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David Frum  (Source: Blogging Heads TV)
"We want to get the country off oil? Tax it."

David Frum is a well respected journalist – he gained prestige during the 1990s and in 2000 was appointed to a position as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush.  Now, with his Bush days behind him, the esteemed media mind who once coined the term "axis of evil", is turning his attention to a new topic -- transportation.  

Frum recently wrote an opinion column in 
CNN sounding off on the topic of the transportation industry moving away from gasoline.  He voiced skepticism on the topic, referring to hydrogen fuel cell cars or solar cells as "magic machines".  

Further, he questions how serious politicians like U.S. President Barack Obama really are in their commitment to hybrids and electric vehicles.  He writes:

People will make such changes only if they feel a strong incentive to do so: most typically, if they believe that higher oil prices have arrived for keeps.
So a politician who wished to move America away from oil would begin by saying something like: "$4 a gallon gasoline is here forever. Even if the price of oil on world markets declines, we'll impose extra taxes here at home. Make your plans accordingly." 

He emphasizes that such a tax increase would be the only way at this point to effectively move America off oil reliance in a reasonable amount of time.  He states:

We want to get the country off oil? Tax it. (Politicians may not wish to say it, but their advisers can at least think it.) Then liberate people to find their own best alternative – and incentivize industry to develop alternatives that make sense at the new higher price. And be prepared to argue candidly and straightforwardly in the marketplace of ideas why this new tax is right and justified.
If not, then kindly please spare us the grand speeches about how the status quo is the thing you will not accept. It is precisely the thing you are accepting.

It seems relatively clear that Frum does not actually think such a tax is the way to go.  However, there's a good possibility that some people will seriously consider his suggestions of a gas tax, in the wake of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.  And one must consider that some have suggested a gas tax much like that proposed by Frum -- with the key difference being that they actually supported it.





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