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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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Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 8:18:57 AM , Rating: 4
Surrounding himself with idiots like this. Not that Obama's appointees are faring any better, but still.

We've already seen the devastating effects of $4-5 per gallon gas prices. NOTHING good comes of them. How any rational and clear-headed person would suggest such a thing is beyond me.

Taxes were never and should never be intended to force a market change or shape a society. That's too much government intervention, which is what this entire proposal is. Using a government tax to force people to buy alternatives that they otherwise wouldn't see as being viable.




RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By davepermen on 6/29/2010 8:33:51 AM , Rating: 1
well, use your brain instead of ranting against the government.

if there would be such a tax, it would allow all sort of companies to build business plans for it. renewable energysources would have a baseline to fight, work and plan with. investments would happen, it would drive the industry.

the details about it can be found on ted.

fact is, it's very documented that when ever some startup got far enough with some non-oil solution in the last 20 years, the oil industry started to lower the oil price till they killed the company. then they rised the price back up. they have enough money to financiate such lowerings to kill competition.

this happened time and time again. only a fixed minimumprice for oil can stop this.

and chosing between the government to control something, and foreign oil companies that kill your golf and trigger wars, which one do you chose. i chose the government.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 8:54:19 AM , Rating: 3
wow you really have no idea how the free market works do you?

What you speak of is a totalitarian state where the government gets to tax the more abundant source of energy so that the more expensive less available sources of energy are an equal price.

What alternatives to oil do you have? electricity? been tried dozens of times since the early 1900's (like 1903) and the same problems exist now that did then. The water car was a hoax. There was a car powered by a nuclear reactor but it didnt sell well... something about having a nuclear reactor 6ft from your head that scared people. There was also a Chrysler that was powered by a jet turbine engine but it was too loud and was canceled. So what else is there solar? I just saw the conclusion of the yearly solar race and the winning team was running by their car as it crossed the finish line... which would be fine for mass production if I didnt mind driving as fast as I could run.
The only other tech that's out there that's even showing any promise is hydrogen fuel cells but the bulk source of hydrogen is currently natural gas (splitting water takes too much electricity for the amount of hydrogen yielded to make it profitable).

Bio diesel and even ethanol have been accepted by the industry even though bio diesel gels at temps as warm as 71deg F (algae oil) and ethanol gets such crappy gas mileage the EPA even states that you will pollute MORE using e85 than you would using normal gasoline.

If there was an alternative to gasoline that worked and was able to compete (as stated above bio diesel and ethanol as examples) it would be brought to market by market demand not federal mandate. The problem is we (as in the USA) have 300 years worth of oil we just cant get to it due to legislation by eco freaks like you.

Lastly we get almost all of our oil from our own shores or Canada. We get some from Venezuela and about 6% from Saudi Arabia (not that I have any love for the arabs or anything). That's the totality of our foreign oil. You are advocating a dictatorship to stop us from buying oil on the world market (where all oil drilled ends up btw). Please log off the internet and set yourself on fire.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By ChrisHF on 6/29/2010 9:14:18 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
What alternatives to oil do you have? electricity? been tried dozens of times since the early 1900's (like 1903) and the same problems exist now that did then.


Perhaps some of the same problems still exist in some form, but certainly today's all-electric and series hybrid vehicle technology has solved many of 1903's EV woes.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:21:55 AM , Rating: 4
Oh yeah today's ev's would kick the crap out of the ev's of 1903 ... they'd also beat a horse and buggy or the ford model A. But they aren't competing with those they are competing with the ford mustang and the ford f150. Doesn't mean developing more EV's is a bad idea it just means that till they can compete on their own the government shouldn't be mandating we all pay 5 or 10 bucks per gallon in tax to subsidize an alternative vehicle development.

If you're a sports fan think of it like this... the federal government makes the winning team pay money to the losing team. That's about how much this idea is full of fail.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By hughlle on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Kurz on 6/29/2010 2:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... I made a mistake a week ago on comprehension. I think you should take my advice and re read the post again.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Motley on 6/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 9:32:51 AM , Rating: 2
You couldn't be more wrong. Our oil shale reserves are over 1.5TR barrels right now - more than 5 times entire reserves of Saudi Arabia which hold the worlds largest oil fields. We can already convert shale oil into usable oil, and can be profitable when standard crude oil is above $50/barrel. But the EPA and MMS are putting a stranglehold on the process due to "environmental impacts"....yes those crazy impacts in the mounts by forcing high pressured steam and water into the ground to melt the shale rocks into crude and pumping them out.

Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Nigeria (in that order) supply us with 70% of our net imports. We produce about 40% of our own oil, which could drastically ramp up if we wanted to, and of that 40%, some is actually exported.

You may not need any more social skills, but you should perhaps get a grasp on the real world before claiming your statistics.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Spivonious on 6/29/2010 11:24:25 AM , Rating: 1
Yes we have lots of oil in shale, but I don't want my state (PA) torn up into shale quarries.

I don't agree with more taxes, but we need to be encouraging renewable energy. When gas was $4/gallon, lots of people went out and bought smaller cars, carpooled, rode bicycles, and used public transit. Those are all good things in my opinion.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 12:40:52 PM , Rating: 3
Don't worry mister green jeans, the shale is located in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado in the mountain regions.

quote:
lots of people went out and bought smaller cars, carpooled, rode bicycles, and used public transit. Those are all good things in my opinion.

Yeah, and lots of people lost their homes due to increased monthly bills, schools started shutting down classes to 4 days a week because of transportation costs, police were not patrolling as much due to budget constraints from fuel costs....all good things in your opinion too?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By hyvonen on 6/29/2010 4:14:40 PM , Rating: 1
Inevitable, and you'll see more of that in the future, oil getting taxed more or not.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Motley on 6/29/2010 12:45:02 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong.

http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/forecast...

"The U.S. has around 20 billion barrels now, down from nearly 29 billion barrels a decade ago". Note, we've gone through 9 billion barrels of what we have in 10 years, and that is only covering 40% of our 2008 consumption.

Here's some quick numbers for you:
2001 US consumption 19.650 million barrels per day.
2007 US consumption 20.680 million barrels per day.
Average consumption increase per year (~1%).
Estimated current (2010) US consumption therefore is 21.3 million barrels per day.
Estimated future (2015) US consumption = 22.387 million per day, or 8.171 billion barrels per year.

Now how long will our 18 billion barrels of obtainable oil last if we are consuming 8.171 billion barrels per year and we stop using foreign oil completely? 2.2 years.

As for the rest of the untapped/unavailable oil, even according to the article linked wouldn't be nearly enough to satisfy US consumption as stated here: "The potential is to produce 1 million barrels of oil a day within a decade from lands currently open -- and several times that amount if the lawmakers give the green light to development of lands now off-limits." 1 million barrels of oil a day is tiny fraction of what we consume, and that's a decade off making it even a smaller tiny fraction. Sorry, but this plan even if it goes according to plan will fail to meet even 5% of our consumption needs. This is hardly a good plan to bet our future on.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Motley on 6/29/2010 4:44:19 PM , Rating: 3
Please read the paper that article was based on, which you can find at the very bottom. I'll save you the trouble, here's the direct link:
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG41...

"Consequently, at least 12 and possibly more years will elapse
before oil shale development will reach the production growth phase. Under high
growth assumptions, an oil shale production level of 1 million barrels per day is
probably more than 20 years in the future, and 3 million barrels per day is probably
more than 30 years into the future."

If you are going to continue quoting articles that prove my point, please at least attempt to read them first, rather than spending your time rubbing my nuts until they become numb.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Motley on 6/29/2010 10:46:14 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not spinning anything. I'm reading the paper written that is the basis of what YOU linked. And while I may not be an expert at trying to get oil out of rock, the guys who wrote the paper (which are oddly enough pro-shale) know more about it than I ever will, and they even agree that it will take 30 years to get to the point where it could handle 10% of our consumption. The paper even goes on to say that much of the development process we haven't figured out, so I fail to see why you are accusing me of saying it when it was your "experts" that said it. Why you think that this route is any better than the "alternative energy" is beyond me. Do you have stock in a company that makes gas pumps perhaps?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By kyleb2112 on 6/29/2010 3:14:30 PM , Rating: 3
All these stats, no doubt, brought to us by the same people who said THE WHOLE WORLD would be out of oil by 1999-- completely sucked dry, prepare for the oil apocalypse.

Boy did that put the fear of god into me when I was 13--like my future had been stolen--when it was forcibly drummed into me by the state at tax payer expense with no alternate viewpoint presented...ever.

When I hear it regurgitated now my response tends to be a little more reasoned and mature--a big middle finger and a hearty F%@k YOU.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Motley on 6/29/2010 4:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I think your mental capacity is showing.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:35:53 AM , Rating: 4
300 years worth of oil on american shores:

http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/forecast...

If by foreign you include canada and venezuela then sure but most people are concerned about the arab countries since they are actively using our money to fund psychos with bombs.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Daniel8uk on 6/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 10:09:33 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Your understanding of the world is pitiful. Do you honestly think countries in the middle east are supporting terrorism?
Some of them, yes. Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Libya...need I go on?
quote:
before the good old US of A rolled it's convoy of destruction into the heart of the middle east that it was a fairly peaceful place

Yep, thats what Kane & Abel said too, right?
quote:
As for terrorists you'll probably find that the people who are fighting with American and British troops are the people who don't want THEIR country occupied and raped by another country, can you blame them for being pissed off?

