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Gasoline Tax - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
As far as the economics go, it's not a matter of pain for people with lower incomes versus no pain for people with lower incomes. It's some pain now, versus a huge a amount of pain later.

I strongly believe that the major reason people are against fuel taxes is because they are looking at their short term economic interests, instead of long term economic interests for their children and their children's children.
That's exactly right. What's the point in worrying about your children's children's future if you can't afford to provide for your child right now? Of COURSE people are worried about being able to afford gas to get to work to get that paycheck that puts food on the table, clothes on their children and a roof over everyone's head. This past summer's high gas prices proved that. Yes, oil is not renewable and will run out....someday. And, yes we do need to find a better fuel source. I completely agree. But I don't think the tax is a way to do that.

I would love it if my area had a bus service, but the closest bus stop is 15 miles away and even then the nearest bus stop to work is 3 miles away from my building. That is a LOT of walking...I would have to leave for work at 4:00am and wouldn't get home until after 10:00pm. Yeah, I'd be fit, but my life would suck! I do agree more public transportation here would be great, but I'm not holding my breath.

And, the reason people build houses in the country is because we want to be away from the crime, the pollution, the hectic city (heck, I only live outside a town, not a city, and I still hate going there!). Luckily we do have a little grocery store at the end of our road so we don't need to drive 15 miles into town for a gallon of milk.
post #32 of 44
As has already been mentioned in this thread, but bears repeating: gas taxes are much higher in Europe, and as for all the hoped-for benefits from proponents of higher gas taxes here? It doesn't make a difference. The tax revenue is used for something else. And the higher cost just pushes the expense on to somewhere or someone else: higher cost of goods and services, higher wages, etc. Honestly, I'd really LIKE to see higher oil prices. It was while gas was $3.50 - $4.00 a gallon that demand really starting easing off. And it was at that point that people were getting serious about alternative fuels. But I don't want to see those high prices created artificially by high fuel taxes. I agree with another comment in this thread: we've already got enough taxes.

So, all idealism and ideology aside, because it's been demonstrated in the real world that higher gasoline taxes don't achieve the effects desired, and also that the higher tax revenues just lead to higher government spending. If you give them the money, they'll waste it somehow.
post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 
This 2007 article (written before the CAFE standard increases were passed) says that the average fuel economy in Europe was 40 miles per gallon and the average fuel economy in the US was 20 miles per gallon.

If you think that the increase in petroleum costs as petroleum becomes harder to get out of the ground (as we use up the easy to get petroluem) will be quite a sufficient to allow our economy to smoothly move beyond fossil fuels, then it really makes sense to be against fuel taxes.
post #34 of 44
I'm about to hit the sack, too late to read the article, just wondering if it says anything about the differences in the vehicles driven here and there. I doubt if there is as high a percentage of SUV's and pickup trucks in Europe as there are here -- all vehicles exempt from CAFE. It's no surprise the average would be higher there. Expensive gasoline is what finally started the trend away from big vehicles again. People are asking themselves, "do I really need an SUV or a 4-wheel drive, or a tow package?" Now that gas prices are coming down again, they'll probably forget how expensive it was to drive those big vehicles.

The auto manufacturers could develop more efficient vehicles if (1) they were forced to by the government -or- (2) the marketplace demanded them. Obviously #2 requires high gas prices. #1 will be fought tooth and nail by the manufacturers unless #2 also applies.

A conundrum?
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
The theory is that the money would be spent on roads, alternative fuels, and mass transit. The problem with that is that the current gas and fuel taxes are supposed to go to those uses, and much of it is being diverted to other uses. In fact, on paper, the fuel tax account in the federal budget has a huge surplus. In actual fact, the money has been spent on other stuff.

