we’re not making the massive military and foreign spending to ensure the flow of oil to our shores? I guess you would rather to continue to do that so those Middle East countries can build their ski slopes in the desert, build multimillion dollar artifical beaches for billion dollar resorts and still GIVE their citizens thousands of dollars of income!!

  23. Ted Ouimette

    This nation was built on ever higher dreams and goals, so why are these ideals being discarded by so many folks who seem to want us back in the horse and buggy days. Global warming is bs. I am looking at the thermometer now and there is 24 degrees of global warming out there. The politicians really should rename this global warming for what they really have in mind, more tax monies. Oil is everywhere in this economy, fuel for cars and trucks that Americans determine they want is a small part of the whole picture. We must drill and build refineries as quickly as possible while also building nuclear power plants. Wind farms are simply a money pit for politicians who subsidize them with taxpayer monies rather than allow free enterprise to build these things, … or not, hten these same politicians (pelosi, M- KA for one) invest in the producers of these things. The pols get rich, the communities where they are set up get pittance although one of the reasons the local pols want the farms is the promise of tax money. The liberals, the environmentalists and the politicians are taking the nation into the toilet. I am new to this net, but when I see articles that say we must give up freedoms when the answer is in the ground it makes me want to stop getting the emails. However now that the Marxists are in power ‘hell’ will be arriving the 21st of January as the ‘change we can believe in’ guts the promise of a future for an energy by oil at reasonable cost driven nation. We will be depending on oil for decades still. The difference is that the criminal politicians will see to it that we have to kneel to foreign sources for oil and our treasure will be sent to nations who want us to fall, kind of like the policies of the democrat/Marxist party. We need to demand that drills go into the ground, not up the behinds of the taxpayers in this country. We retire the end of March, 2009. We have been planning traveling around the country for several years now, and the Marxist regime coming to power scares the retirement out of me. We have planned for this time for years now and the only changes I plan is not to visit the blue states.

  24. Ron Butler

    OHHHH – the big bad Marxist fallback argument when people are unable to defend what has happened the past 8 years! Again, what have we to show for the billions and trillions that have been spent the past 8 years and we have nothing to show for it in our own country? Have I missed something here? As usual, fall-back to the nonsense of socialism and or communist. Wow!

    Ted – you’ll miss lots of great country, but that’s your loss and my gain will be more camping spots open!! Just keep exposing yourself to the outlandish ideas that have proven disasterious for all us and you’ll be fine!!

    Happy travels!

  25. This question baslcaliy is looking to see if you should itemize your deductions or take the standard deduction.When you itemize, one of the things itemized is how much in taxes you paid to the states last year. They can figure out how much you paid from your paystub. They also want to know though, if you owed any money on your 2006 tax return that you paid then, because that counts towards income taxes paid in 2007 for itemized deduction purposes.So what this question is asking is:- Did you owe any income tax on last years return that you paid.- Did you pay any back income taxes on last years return.- The key is that it’s *state* income taxes. They don’t care whether you owed / paid any federal income tax last year.Nothing too sinister.

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