Who said the ones fighting WITH us were terrorists? I don't see Iran, Syria, Libya, Hamas, the Taliban, Al-Queda, etc fighting with us, do you?
quote:
These people aren't terrorists, they are every day people

Yeah, those everyday people around here just strap C4 to their belts and walk down main street and blow up the local Coldstone Creamery. And then we go outside and throw rocks and girls who wear tank tops in 90 degree heat instead of a parka and ski mask.
quote:
western governments, oil companies and middle eastern governments who want their countries wealth for their peoples benefits and not for the chosen few.

Right, its because the US puts Kings in place, and we support dictatorships all over. Hey if they want their mineral wealth for themselves, then they can feel free to harvest them on their own without our technology. Good luck getting to that oil with shovels.
quote:
Is that what you call terrorism, the defending of your own land, of your own country?

Well, around here in the US, 4 left winged judges voted against the 2nd most important item in our bill of rights. They accuse those of us who believe in the right to bear arms of being domestic terrorists. So in other words, you may not be too far off on this one.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By AEvangel on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By hyvonen on 6/29/2010 4:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
Great post, but got rated down to zero?

Truth hurts, eh? And denial equals stupidity.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 10:08:45 AM , Rating: 2
ohh right... the people who flew planes into civilian buildings because the date was ironic were "freedom fighters" right? STFU N00b!

Our soldiers have found iranian weapons in IEDs (literally stamped with made in iran) on the battlefield in Iraq. Syrian people have been filmed getting arrested in Iraq and have said that they just wanted to kill Americans.

The reason our soldiers are over there is because your countries seem to think that they dont have to police their own borders and stop islamists from killing people. So we are doing your job for you. YOUR WELCOME!


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By AEvangel on 6/29/2010 12:04:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
ohh right... the people who flew planes into civilian buildings because the date was ironic were "freedom fighters" right? STFU N00b!


Your right so when are we invading Saudi Arabia, since that is where 9 of the 12 supposed terrorist came from???

quote:
Our soldiers have found iranian weapons in IEDs (literally stamped with made in iran) on the battlefield in Iraq. Syrian people have been filmed getting arrested in Iraq and have said that they just wanted to kill Americans


What is funny is that in Iran found weapons stamped made in the USA during the Iran civil war we sponsored by the CIA in the 70's and then again found more American made weapons used against them in the 80's when we supported Saddam Hussein's war against Iran. Oh, also all the weapons we sell to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I can watch Fox News or read here on Daily Tech forums all the Americans talking about how we should kill all those camel jockeys in the middle east.

quote:
The reason our soldiers are over there is because your countries seem to think that they dont have to police their own borders and stop islamists from killing people. So we are doing your job for you. YOUR WELCOME!


So you agree it's unconstitutional and we should bring them all home, since our Constitution doesn't allow for waging war for the purpose of protecting others borders, funny I thought we were after WMD, but we never found them which is really weird since we sold them to him in the 80's. hmm...must have used them all on Iran and his own people.

What is really ironic is that we cannot even secure our own borders and you think we can secure another country borders.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 4:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What is really ironic is that we cannot even secure our own borders and you think we can secure another country borders.


We "can" secure our borders, we just have a bunch of looneys without the political guts to do it.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By AEvangel on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 5:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
Some attacks may be right, some may be wrong. Care to give any specifics as to what you're talking about?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By AEvangel on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 6:30:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But allot of people on here support these same loonies in their attack of other countries and you believe these attacks justified cause the loonies tell you they are??


Dude wtf are you even talking about?

Actually nevermind. I don't want to know. It's an extremely stupid and weak point to be sure.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By AEvangel on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 7:11:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It's pretty obvious...did I type to fast for you , I know you read slow.


NO it's just obviously stupid. So because I think we can have secure borders, I'm a shill who's been suckered into supporting a war??

Yeah maybe in Planet AEvangel that's some kind of sensible train of logic, but here on Earth you're just wasting my time.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By hashish2020 on 6/29/2010 5:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously only go to Mexico to hit on sluts in Cancun, and really don't understand how badly raped Latin American economies are by the fascists we have supported and put in power there (and some who oppose us also)


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 10:15:33 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you have any understanding, and I doubt it, you'll notice that before the good old US of A rolled it's convoy of destruction into the heart of the middle east that it was a fairly peaceful place, sure they have different laws and different religions, but that's their choice, like America has it's 'democracy'.


Peace isn't just the absence of conflict. It is the presence of justice.

When you see things like the mass graves we uncovered. Thousands of civilians being gassed by their own leaders. Religious persecution, beheadings, intolerance. Hundreds of thousands dead, and you call that peaceful.

Where was their justice? Where was their peace?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Spivonious on 6/29/2010 11:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
Religious persecution is justice to them because they're a religious state. If the U.S. had an official religion, and that religion stated that you couldn't eat hot dogs on Thursday, you can bet that there would be a law about not eating hot dogs on Thursday. If the punishment for eating hot dogs was to have your tongue torn out, then that's what would happen.

We cannot judge others through our eyes. I think it's wrong to force women to wear burkas, but I'm not a conservative Muslim living in a conservative Muslim country.

When did the U.S. become the world police force? Just because something is "wrong" to us doesn't mean we are obligated to go in and replace it with something that is "right".


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 4:05:27 PM , Rating: 1
Ok wait, you actually think we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan simply because they are different than us?? We have an openly racists foreign policy now??

quote:
If the U.S. had an official religion


Straw man, we don't and never have. It's in the Constitution. NO Church of the state.

You're one seriously confused individual. This isn't a racist or religious war, at least not on our part. We're not the intolerant ones. We didn't fly those planes into the Towers or send those suicide bombers.

We're all for you living how you want to live, right up until the point where you start destabilizing the whole planet and murdering our citizens. Sorry, but you don't have the "right" to do that.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By AEvangel on 6/29/2010 5:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This isn't a racist or religious war, at least not on our part..


Your right it's purely about profit!!

quote:
We didn't fly those planes into the Towers or send those suicide bombers.


An what is funny is neither did the people whose countries we invaded. Last I check it was al qaeda, and as previously stated the leader of al qaeda and 9 of the 12 supposed 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, so let me know when we are invading them?

quote:
We're all for you living how you want to live, right up until the point where you start destabilizing the whole planet and murdering our citizens. Sorry, but you don't have the "right" to do that.


I agree, so were all on the same page....so when are we going to stop the US Govt from doing that?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 7:39:13 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
An what is funny is neither did the people whose countries we invaded. Last I check it was al qaeda, and as previously stated the leader of al qaeda and 9 of the 12 supposed 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, so let me know when we are invading them?


Why do you keep bringing this up. WE are NOT at war with countries!! We're at war with terrorists, wherever they might be.

Another Straw man anyway. If we did "invade" Saudi Arabia, you would be the first to flap your gumms about that too and bemoan the U.S. There's no making you happy.

Who cares where the terrorists came from that did 9-11 anyway? We're dealing with a region wide organization of terrorists. We're attacking that organization, not going after a few criminals. Do you get it? This isn't law enforcement, they have DECLARED WAR on us!

If you go after individual terrorists, more cells are created. We're trying to cut off the head of the snake, so to speak.

quote:
so when are we going to stop the US Govt from doing that?


When we elect Obama. Oh wait, nvm. Hmmm why are we still over there then??


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Paj on 6/29/2010 6:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why the hell is *anyone* in iraq right now?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Spivonious on 6/30/2010 1:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
No, we invaded Afghanistan because they were harboring terrorists that attacked us. I'm completely fine with that. I don't like all of the propoganda about how we're helping women's rights and how we've installed a puppet government.

We invaded Iraq because...I really don't know. Bush was convinced that Saddam had WMDs and was ready to use them. He could also finish what the first Bush started and get a nice U.S. presence in the Middle East oil fields while he was at it. Sure, Saddam wasn't a good guy, but who are we to act as world police?

Now, my whole religious argument was hypothetical. We can't discuss it because the Constitution says it can never happen? I see how much the federal government has overstepped their Consitutional bounds and I lose faith. I fail to see how it's a straw man argument. I don't know if you understand that phrase.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Motley on 6/29/2010 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the link. Now read the article you just linked me.

"The U.S. has around 20 billion barrels now, down from nearly 29 billion barrels a decade ago". Note, we've gone through 9 billion barrels of what we have in 10 years, and that is only covering 40% of our 2008 consumption.

Here's some quick numbers for you:
2001 US consumption 19.650 million barrels per day.
2007 US consumption 20.680 million barrels per day.
Average consumption increase per year (~1%).
Estimated current (2010) US consumption therefore is 21.3 million barrels per day.
Estimated future (2015) US consumption = 22.387 million per day, or 8.171 billion barrels per year.

Now how long will our 18 billion barrels of obtainable oil last if we are consuming 8.171 billion barrels per year and we stop using foreign oil completely? 2.2 years.

As for the rest of the untapped/unavailable oil, even according to the article linked wouldn't be nearly enough to satisfy US consumption as stated here: "The potential is to produce 1 million barrels of oil a day within a decade from lands currently open -- and several times that amount if the lawmakers give the green light to development of lands now off-limits." 1 million barrels of oil a day is tiny fraction of what we consume, and that's a decade off making it even a smaller tiny fraction. Sorry, but this plan even if it goes according to plan will fail to meet even 5% of our consumption needs. This is hardly a good plan to bet our future on.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By gamerk2 on 6/29/2010 9:29:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If there was an alternative to gasoline that worked and was able to compete (as stated above bio diesel and ethanol as examples) it would be brought to market by market demand not federal mandate.


