Wanting to have their cake and eat it too.

The Washington Post, that is:

Gasoline is undertaxed in the United States — in two senses. The 18.4-cent-per-gallon gas tax is the main source for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, but it hasn’t been raised in two decades, starving infrastructure. Also, the gas tax is too low to offset negative side effects from gasoline consumption.

Those costs include traffic, air pollution, climate change, and dependency on unstable sources of foreign oil.

So which is it? Do they want Americans to buy more gasoline to fill up the coffers of the Federal Highway Trust Fund, or do they want Americans to buy less gasoline to save Mother Gaia? However, with a second read I would think it’s more the latter, considering the fact that they mentioned traffic and air pollution. Yeah, I know, screw the economy, right?

And they wonder why they’re circling the drain…

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8 Responses to “Wanting to have their cake and eat it too.”

  1. Borepatch Says:

    The highway fund is starved because it’s been raided to pay for mass transit – Light Rail, High Speed Rail, etc. If they stopped that, it would be fine.

    • southtexaspistolero Says:

      That’s really interesting, and something I did not know. Blogfodder, maybe…

  2. Bob S. Says:

    offset negative side effects from gasoline consumption

    Negative effects like me being able to get to my job; well I can see how that possibly slipped the mind of the OWS Pravda, I mean Washington Post.

    Dependent on foreign oil; doesn’t that have more to do with the “don’t drill anywhere” crowd ?

    And I figure we can solve the issue of the fund being empty — double or triple the taxes on hybrids, charge people who walk to work and cyclists road use taxes also.

  3. southtexaspistolero Says:

    double or triple the taxes on hybrids

    Not a bad idea, especially considering the strain they put on the power grid…

  4. mick Says:

    I don’t think raising the gas tax would reduce gas usage much. For example, tripling the tax would raise gas prices by all of 37 cents. Did we see a significant decline in gas usage over the last four months when prices increased by more than that? (I googled a bit, but couldn’t find anything.)

    Side note: mysa.com is one of the worst professional sites I’ve seen. Way to copy someone else’s article, leave out any links the the original, and fill it with links to your own site. What jerks.

    • southtexaspistolero Says:

      I don’t think raising the gas tax would reduce gas usage much.

      You may well be right, mick. And if you are, that leads to the question: Would the folks who wrote the editorial call for ever-higher taxes to discourage people from buying gas? I can’t help but think that they would, and for the life of me I don’t understand why.

      Way to copy someone else’s article, leave out any links the the original, and fill it with links to your own site.

      Well, in their defense, I know that there are certain news services that newspapers subscribe to that allow access to other papers’ content. I don’t think they just ripped off the Washington Post’s web site, though I could be wrong. But yeah, it would be good if they put up a link to the original.

      Oh, and I know I am way late, but didn’t you say you and your wife had a baby a few months back? Many congratulations to you, sir.

      • mick Says:

        > would folks call for ever-higher taxes?

        Maybe. I’d hope they could think of a less punishing way to encourage lower gas usage than raising taxes to 100% or 200% of gas prices. Personally, I’d like to see oil subsidies redirected to more rebates on high efficiency vehicles or investments in US battery manufacturers. It might have a similar effect but seems way more justifiable to me.

        > Well, in their defense

        Hmm, I guess I was a bit hasty on the “copy” and “jerks” bits.

        > Many congratulations

        Thanks! We’ve got a healthy, large, loud, incredibly cute four-month-old boy. It’s great and I’m very sleepy.

  5. Highway robbery » Gator In The Desert Says:

    […] a tip from Pistolero’s post “Wanting to have their cake and eat it too”, whereby he opines on a Washington Post editoral piece which suggests that the highway tax should […]

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