And, of course, the flip side is that the sudden increase in the price of gasoline is at the root of our current economic crisis, since that rise took huge amounts of money out of the general economy and put many people who were only marginally making it into effective bankruptcy.
We absolutely do not need to raise taxes on gas! The government is already getting money for those reasons and not using it wisely!! It is our government that needs fixing! Look at what high gas prices has started in our economy! Have we not learned anything?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
Because when gas goes up everything else does too. We won't be just paying extra for gas.
Yep even though gas prices are down again nothing else is! We are still paying for higher gas prices.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
mrblanche, people aren't buying high gas mileage cars right now. And that's a serious problem. The basic point of the gas tax is to help people who don't have cars now (by paying one-time infrustructure costs to build public transportation) and to give economic advantage to people who drive less often. Allowing markets to work is not punative, unless you consider capitalism and markets to be punative.
People most certainly ARE buying high-mileage cars. The fact that you could listen to the news and make the statement above indicates that you may not be aware of what's really going on these days. High-mileage cars are flying off the lots, and SUVs are sitting unsold. The market is working quite well, thank you.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
People most certainly ARE buying high-mileage cars. The fact that you could listen to the news and make the statement above indicates that you may not be aware of what's really going on these days. High-mileage cars are flying off the lots, and SUVs are sitting unsold. The market is working quite well, thank you.
You are so right, you can get killer deals on trucks and SUV's and all vehicles that are not fuel efficient these days.
post #38 of 44
The gas tax (NYT editorial)
post #39 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
People most certainly ARE buying high-mileage cars. The fact that you could listen to the news and make the statement above indicates that you may not be aware of what's really going on these days. High-mileage cars are flying off the lots, and SUVs are sitting unsold. The market is working quite well, thank you.
Honestly, I'm just pessimistic. I know that sales of fuel efficient cars went way up this summer, but I fear that the very recent lower gas prices will lead to good sales of low mileage cars and poor sales of high mileage cars.

I have heard anecdotal evidence that high-mileage car sales are going down faster than other car sales in the last few months: this story on NPR was what I was thinking of when I said that high-mileage car sales are going down. Two sentences in the NY times editorial that jcat linked is the best evidence I've seen that the low-mileage vehicles sales are going back up ("It took a gallon of gas at $4.10 to push the share of light trucks down to 45 percent in July. But as gasoline plummeted back to $1.60 a gallon, their share inched back up to 49 percent of auto sales in November.") Interestingly, the top selling vehicles in the US this year (January-November) were two trucks: the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. Both total cars and total light trucks sold in the US in November 2008 compared with November 2007 were down 36.7% (from the excel spreadsheet available here). It looks like fuel efficient non-hybrids did much better and hybrids did much worse (source here) than cars and trucks in general. I guess that's not surprising, given that hybrids are expensive and fuel efficient non-hybrids are cheap (although the mini is one of the cars driving this trend, and it is expensive), and the huge variable that is effecting the auto industry in November is the recession.

Only time will tell 1) how long gas prices will stay down due to the recession and 2) what effect that will have on the type of vehicles sold in the near-term future.

However, I don't think either the NY Times editorial writers or I are being news-blind to talk about a decreasing share of high gas mileage cars with lower gas prices. Maybe I'm worrying about trends before there has been enough time to have a trend, but I'm not making statements that contradict existing data.
post #40 of 44
I just came over from another board where the last post I read was a thread about gas prices starting to go back up again already.
post #41 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I just came over from another board where the last post I read was a thread about gas prices starting to go back up again already.
In some areas yes as the tankers are having trouble getting there ...
post #42 of 44
Here's a funny video about future cars, if we let Congress force us to live the way they think we should!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAqPM...&feature=bz301
post #43 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Here's a funny video about future cars, if we let Congress force us to live the way they think we should!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAqPM...&feature=bz301
Are they taking advance orders? I have got to have me one of those!
post #44 of 44
For what it's worth, the wedge-shaped car was an actual electric car produced in pretty large number and sold to the post office back in the late 70s or early 80s. It was a dismal failure, but cute. I'd love to get one and put a REAL motor in it!
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