Heres the problem: There was no INCENTIVE for the free market to innovate back when gas was cheap. So while NASA made it to the moon using Hydrogen Fuel Cells as the primary power source, we were still in the dark ages using internal combustion engines.

Its a chicken and egg situation: Costs of production will drop when people start to buy, but people won't buy until costs drop.

We can mandate solar panels on all new buildings today. The first few projects would be a bit more expensive (say, $25,000 on a $500,000 house, or just 5% added to cost), but would rapidly drop due to improvments in manufacturing. We can switch the H2O, as the tech has been ready for over 40 years now, but that requires tearing up the ENTIRE gasoline infrastructure, which no gasoline company is willing to do (For obvious reasons).

quote:
Lastly we get almost all of our oil from our own shores or Canada. We get some from Venezuela and about 6% from Saudi Arabia (not that I have any love for the arabs or anything). That's the totality of our foreign oil. You are advocating a dictatorship to stop us from buying oil on the world market (where all oil drilled ends up btw). Please log off the internet and set yourself on fire.


As for you quote on oil imports, the US in 2009 imported ~13.5 Million barrels of oil, per DAY. And even if access to avaliable oil was granted, even if there was 10 Billion barrels under Alaska, the only number which actually matters is how much you could DRILL AND REFINE. And I note, thats just to keep prices around $3 a gallon, assuming no global dropoff in supply.

We need to transititon off oil BEFORE we run into a supply crunch, and raising taxes on oil will help accomplish that.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 10:03:34 AM , Rating: 1
So because there's no reason to work on alternatives due to the abundance of the current fuel source we should make the price of the current fuel source cost prohibitive to stimulate competition? What logic is that based on? Oh wait it's the logic of "we are killing the planet with our evil cars and we have to have an alternative that doesnt hurt the pwanet *tear* " ... right? Or maybe you believe that if we drill for oil here and dont have a law saying that we have to use our oil here then purchase any extra we need on the international market, that it will significantly lower prices. All oil drilled (at least here... might not be the same in all countries) goes on the international market which means if we drilled here it would only lower the price of a barrel of oil a few cents... even if we could drill for, obtain, and refine all of our oil that the greenies have lobbied the government to keep us away from we will still purchase foreign oil and would still be dependent on oil in general.

If a company is desiring to make an electric car or something then they can do it in the free market no problem. Just dont take any money from me if to make it I dont support your cause. That's what a tax will do... take money from people who dont support funding an alternative and give it to the company making the alternative. Its central planning at it's worst.

Mandating something happens doesnt necessarily lower costs and if it does then the government will raise taxes on it so that they get more money in their coffers while you get to pay the same high prices. I dont understand your point on the water but if you meant that we could use water for electrolysis to produce hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cells but we'd have to rip out all of the gas infrastructure, I'd say no because people still need the hydrogen and you could add a hydrogen storage tank to every gas station and when there were no more gas vehicles on the market then you could eliminate the gas pumps and make them all hydrogen. But again the electricity needed to break up water doesnt yield as much hydrogen as the same amount used to break up natural gas... so even with hydrogen fuel cells you are using a non renewable source so is it really any better than oil?

Lastly because we import oil (aka buy it on the international market) and may run into a supply issue because the environmentalists wont let us get our own oil (which would also go onto the international market) we should transition off of oil? Raising taxes doesnt solve a problem like needing more oil... all it does, in the short term at least, is cause people to stop going out to eat and having any cash in their entertainment budget... so other businesses suffer and end up laying off workers because ecomentalists dont want people to drive their evil cars.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By OUits on 6/29/2010 12:56:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What logic is that based on? Oh wait it's the logic of "we are killing the planet with our evil cars and we have to have an alternative that doesnt hurt the pwanet *tear* " ... right?


You don't know that. There are plenty of negative economic/political consequences for being dependent on foreign oil (not to mention being dependent on large multinational oil companies to provide said oil).

It's not all about the environment, and even if it is, what's wrong with a little forward thinking and environmental concern? Most people care about the environment (with a huge range of differing opinions), most people aren't "ecofreaks" either as your wide brush so ignorantly labeled.

quote:
That's what a tax will do... take money from people who dont support funding an alternative and give it to the company making the alternative. Its central planning at it's worst.


You don't f***ing know that either! It could go to pave roads and put people to work on transportation projects for all you know. This isn't even a piece of drafted legislation. This is an opinion of a former political aide and journalist (which he doesn't even agree should be implemented). It's not about subsidizing, it's about incentives.

You make too many baseless assumptions and spew too much intolerance. Stop lumping anybody who thinks it would be a good thing to wean off oil (even a little bit) or drive less, or pollute less as some sort of eco-socialist-nazi-villian.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By lelias2k on 6/29/2010 3:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you get your facts?

quote:
There was a car powered by a nuclear reactor but it didnt sell well...


There was a PROTOTYPE, but never a production car.

quote:
I just saw the conclusion of the yearly solar race and the winning team was running by their car as it crossed the finish line...


The same car is capable of 100+ mph. The only reason it crossed the line slowly is because it had more than 2 hours advantage over 2nd place.

quote:
bio diesel gels at temps as warm as 71deg F


And there are others that gel at 14deg F. But the main point you were omitting here is that there are many ways to prevent it, including simple additives.

quote:
Lastly we get almost all of our oil from our own shores or Canada.


According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2008 the U.S. consumed around 19500 thousand barrels per day, while it imported around 11000 thousand barrels per day. Now, my math is a little rusty, but that seems to me like more than 55%.

We are all entitled to our opinion, but no need to distort actual facts just to make yourself sound right.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By hyvonen on 6/29/2010 4:00:40 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. Taxing oil is the only way to reduce the cashflow from the US to Middle East. Saudi Arabia et al. are controlling the price of oil in a most non-free-market, and there is nothing we can do about it short of stopping buying oil.

The best way to get that to happen is to tax oil, and use the revenue to come up with a US-based alternative (be it hydrogen, some sort of biofuel, local oil or even electricity).

The key is to not leak money out of the country. Trying to make gasoline cheaper will only increase its consumption and make Saudi Arabia richer. Bad idea, and certainly not a sustainable one... eventually gasoline prices will go up, and if we don't have alternatives in place, we're screwed.

I say pre-empt this disaster, tax now, and develop something better.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By DocWolfe on 6/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By zombiexl on 6/29/2010 8:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
Well one reason that has been stated about a billion times is that your commute's are generally far shorter than ours.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By amanojaku on 6/29/2010 8:54:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In the UK we pay £1.19 for a litre of unleaded which works out at about $9 a gallon, if we can manage then why can't you?
Could, or should? Because $4-5 dollars per gallon is exorbitant. $9 per gallon is simply outrageous.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By nafhan on 6/29/2010 8:57:29 AM , Rating: 2
Here's a reason: most people in the UK aren't driving as far, and our non-automobile transportation infrastructure isn't as good.
Not going to get into whether or not Americans should be driving less, but forcing everyone to drive less (through the tax) would require some pretty major living adjustments for many that wouldn't be very popular right now.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By quiksilvr on 6/29/2010 9:00:25 AM , Rating: 2
Because your country is smaller than Oregon? How much driving is that? Also, you guys have a sh*t load more fuel efficient cars out there and most of the driving for your country is done in London. Oh, and because you get universal health care thanks to those taxes you pay.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mcnabney on 6/29/2010 11:36:19 AM , Rating: 1
Congratulations, you just solved two of our most pressing problems.

Healthcare coverage and dependence on foreign energy sources.

Taxes destroy. How about destroying something we would all like to do with less of?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 12:44:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Congratulations, you just solved two of our most pressing problems.

Fuel and healthcare? I guess if you're not a dumb shit, went to college, and got a job....then they are probably NOT your two biggest problems. They aren't mine.
quote:
Taxes destroy. How about destroying something we would all like to do with less of? \

Taxes destroy growth. Taxes destroy motivation. Taxes destroy profits and job expansion. Taxes destroy personal wealth. Taxes destroy the ability to leave money and assets to your children after you pass.

You know what, I agree...how about we destroy something we would all like to do with less of....like government intervention. Lets get rid of that.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Fritzr on 6/30/2010 1:06:19 AM , Rating: 2
They have fuel efficient autos due to the high cost of petrol. US auto's fuel economy went up with the price of gas also.
.
High fuel cost==less fuel used, either due to increased fuel economy or usage patterns changing.
.
Reality check. Regardless of the source fossil fuels are mined. There is NO renewal of the reserves. Either we develop an alternative to fossil oil or we learn to do without a fueled economy. As long as we continue to extract the reserves the amount discovered or undiscovered will get smaller every year.
.
When you figure out how to renew fossil fuel sources then we can shelve plans to learn how to run our oil dependent economy without oil


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Solandri on 6/29/2010 3:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In the UK we pay £1.19 for a litre of unleaded which works out at about $9 a gallon, if we can manage then why can't you?

Your post got me thinking. I used to be a proponent of high gasoline taxes to encourage efficiency and development into alternate energy sources. But now thanks to you, I'm starting to think taxes are a bad idea and instead we should focus on temporary incentives and subsidies for R&D in potential technologies.

Here's my reasoning: Europe has some of the highest gasoline taxes in the world.
http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasp...

Where has most of the R&D in electric, hybrid, and alternate fuel vehicles come from? Japan and the U.S., both of which have lower or significantly lower gas taxes. For all the high taxes in Europe, it seems to have done precious little good at "encouraging" automakers there to develop alternate fuel-saving technologies. All it seems to have resulted in is smaller cars and a smug attitude.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By hyvonen on 6/29/2010 4:07:16 PM , Rating: 1
That was a completely unscientific conclusion. We don't know where those gasoline tax revenues were funneled. If they went to national health care, it does little to alternative energy R&D.

Using this single observation to conclude that low gasoline taxes mean better alternative energy R&D seems illogical. The increased tax has definitely meant lowered consumption in the UK (small cars, you know), which is one of the goals. If the tax revenue had been used for funding alternative energy, I would bet it would have helped finding alternative solutions.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Solandri on 6/29/2010 4:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter where the tax funds were funneled. The whole concept of the taxes isn't to funnel the money into alternative energy R&D - if you want to funnel money into such R&D, you can just use general tax funds to accomplish the same thing. There is no rule saying that it has to be from a fuel tax.

The concept of the taxes is to make petroleum fuel more expensive so the more expensive alternate energy sources can compete. Apparently, $9/gal isn't high enough to make the alternatives competitive enough to warrant companies to invest extra R&D in them. So taxation would seem to be a poor way to accomplish this goal.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Fuel taxes are general and non-directed. People are free to choose how they compensate for it. My original thinking had been that that choice would mean the free market would allow the best solution to come forth. Instead, that choice still seems to be hampered by the short-term thinking which dominates many free market decisions. Cut weight. Drive less. Use public transportation and carpool more. Not bad things in themselves, but not long-term solutions since they're all still running on petroleum.

So the taxes didn't result in Europeans working on the long-term solutions of hybrid, electric, and cellulose-based bio-diesel vehicles. It seems if you specifically want long-term solutions, you need to create incentives for them specifically.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Masospaghetti on 6/29/2010 8:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We've already seen the devastating effects of $4-5 per gallon gas prices.


$4 gasoline was devestating because it happened so quickly and people had no time to adapt. For most, given a lead time, $4 gas is perfectly managable. Forgo one Starbucks latte a week and you'd come out even. But then again, nobody should have to sacrifice ANYTHING, right?

quote:
NOTHING good comes of them.


Freedom from foreign oil is nothing good? Reduced emissions is not good? A boost to the alternative energy industry is not good?

quote:
How any rational and clear-headed person would suggest such a thing is beyond me.


How a (seemingly) rational person like yourself would so blatantly condemn this tax is beyond me too. A gasoline tax is one of the best things the government could do for the country, given they offset the taxes somewhere else (by reducing payroll taxes, for instance).

quote:
Taxes were never and should never be intended to force a market change or shape a society. That's too much government intervention, which is what this entire proposal is. Using a government tax to force people to buy alternatives that they otherwise wouldn't see as being viable.


Normally, I would agree. But oil is different. The ACTUAL cost of a gallon of gasoline to society is far greater than what you or me pays at the pump -- the cost to appease unfriendly governments, to fund military operations overseas, the loss of American lives, the health problems related to pollution or environmental concerns... All of these things are picked up by the taxpayer, not the person at the pump. A fuel tax would align the ACTUAL cost of fuel to what the customer pays.

BTW, before you label me as a random greenie, realize that I own a Camaro, a Fiero, an Explorer...not exactly the most fuel efficient of vehicles.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By zombiexl on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Digimonkey on 6/29/2010 8:58:26 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
$4 gasoline was devestating because it happened so quickly and people had no time to adapt. For most, given a lead time, $4 gas is perfectly managable. Forgo one Starbucks latte a week and you'd come out even. But then again, nobody should have to sacrifice ANYTHING, right?


Not sure about you, but I think most people use more than a gallon a week.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Taft12 on 6/29/2010 12:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
Your math would be true if a gallon of gas cost $0


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 9:01:44 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
$4 gasoline was devestating because it happened so quickly and people had no time to adapt. For most, given a lead time, $4 gas is perfectly managable. Forgo one Starbucks latte a week and you'd come out even. But then again, nobody should have to sacrifice ANYTHING, right?

McFly! Hello?!

Do you really think that increasing the price of gasoline from $2.75/gal to $4.00/gal ONLY effects the total dollar amount you put in your tank each week? How stupid are you?

Increasing fuel prices will increase prices on EVERYTHING. Everything needs to be shipped form point A to point B, making it that product more expensive - such as food, clothing, supplies, etc. Increased fuel prices for farming means that food prices will go up - even before we add on the additional costs of transporting the food - because the tractors and other machinery used in agriculture.

How about those who still have oil heat in their homes? Yes, not everyone lives close to a metropolitan area. How about the costs of transporting equipment and materials to build homes? In the midst of a housing market crash, you want to increase the costs of building a home?

Does all that really add up to 1 missed Starbucks Latte per week? I don't think so! I don't have a nice way to say it, but you're a complete idiot.
quote:
Freedom from foreign oil is nothing good? Reduced emissions is not good? A boost to the alternative energy industry is not good?

We have domestic oil we can use, a lot of it. If you want to invest, invest in ways to make shale oil cheaper than $60/barrel and we're in the money. Reduced emissions? Save it for someone who buys into the global warming crap. This is a conversation about economics and standard of living, not religion. A boost to alternative energy? If it can't stand on its own two feet without government intervention, then it just flat out isn't ready to stand at all. You're actually trying to convince me that I should feel blessed to pay a lot more money for something that performs half as well, and not all of the time. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
quote:
How a (seemingly) rational person like yourself would so blatantly condemn this tax is beyond me too.

What do you mean you don't want to pay artificially higher prices for no good reason? lol.
quote:
A gasoline tax is one of the best things the government could do for the country, given they offset the taxes somewhere else

Again, McFly! First, the government NEVER offsets taxes by cutting somewhere else. If they were going to do that, they'd just start directing more of our payroll money towards alternative energy grants. Second, an increase in taxes....followed by "the best things the government could do for the country"...all in the same sentence. Hey commie, grab your sickle and go back to Russia.
quote:
The ACTUAL cost of a gallon of gasoline to society is far greater than what you or me pays at the pump

Save the liberal emotional banter. You don't want to appease unfriendly governments, then stop being a little bitch and lets starting getting the oil we have here - ANWR, Shale, etc. It's not a difficult concept. There is no need to pay higher electricity prices because you want me to have a windmill in my back yard. In case you haven't noticed, we also have the worlds largest coal reserves in our backyards to help us sustain super cheap electricity. You try to coin your statements for acceptance by attempting to hide them in some sort of argument about economics and domestic policy, when the entire time there has been nothing come out of your mouth other than emotional liberal talking points.

If you want to do whats best for the American people, stop pushing your religion on everyone, and instead start focusing on how we can increase our standard of living....not decrease it while making up for it with a "I feel really good about myself now" mindset.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:07:36 AM , Rating: 3
You are my new favorite poster


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mcnabney on 6/29/2010 11:46:47 AM , Rating: 1
He is also the biggest idiot.

Efficient businesses will need to pass on much less of an expense to the consumer. So innovative and efficient companies will be rewarded while companies that are wasteful in energy use will have their profit margins trimmed considerably since the free market will not allow them to pass the full expense on the consumer when other don't.

He clearly hates capitalism and loves dinosaurs like GM and Chrysler who don't know how to innovate for efficiency.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 12:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
Ok mcnabney, I never claimed to be the smartest man alive. But unlike you, I don't stand here a hypocrite on this issue.

You have the audacity to claim "free market" will reward/punish companies based on efficiency, but what refuse to acknowledge is that you are not allowing the free market to promote efficiency, rather artificially stimulate it by punishing consumers not business. That, my friend, is the definition of the "biggest idiot"

If you're going to be critical, at least have the back bone to be honest.

I love capitalism. What you are trying to pawn off is using capitalism to function after you induce socialism and artificial market manipulation. That is not capitalism. Keeping your hands out of the cookie jar and away from the belt is what allows capitalism to function. When oil becomes so expensive based on supply and demand that alternatives can provide a value cheaper than or equal to oil, then they will come online. When alternatives can be used without asking the person who's already concerned about their finances to spend $25,000 up front on a new car when the one they have runs just fine, then maybe it will be viable. When that person can still heat their house, cool it in summer, take their kids to soccer and baseball, and take family vacations without worrying what its going to cost them next month, or next year if a climate bill passes....then, maybe they will be viable.

Until then, try not to be a hypocritical idiot.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Keeir on 6/29/2010 2:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Efficient businesses will need to pass on much less of an expense to the consumer.


Mcnabney. This is one of the single most stupid remarks you have made.

1. An efficient business is one which sells its products at a price that meets or exceeds its target rate of return capital investment and operating expenses. A tax on fuel will raise future capital investments and operating expenses. An efficient business will attempt to pass as much as that additional cost on to the consumer as possible. A truely efficient business will likely increase thier prices at a rate of 1.1 or more to the increase in costs (IE, Costs goes up by 1.00 per unit, selling price goes up by 1.1 dollars per unit)

2. If the truely efficient business exists, it will outcompete it compeditors regards of the price of fuel. Gee, look, thats what ALREADY happened in the car business.

For what its worth, I am for a higher fuel tax (most people already pay more than 0.50 dollars a gallon), provided the following are met
#1. We get rid of CAFE
#2. We reset EPA limits on Pollution to over X years rather than X miles
#3. No new spending!
#4. No new grants to alternative energy cars. Maybe even revoke the current ones.

Consider the following, an Electric Car current has the following (government) advantages over Gasoline/Hybrid
#1. Lower tax rate on fuel
#2. Tax Credit on Purchase (upto 1/2 the price of a gasoline car...)
#3. Large loans/Grants for Development Availible
#4. Large loans/Grants for Tooling
#5. Free Money for Recharge locations
#6. Free Money for Home Infrastructure improvements
#7. No requirement for Life of Battery. (Pollution control devices must work for 10-15 years depending on state)
#8. No requirements set by regulators for efficieny (CAFE)

Yet despite all of this, a 100-mile EV is barely compeditive in TOC/Usage to a gasoline car...


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By SpaceRanger on 6/29/2010 9:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
That post brought a tear to my eye. VERY nice post!


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By corduroygt on 6/29/2010 10:58:56 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with all your points, however there is a reason we're not using our own oil right now, and it's not the environmentalists.

We want to make sure that when the world runs out of oil and we still don't have anything better by then, then we should be the country with the last remaining oil reserves...Think Fallout 3.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By xprojected on 6/29/2010 11:03:54 AM , Rating: 2
"increase our standard of living."? That's SOCIALISM! You socialist! A *real* capitalist looks out for number one!


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 12:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get your panties in a twist numb-nuts. Out standard of living, as a statistic, has always increased based on the availability of cheap energy. I didn't say I wanted to spread the wealth around, or promote "trickle up" economics.....I said it wanted our overall standard of living to increase. Keep energy cheap, keep taxes low, keep government out of the market....and you will see our standards of living, as a statistic, increase.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
So like obama said in his campaign... "There's nothing wrong with 4 dollars a gallon gasoline it's just that we got there too quickly" right? It doesnt matter I guess that the only reason the prices are high is the speculators saying that we have passed peak oil and we are about to run out even though were not. The oil companies make like 2 or 3% profit and everyone hounds them for it while they bend over for apple who makes 50% profit or more. If apple sold 20 billion iPhones at 250ea they'd be the richest company in the world and I wonder if anyone would be crying about their windfall profits.

All oil goes onto the international market so unless we completely halted the economy and stopped using oil completely or passed a law mandating we use our own oil first then buy international oil, we will always be using foreign oil.

When you go to the gas pump subtract about 90cents from that price... because (depending on the state you live in) the federal government has a 60cent a gal gas tax now and my state has a 27cent gas tax. So gas here costs about a buck more than the oil company charges to get it to me.

you say dont label you a greenie but look at what you said... you advocated bringing the economy to a halt (via trickle up problems like no one going out to eat because gas costs so much so the restaurants fail which causes other businesses to fail and so on) to further a fictitious idea that we can get off of foreign oil or that we are hurting the atmosphere. You sir are an ecomentalist


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By ot56 on 6/29/2010 1:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
On Gasoline taxes, from Wikipedia:

For the first quarter of 2009, the mean state gasoline tax is 27.2 cents per US gallon, plus 18.4 cents per US gallon federal tax making the total 45.6 cents per US gallon (12.0 ¢/L).

On oil companies making 2-3%, BS. They make 2-3 % off of refining and distribution. They make significant profits on the exploration and production parts of their business.

And the fantasy land you live in with regards to taxes is truly striking. Have you ever heard of the oil depletion allowance? To pretend that oil companies get no tax preferences for their operations is to live as an ostrich.

So the "free market" is not free. Oil is subsidized. Alternaties lose competitively BECAUSE tax subsidy is provided to oil.

And there is this huge nonsence about the number of refineries in the US. This is more BS. Sure the absolute number of refineries has fallen and fallen dramatically. But the refinery capacity, in terms of barrels of petroleum processed per day is actually at an all time high. We have not been building new refineries but consolidating operations and modernizing and expanding the most effective plants. People are attempting to present this decline in the number of refineries as some sort of huge win by environmentalists that flies in the face of common sence when in actual fact it is simply the result of very good business decisions.

And people here talk about economics and miss the biggest picture. What kind of a "tax" is it that the US exports over $1B per day for our oil. This trade imbalance is argueably the single largest drag on our economy today. And the worst part of it is that it likely to only become greater as the price of oil goes up. I love people who have demonstrated a religious view of economics professing that this arguement is about "economics not religion". It just makes me laugh.

I have studied under two Nobel prize winners in economics and the one dimensional view of economics espoused by some on this board who claim to know what they are talking about is shocking in its ignorance.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By nafhan on 6/29/2010 9:24:25 AM , Rating: 2
Let's see...
If your car gets 30mpg and you have a 30 mile commute, it'd be somewhere around 2 latte's per week ($10) for every dollar the price of gas goes up. Not good for Starbucks or your wallet.

You can have "freedom" from foreign oil, reduced emissions, and boost alternative energy without a gas tax. In fact, that latter two items have been pushed pretty heavily over the past couple decades, and we're on foreign oil because we aren't using our own oil.

Raising taxes in one area while lowering in another tends to hurt specific groups of people that aren't necessarily ready for the increased tax burden. In my area, it would mostly be the people already hurting from the housing crisis who would get hit hardest.

It seems unlikely that you or anyone have a good idea what the ACTUAL cost of a gallon of gas "to society" is, and therefore don't really have a good benchmark to peg the taxes onto. People in favor of a gas tax also seem to forget things like the fact that pretty much all consumer items, produce, mail, and lots of other stuff are shipped by truck in the US. Those items will all get more expensive, and would need to be factored into the cost "to society".

Our entire economy is influenced by oil and oil products, right now. Changing that drastically with legislation may not have the intended effect of helping the environment. If the economy got bad enough, being good stewards of the Earth would probably be ignored in favor of making sure you and your kids have dinner and a place to live.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
wait you mean supply and demand is real?! OMFG! LOL


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Fritzr on 6/30/2010 1:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
Trucking get too expensive? Maybe this would revive the railroads!
.
Some of the things that caused our rail systems to decline were subsidies given to other forms of transport & the ending of the government freebies that made building, then disposing of, a railroad a license to print money.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By nafhan on 6/30/2010 10:15:30 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, railroads are more efficient for long haul operations than trucks. However, most modern locomotives run on diesel. So, their costs would go up, too.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By weskurtz0081 on 6/29/2010 9:41:17 AM , Rating: 2
Forgo one Starbucks latte a week? What, are you filling up your vehicle once every 2.5 weeks or something? Or are you buying $30 lattes (somehow)?


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Spivonious on 6/29/2010 11:45:44 AM , Rating: 2
My commute is about 8 miles each way, average 28mpg, so 3 gallons per work week used. Add in extra trips and I use about 11 gallons every two weeks.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Hiawa23 on 6/29/2010 10:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
$4 gasoline was devestating because it happened so quickly and people had no time to adapt. For most, given a lead time, $4 gas is perfectly managable. Forgo one Starbucks latte a week and you'd come out even. But then again, nobody should have to sacrifice ANYTHING, right?

Not sure where you live but most I know are barely hanging on at $2.62/gallon, so it's easy to punch at a keyboard what sacrifices others would need to make. $4/gallon would not be manageable for alot of families who's hours have been severely cut or under or unemployed, but bills still remain, & who don't eat out or go to Starbuck's. Yep, it's easy to say what others should or can do when you know not their financial situation. $4/gallon would destroy alot of families, & would hurt alot of businesses that would make the economy much worse, cause if you have less to spend due to gas price increases, you spend less in other areas.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By retrospooty on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By zombiexl on 6/29/2010 9:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
Its not free market when the market is forced downwards through artificial means.

quote:
When that happens its too late to switch, we need to switch before it happns or the whole economy will tank. It's a good move if you ask me. A bitter pill, but it has to happen...


Where the hell have you been the economy has tanked already. I think you also fail to realize the additional cost to everything we ship. Food, clothing, etc. A fuel tax will push up the price on all these things. We're not just talking about a few extra dollars a week here. We're talking about something that will add a significant % to everything we buy.

But hell, give the government more money to waste, they don't seem to have enough. The rest of us are expected to suffer while the elite in DC expense their every whim.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 9:08:25 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
ts basically free market, when product a becomes too expensive , product b becomes a more attractive alternative. They are talking about giving product a a boost, toward the door.

They aren't talking about "giving a boost". They are talking about artificially tanking an entire market and replacing it with a much more expensive one that people cannot afford. But hey, it all works out because we can all feel better about being shit on and even more broke at the end of the week than we were before. Wait, can you smell that....you don't smell the difference? Well the air is cleaner....Obama says so. It must be worth it.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Hiawa23 on 6/29/2010 9:36:16 AM , Rating: 3
I don't agree with adding fees or taxes to already high gas prices are going to do anything other than bankrupt small businesses & send already struggling middle & lower working class folks to the poor house. The government has had decades to find a solution. My eletric bill is already high, & woud go up even more, so I don't get how some can just say this would be a good thing. We saw what happenede afew years ago when gas went up to $4-5/gallon. I had to defer on my student load when that happened. It's not our fault big oil runs our society, & last time I checked my 2 cars only run on gasoline, that aint going to change in the next 10 or so years. I am hoping for a government that is looking for ways to reduce gas prices like producing more of our own & depending less on foreign countries, & other solutions. Taxing will do nothing but send most of us to the poor house much faster & will definitely throw the already bad economy into The Great Depression 2.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Hiawa23 on 6/29/2010 10:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
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.

This may be the case for the well off, but avergae Joe, middle or lower class guy who is just barely getting by would be crushed by this. On top of a bad economy, there is not much changes they could make other than going without essentials.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Exodite on 6/29/2010 12:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
Translated into US-friendly terms the gas price in Sweden, a country averaging ~20 people per square kilometer (as in very low population density), comes out at slightly above $6 per gallon.

Yet, astonishingly, the country still hasn't degenerated into complete anarchy.

In that context the outrage and frothing-at-the-mouth argumentation spawned at the mere mention of increasing gas prices is both outlandish, hilarious and rather sad all at once.


RE: Bush's Biggest Mistake
By Solandri on 6/29/2010 3:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
Canada has a much lower population density than the U.S. But if you take into account that most Canadians live in a 100 km strip along the U.S. border, they live in almost the same population density as the U.S.

Looking at a population density map of Sweden, it looks like they're in a similar situation. The majority of people live in 3 population centers separated by at most 600 km. Furthermore, the populated southern region really has no reason to ever go to the sparsely populated northern region.
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Baltic_reg...

Compare with the U.S. (this is the best map I could find with a similar people/km^2 metric). It has dozens of high population centers, and the sparsely populated western region has population centers on both sides, necessitating travel across it. For reference, 600km is about the distance from Pittsburgh to New York, or Los Angeles to San Francisco.
http://sedac.ciesin.org/wdc/downloads/maps/populat...


over the pond
By gibb3h on 6/29/2010 8:39:23 AM , Rating: 2
the same amount of petrol here in England would cost the equivalent of around $7, I think we have it worse




RE: over the pond
By callmeroy on 6/29/2010 8:50:48 AM , Rating: 1
Knowing folks who live in Europe I honestly feel stupid these days to complain about gas prices in America...aside from nations that are "oil rich" (many mid east nations have very cheap fuel prices because that's where the oil is..I believe in Kuwait per gallon prices are still below $2 US) -- America has among the cheapest fuel costs in the world.

I'm putting about $40 (just an average not exact) per week in my tank now -- using only "plus" grade fuel...

I'm no fan of that $40 turning to $60 or $70 per week trust me...but if I'm being honest, we Americans really have little room to complain when it comes to what we pay at the pump.

What would set my blood boiling though is how that extra tax money is really USED....I don't think I'm alone in saying I don't trust the government's word...so that's what's on my mind with this issue..."where's that extra money really going?"


RE: over the pond
By mdogs444 on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: over the pond
By mcnabney on 6/29/2010 11:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
Please don't talk about things you don't understand. Blaming European use of energy taxes to pay for social programs is just silly. They have chosen to spend their taxes on social programs while the United States has spent a huge chunk on bombs, bullets, and tanks. Our priorities are different. They like keeping people alive, we like killing people. Both are admirable goals. Their financial issues are related to unbalanced budgets which private investment is leary of investing in. That could happen here tomorrow.


RE: over the pond
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 1:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Im blaming them for taxing their fuel for social policy. I'm telling them to quit criticizing the US acting like our fuel is cheap compared to them. Its not, its the same price, its just we dont tax it for entitlements.


RE: over the pond
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 1:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm *NOT* blaming them for taxing their energy...im telling them to stop acting like our oil is cheaper than theirs.


RE: over the pond
By Solandri on 6/29/2010 4:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please don't talk about things you don't understand. Blaming European use of energy taxes to pay for social programs is just silly. They have chosen to spend their taxes on social programs while the United States has spent a huge chunk on bombs, bullets, and tanks.

Um, U.S. military spending has been on a long, steady decline since WWII. The bulk of U.S. government spending is on social programs - social security, medicare/medicaid, welfare, rental assistance, food stamps, etc. In budgetary terms, military spending has pretty much become a non-factor. It's one of the few areas of the budget which has consistently been going down (aside from a blip after 9/11). You could eliminate U.S. military spending entirely, and the savings is projected to be eaten up just by medicare increases within 30 years.

http://www.truthandpolitics.org/military-relative-...
http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=3521&type=0

The idea that U.S. military spending is eating up most of the budget is a myth propagated by people who choose to ignore mandatory spending because they don't want you to see how the cost for those (almost entirely social programs) is spiraling out of control.


RE: over the pond
By callmeroy on 6/30/2010 11:05:06 AM , Rating: 2
Mdogs drop the tough guy act -- I read your posts..STFU..

How is my comment a "get a life" comment...WHERE IN MY ENTIRE DAMN POST.....did I state the WHY they pay more in gas? SHOW ME IT NOW.

I stated , and I stand by the statment still, how the hell can I whine about paying $4 or 5 (granted I will whine / complain a bit to family and friends as is human nature) with the knowledge of how much people in other nations are paying for their fuel.

You want to start some rant on socialism go for it...but that's not what I'm doing..that's another topic entirely.

Jackass


RE: over the pond
By JediJeb on 6/29/2010 9:49:04 AM , Rating: 4
What is really sad though it that if they do tax the price of gas up to $4 or $5 per gallon, many people will run out and buy a more fuel efficient new car, and actually be losing money because their car payment is more than their saving in gasoline. I drive a truck that only gets 18mpg and yet with as much as I drive gas would need to go to $10 per gallon for me to be able to buy a new car with the savings in gas money if the new car got 36mpg.

I bought my truck new in 1996 for $18k(taxes included). Offer me a new car that gets 60+mpg for that price and maybe I could afford it in the gas savings. When EVs cost less than $20k and have a range of 300 miles then we can start looking at moving away from gasoline, until then forget the taxes and market shaping the government wants to do. It is just like when Bill Clinton was in office an Hillary wanted to tax tobacco enough to get people to stop smoking, yet those taxes were going to pay for universal health care. How was that supposed to work, if people stopped smoking then there would have been no funding for health care. That was the dumbest idea I ever heard of, until this one.


RE: over the pond
By ClownPuncher on 6/29/2010 6:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to laugh, but yea...it's basically just a pyramid scheme.


RE: over the pond
By callmeroy on 6/30/2010 11:10:55 AM , Rating: 2
Your post is exactly why I think the "craze" over hybrids is a joke...but people don't want to listen to the logic you just explained....they just buy into the commercials, the marketing, the hype (and probably a measure of guilt that the enviro crowd push on them).


Lets do it!
By Breathless on 6/29/2010 8:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
This would be the perfect way to get this shmo out of office. I hope they do it all at once and not over 10 years. Raising gas prices by $5 a gallon would get Obama poked with pitch forks right out of the white house.




RE: Lets do it!
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:09:44 AM , Rating: 3
careful with that analogy ... dont want him to pull the race card.


RE: Lets do it!
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 9:13:42 AM , Rating: 3
If you don't believe in global warming, you're a racist. I'm just waiting for the first liberal here to post that, while being serious.


RE: Lets do it!
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:24:18 AM , Rating: 2
LOL well it is their religion after all.

"I pledge allegiance to the earth..."


RE: Lets do it!
By Redwin on 6/29/2010 9:28:48 AM , Rating: 2
um... um... i got it!

"Not believing in global warming to the point where you want to do nothing about it is tantamount to saying you don't care if you're wrong and the ill effects predicted come about. Since those ill effects will probably have the least effect on wealthy white nations, and a horrible effect on poorer nations like those in africa, you are obviously don't care about those people very much, and are therefore a racist. Q.E.D."

What do I win? </sarcasm>


RE: Lets do it!
By FoundationII on 6/29/2010 9:33:16 AM , Rating: 3
No, if you don't believe in global warming, you're pretty stupid. It's like not believing gravity.
Only the cause of global warming (and whether it'll cool again without intervention) is debatable.


RE: Lets do it!
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 9:38:55 AM , Rating: 2
Fine, would you like me to rephrase for you? I would hate for you to need to parse words...

"If you don't believe in man made climate change, you're a racist"


RE: Lets do it!
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 10:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth#C...

come find me when the co2 levels reach 0.5%


Keep sipping that margerita
By Pippy on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Keep sipping that margerita
By QuantumPion on 6/29/2010 8:51:13 AM , Rating: 2
"By the time it does start to dwindle it will be too late."

What reasoning do you base this statement on? The answer is none. It is pure emotional drivel.

We aren't going to run out of oil overnight. Or ever. Even if it turns out oil is limited and finite (which many studies suggest it is continually produced by the earth), it will still never run out. It will simply become gradually more expensive over a period of 50-100 years as it becomes more scarce. Plenty of time for alternative technologies to be slowly phased in.

Government taxes on energy are not invested in R&D. They are squandered, just as all government spending is, on political projects and lobbies in order to get representatives reelected.


RE: Keep sipping that margerita
By InvertMe on 6/29/2010 9:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
Just calling a spade a spade here but your post is just as much "pure emotional drivel" as the OPs. You have NO clue how the whole picture will pan out. You are just putting a friendly face on it to justify how we are living today.

I don't really blame you either. I am living pretty comfortably and really don't want that to change anytime soon.


RE: Keep sipping that margerita
By Motley on 6/29/2010 12:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even if it turns out oil is limited and finite (which many studies suggest it is continually produced by the earth), it will still never run out.


Sorry, the sheer stupidity of this statement made me laugh. Thanks.


Silly Metric
By Flunk on 6/29/2010 9:23:14 AM , Rating: 2
$4 a gallon is an unrealistic metric, we already pay that in Canada and in Europe they pay nearly double that.

Just because the American people are currently spoiled with very low gas prices doesn't mean they can't afford to pay more for gas.

I personally believe that gas would have to cost at least $10 a Gallon to realistically force people to curtail driving significantly.




RE: Silly Metric
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:33:18 AM , Rating: 3
I personally believe that the free market would have us paying under 2$/gal if the govt would keep their laws and fingers off of it. It would be the same everywhere, Europe included, if that happened. Why? Competition lowers prices as long as the businesses aren't allowed to collude to fix the price of things.

We in the US arent "spoiled" by cheap gas we are paying just about 1 dollar more than it costs them to get it to us as cheaply and safely as possible... that dollar 90 cents of is tax and 10 cents of is profit for the oil company.

You can pay lower prices at the pump too just get rid of your democratic socialist government through voting in capitalists who dont want to centralize power in your capital city.


RE: Silly Metric
By hyvonen on 6/29/2010 4:13:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Competition lowers prices as long as the businesses aren't allowed to collude to fix the price of things.


Yeah, good luck having OPEC agree to that... They control the oil prices, and you pay what they want. Unless, of course, you find an alternative way to make your oversized SUV/truck move.


By 91TTZ on 6/29/2010 9:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
The headline states:

"Former Bush Advisor Suggests Gas Tax is Only Way for U.S. to Quit Oil"

But then in the story you admit that:

"It seems relatively clear that Frum does not actually think such a tax is the way to go."

You took something he said as an example of a bad idea and then claimed that he "suggests" it in the headline. What kind of shoddy journalism is this?




By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 9:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
Not only that, but he takes the example that Frum gave as a terrible idea that he doesnt back...and wrote an entire article as if it was the world saver...and then makes a small asterik to say that Frum wasn't really saying he backed it.

Shoddy journalism indeed. What a fake.


By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 10:17:04 AM , Rating: 2
Welcome to Daily Tech News where facts and accurate reporting are irrelevant.


Oil is a renewable resource...possibly
By AEvangel on 6/29/2010 10:55:12 AM , Rating: 2
I still like how people are totally confused on how oil is made, their are theories out there that suggest that is not a diminishing resource.

"The Deep Hot Biosphere : The Myth of Fossil Fuels"

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0387952535?tag=lewrockwe...





RE: Oil is a renewable resource...possibly
By monkeyman1140 on 6/29/2010 2:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
We have plenty of water too, problem is we have less DRINKABLE water.

Same thing with our fossil fuels. Sure we got plenty of it, but the stuff close to the surface is getting harder and harder to find without unwisely drilling in deep oceans or lopping off mountaintops.


By AEvangel on 6/29/2010 6:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
My suggestion then would not be to impose ridiculous taxes to it but rather let the free market dictate the price.

When the prices go up do to an actual lack of supply that is not artificially placed on by regulations from the Govt then newer technologies will emerge and I will embrace those new technologies, but when the Govt is forcing me to embrace them I have issues with it.


If you're going to do it...
By wuZheng on 6/29/2010 8:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
You have to do it right, and right off the bat as well. In Canada, we are already taxed pretty damn hard for our fuel. I think we're raising that tax too. It doesn't ween us off the fuel like you would think, it just makes the population irate about it and wondering where all that tax money is going to. (Read: In Canada, it goes to MP's private vacation funds)

So if you're going to introduce a tax with the stated goal of making people move off of oil based fuel. Then you have to hit them hard and fast. Its going to hurt... a lot... in the beginning, with people being extremely irate, complaining about right to cheap fuel and such and such. However, it will work if done properly, people and companies will complain and whine, but if the stance is held firm, then they will adapt.

Its a delicate balance as to what constitutes "doing it right" in terms of taxation with an intent to discourage product usage. I think America, being one of the heaviest users of gasoline will have to find that balance and set an example for the rest of society.




RE: If you're going to do it...
By shin0bi272 on 6/29/2010 9:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
well you see the problem with your concept is that you assume that the money will go where they say it will even if they pass a law mandating the money from the gas tax goes to alternatives. Here we have a tax for the elderly to collect free money because they have reached a specific age (even though the average lifespan is about 15 years older than that age). We were all told that the money from that tax would go into a separate fund for those people specifically and it would never go bankrupt... problem is though theyve raised the tax a couple of times since 1937 when it was started (now its up to 7 or 8% from 1% in 1937) they just went bankrupt. Why did they go bankrupt you ask? the money from the tax isnt put in a separate fund its put in the general fund and pays out about 3% more than it takes in each year.

So essentially if you support/trust the government running your life and taxing you to pay for their spending then you are a fool. Not because you lack intelligence but because you trust someone else to do whats best for you and your family.


By Asrafil on 6/29/2010 9:44:01 AM , Rating: 2
$2.75 a gallon thats $0.72 a litre and at todays exchange that's 0.59 EURO.
1 litre of gas here costs 1.50 EURO, $1.83, thats $6.91 a gallon. That's why here in Portugal 95% of cars are diesels. No V8's here :)




By bill4 on 6/29/2010 11:07:19 AM , Rating: 2
That's what Mick and the liberals would like to see in the US, through taxes and regulation.

Of course in reality gas costs almost nothing per gallon. All the cost is artificial taxes and regulations, because liberals want to destroy the world.


Tax the source instead...
By Daniel8uk on 6/29/2010 9:47:06 AM , Rating: 2
You know, if they taxed the profits of the biggest oil companies and offered tax returns and incentives to the companies who innovate and develop new technologies we would probably have way more efficient and environmentally friendly powered vehicles in a matter of years, not decades.

Global warming isn't an issue, but pollution of the environment is, after all who wants to live in a place where the rivers and lakes are polluted, where the air gives you breathing problems and other illnesses. I certainly don't.

At the end of the day the customer does NOT have much choice in what they use, they either use petrol or... well petrol that's pretty much the only choice they have and since there is no other alternative (Yet!, electric cars are improving but not nearly enough and there isn't much infrastructure) the government can tax the working man and the oil companies can keep on profiting from the petrol consumption and nothing will change, the government won't move to cleaner energies because they will lose the taxes and the oil companies will lobby like there is no tomorrow, meanwhile the money will keep on rolling in for both entities and the working man will be the one who loses.




RE: Tax the source instead...
By mdogs444 on 6/29/2010 9:54:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You know, if they taxed the profits of the biggest oil companies and offered tax returns and incentives to the companies who innovate and develop new technologies we would probably have way more efficient and environmentally friendly powered vehicles in a matter of years, not decades.

I hope you realize it doesn't work like that. I'm not sure why you lefties cannot grasp this very easy concept...so let me say it again, its capital bold letters...

COMPANIES DO NOT PAY TAXES

Ok there. Glad we got that out of the way.

If you increase taxes on a business, that means their bottom line is decreased. To make up for that, they have two choices: cut costs, increase prices, (or both).

If they cut costs, that means more people out of jobs, more people on unemployment, less tax revenue for local, state, and federal levels, while being a tax burdern on those of us who DO work.

If they raise prices, that means your gasoline is going to be more expensive because of artificial means, not supply and demand. Wait, this sounds a lot like Cap & Tax....


Might work
By vapore0n on 6/29/2010 10:04:52 AM , Rating: 2
Increasing gas tax is going to increase prices of everything. We already saw this last year.

Here is what I would do.
Increase gas tax and use that money to fund alternative clean energy development and deployment(and I dont mean clean coal), and to fund farmers of organic produce. Just to cheapen clean energy and food. Its time we got off the hfc and pesticide filled produce too.




RE: Might work
By JediJeb on 6/29/2010 11:09:52 AM , Rating: 2
That is ok if you are prepared to suffer with bug eaten produce and lower yields which will drive up the costs of food. Also to keep the weeds from taking over the farms you will need to hire a lot more workers to use hoes to remove the weeds and grass that reduce production and that will also drive up the price of foods. I can see it going over really well when a loaf of bread costs $15 and a salad cost $35.


By fictisiousname on 6/29/2010 10:04:57 AM , Rating: 2
for more than a short time (a year, maybe?)

As an example, the Oil embargoes of the 70s. Detroit couldn't sell their POS cars and fuel efficient was "Kewl". Eventually consumers got used to the price and they were back in the left lane doing 80+. Radar detectors and CB radios became a craze, SUVs became vogue...and when Gas prices dropped back toward a buck it just reinforced the concept that "it only hurts for a short time."

Look around you. How many people do YOU know that will drive to the store 1/2 mile down the road? Hey. I'd LOVE to have a car that got 40MPG like my 68 Bug. But then reality slips in when the driver next to me in a urban assault vehicle is texting with one hand and chugging a latte with the other, while checking their makeup in the mirror.




By JediJeb on 6/29/2010 5:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But then reality slips in when the driver next to me in a urban assault vehicle is texting with one hand and chugging a latte with the other, while checking their makeup in the mirror.


Doesn't matter if they are in a Ford Excursion or a Nissan Leaf, someone doing that would be just as deadly to another driver and themselves. A drivers choice of vehicle does not excuse their actions when behind the wheel. If anyone thinks that because you drive a fuel efficient car you automatically become a better driver they are totally out of touch with reality.

quote:
Look around you. How many people do YOU know that will drive to the store 1/2 mile down the road?


Depends on where you live. Out in the country like me, it is probably a good idea to drive the 1/2 mile since it is safer than walking down a road traveled by coal trucks. In town, where you have sidewalks then it would be ok to walk instead of drive.

What I do remember high gas prices doing back during the Oil Embargo of the Carter years was making it where my family didn't take vacations in the summer, we switched from oil heating to wood(which meant you couldn't leave home over night or the pipes would freeze), and we only got cloths and candy for Christmas instead of at least one toy. The standard of living dropped like a rock back then for most people I knew, I imagine it would have the same effect now if fuel prices went through the roof.


What a $4 US gas tax would do
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/29/2010 2:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
First of all we'd get more of the same... offshoring of industry to China or Vietnam, or anyplace where they do not have such taxes. This would be done because it costs a LOT of hydrocarbons to build solar panels, windmills, and just about any other alternative. So we'd end up importing solar panels, VAWTs, electric motors, tires, and batteries. We would then assemble the cars here and charge them with our panels. Now the question is... how is that different than importing our hydrocarbons? It is only different in that it is even worse! Not only will we be dependent on other nations, we will also be unable to affect enviropolitical change in those nations because we will have destroyed what was left of our middle class.

Heck, we already import millions of tires, batteries, and panels. Why? Because US taxes are already too high. Since the whole economy is hydrocarbon-based, any form of taxation can already be viewed as an energy tax similar to what Frum is describing.




By hashish2020 on 6/29/2010 5:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
China and Vietnam have higher gas taxes and higher gasoline prices than us. Have you ever actually been there?

Nice try at lying and pretending you know what you are talking about though.


Hey, remember our highway system?
By Yawgm0th on 6/29/2010 10:44:48 AM , Rating: 3
Maintaining and expanding it costs money. The best way to pay for it is the gas tax. It just so happens this also incentivizes fuel-efficient vehicles. This is a good thing for political and environmental reasons outside of global warming (how about public health?), but it's not the point of gas tax.

We don't need gas to hit $4 or $5 to start seeing people shift their buying habits, nor do we need to tax it that much to fund our roads. We do need to increase the gas tax, however. Gas must be taxed to deal with externalities and to fund the federal highway system. The gas tax has not kept up with inflation at the federal level or in most state's, and with the condition and throughput of some of our highways, it's hard to argue we don't need and increase.

Minnesota, for instance, which is hardly a bastion of conservatism, finally increased the gas tax after the 35W bridge of the Mississippi River collapsed from disrepair and killed 13 people. The tax increase brought us over ten cents short of matching inflation-adjusted 1980 levels -- levels which don't adjust for all vehicles being more fuel efficient on average.

This doesn't need to be an argument of ideology or partisan politics. The oil industry produces externalities and the highway system must be funded somehow, and using tolls everywhere isn't practical or efficient. We aren't sufficiently dealing with the externalities or maintaining the roads. Gas tax needs to increase. Whether it's five cents or ten or twenty, it needs to go up. It doesn't need to go to $5 after tax to economically deal with environmental issues. Naturally adjusting it for increasingly efficient vehicles, inflation, and increased highway needs will do that on its own.




Gas prices hurts everyone
By Mitch101 on 6/29/2010 9:12:31 AM , Rating: 2
Raising the price of gas doesn't have any effect on our need or use of it. Its not like everyone's car can run on pixie dust without gas.

The end result is people have less money in their pocket and this generally effects the poor class of people more. In turn if they do some math it may cost them more to go to work than to actually work thus increasing unemployment.

The poor generally cannot afford to buy more fuel efficient vehicles because they are already broke. So you wind up with increased poverty and crime rates.

How about government job pay cuts across the board like the rest of the country went through.




Hey Mick
By bill4 on 6/29/2010 9:14:01 AM , Rating: 2
Wonder how todays jobs report is gonna look?

Hint: Not good lol.

There are NO JOBS due to environmental restrictions and CO2 caps. Nobody in there right mind would even consider building a new factory in the USA today. Not with massive, trillions in environmental taxes and regulations before the first ground is broken. And sky high energy costs looming from liberals who have banned all efficient, clean energy (coal, oil, gas, nuclear).

And that is going to cost Obama his job.




Suggestion
By JustMe42 on 6/29/2010 9:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
Many people can't afford gas price increases as they live paycheck-to-paycheck.
Perhaps something like impose a significant tax on gas/diesel engines so vehicle manufacturers look to alternate sources or set a high fuel economy standard and tax heavily for every MPG that the engine does not meet those requirements.
Also, have a law that mandates all the taxes from the engine tax go to finance alternative energy sources and cannot be reallocated until we have achieved a set percentage of fossil fuel usage vs alternative energy sources.




Daily Tech
By phatboye on 6/29/2010 10:55:20 AM , Rating: 2
Please stick to technology news and leave the politics for another site.




Dow down 251 already this morning
By bill4 on 6/29/2010 11:04:41 AM , Rating: 2
In case you were wondering.




People are so gullible
By Beenthere on 6/29/2010 11:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
What makes anyone think there is a need to stop our dependency on oil in less than 100 years time? Taxing people to line the pockets of more cronies is not the solution to alternative energy. People need to pull their head out of their arse and stop being sheep led by fools. For once can't we try an intelligent transition instead of costly FUBAR mismanagement?




By monkeyman1140 on 6/29/2010 2:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
The oil and gas industry lobbies HARD to keep electric cars off the streets.

Why? Because an electric car essentially hands over their profits to the coal, nuclear and alternative wind/solar/etc. energy industries!

That's why they sued the state of California to kill the electric car initiatives set in the late 1990's, that's why they sought patents to batteries, that's why they conspired with the car companies to push for the RIDICULOUS hydrogen fuel cell automobiles.

Hydrogen is a failure as an alternative energy source. Its expensive, its impractical, and it will never EVER see use in road vehicles.

Its the perfect green technology that will keep us on gasoline while we wait for these mythical cars to arrive in dealer lots. They're saying 2015, then 2020, then 2030, 2050, and so on. Meanwhile the gasoline still will flow.




Fuel tax is a targeted FairTax
By hashish2020 on 6/29/2010 5:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
Funny how the free market advocates here usually say tax revenue should be exclusively from a consumption tax, yet say they want no gas tax.

Our military, which has largely been used to protect our access to oil and to make sure it is cheap (both Iraq wars, standing forces in the Gulf and the oppressive House of Saud, covert warfare in the 50's in Iran, need I go on?) is an unfair market subsidy too.

How's this for a compromise...increase the standard deduction for how much an extra excise tax on gasoline collects, fully revenue neutral.

Not to mention, with China and India and Brazil's economies driving massive oil consumption (well less so with Brazil, because of sugar ethanol, and India at least is cutting its subsidies) the only way to stabilize international oil prices are market indicators in developed countries that show decreased usage to reduce upside speculation.

But no, this is communism, because the founding fathers, from Hamilton (with his idea of a national bank), to Franklin (who agreed with many French economists), and John Adams certainly believed in a laissez-faire economy...oh wait




Great idea!
By IcePickFreak on 6/29/2010 10:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
I mean it's not like we're going to have jobs to drive to anyway. Finally, we can all sit home (aka government issue boxes) and blow bubbles and make rainbows all day.




Tax Gas
By btc909 on 6/29/2010 11:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
Oh you mean tax gas even more, this is one of the reasons why the US is in a recession now, remember 4 dollar a gallon gasoline? I could see fewer vehicles on the roadways during this time. Heavy Truck drivers have been hurting for years, sure you can make a run but by the time you factor in fuel you made that run for free. Oh wait a minute, we can use trains to deliver goods to every part of the country right. Go ahead & put an insane tax on gas & watch this country grind to a halt. These morons don't grasp the concept of how big the US is.




One in the same...
By integr8d on 6/30/2010 2:43:21 AM , Rating: 2
Should be a lesson for all that the two parties are really just one...

Obama has already talked this up. $7/gallon for gasoline by 2012.

Net effect will be, yes, less use of oil.

Followed by: small and medium business dying off to leave only big business to remain. They'll be the only ones with the means to move forward.

Economy ultimately damaged. Middle class reduced to just above average. Essentially, the elites and then us. And that's it.

This is the ultimate goal of power players: eliminate middle class. Middle class has no need of government. Wealthy and poor both need government. Middle class has to go.

Welcome your corporate masters.




Ah, I see you're next !
By Landiepete on 6/30/2010 8:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
The man is either very badly informed, or more likely, a liar.

In the eighties, a gallon of fuel was 2$ over here. Now it is 8$. So I conclude that more expensive fuel does not mean less dependancy.
It is, however, another way to get money out of the taxpayers pocket without having to admit you are useless at managing it.
Oil has never been as expensive as it's been the last 5 years. Yet we've never used as mnuch of it.

So the man is full of bovine excrement, methinks.




He's right.
By reader1 on 6/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: He's right.
By ClockerXP on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: He's right.
By callmeroy on 6/29/2010 8:55:39 AM , Rating: 1
Good point I forgot to mention in my first post as well..

If they put this through (let's be honest I'm sure this will go through..if not in the next year within the next 2-3 years for sure)....I hope they aren't planning to just "shock" the American people with an instant massive tax hike...

The "smart" way to do it is a gradual tax increase spread over a few years at least.


RE: He's right.
By nafhan on 6/29/2010 9:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
Actually... it's not the only way. Another possibility would be to keep investing in research, and wait to move away from gasoline until it makes economic sense to do so.


RE: He's right.
By 91TTZ on 6/29/2010 9:41:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hate taxes as much as the next guy but right now there is not much incentive to invest R&D dollars into alternate fuel sources with the cost of gasoline being less than $3-$4 per gallon.


People will invest R&D dollars into alternate fuel sources when they need to. Currently we still have plenty of oil so the need is not there. Artificially creating a need by taxing the hell out of oil doesn't really help the common person at the moment and really just serves to line the pockets of a greedy government.


RE: He's right.
By enlil242 on 6/29/2010 1:21:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
He most definitely IS right. The only way to get us off oil is to tax it.


Like, taxing cigarettes is suppose to cut down on smoking? Right. The problem is, governments - local and federal - use this as a way to pass budgets, not try to eliminate the usage of anything.


I have a better solution
By HostileEffect on 6/29/10, Rating: -1
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen














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