Posted: Monday, April 19 2004 by Mark ( Email ) ( Website )

I totally agree. While the idea of the new Ford Escape Hybrid sounds nice, I really prefer the new Nissan Armada SUV. I test drove one this weekend, you and your family are much safer in a tank.

Posted: Monday, April 19 2004 by Mike Silverman ( Email ) ( Website )

Sullivan (who doesn't drive) advocating for higher gas taxes is like someone who keeps kosher advocating for higher taxes on pork products!

Posted: Monday, April 19 2004 by Jeff Alami ( Email ) ( Website )

This guy is a total retard. That being said, it raises an interesting point: can a larger portion of revenues for the government be collected by user fees and sales-type taxes, with a even steeper reduction in income tax? At first glance it seems to me to be a more efficient way to collect taxes, but I'm sure there's lots of flaws I haven't considered.

Posted: Monday, April 19 2004 by Mr. Lion ( Email ) ( Website )

Ultimately, I don't think it matters much how taxes are collected. The problem is spending, and that's what we have to cut back drasticly.

Then we can lower income and service taxes.

Posted: Tuesday, April 20 2004 by bleedingbrain ( Email ) ( Website )

Indeed...conservative? Hah....He seemed like a conservative at first but slowly the sheepskin is rotting exposing him as a leftist.

Posted: Tuesday, April 20 2004 by Damien ( Email ) ( Website )

Without the war Andrew has a tough time looking conservative. But the label doesn't really matter - if your opinions are interesting enough, there's no need to fit any specific niche.

Now for the idea - gas tax. The confusing thing about gas taxes is that they are both progressive and regressive. Progressive because people who use more gas pay more tax. Thus, for two people with 30 mile commutes, if one chooses the Prius and other chooses the Escalade, then the latter driver will be paying more tax.

But the tax is also regressive, as people who only make $20k pay just as much tax as people who make $300k, if they use the same amount of gas.

In America right now we have a progressive income tax system, which is not even linear (no "flat tax"). Switching to service fees and usage taxes would move us away from that, towards a more regressive system. One can argue that that's a good thing, but I personally wouldn't.

Using the adage that if you tax something you get less of it, I don't think we want to discourage the market portion of our economy. Sure, if income taxes were lower, people would have more money to spend.

But if airline tickets cost thousands instead of hundreds, only rich people will be able to fly. If gas were $10 per gallon, a lot of people would be up shall we say the creek. Now there is a big difference between $10 and $1.72 per gallon, but every 50 cents is pushing people who are on the margin into the, er, creek.

People who support gas taxes and other usage taxes - usually liberals in the mold of Gore - would do well to think through the consequences of the policy. The main one would be the end of their time in office.


Posted: Thursday, April 22 2004 by Johnathan ( Email )

Several years ago during a wonderful holiday to the US, I was able to drive all the way from San Francisco to Santa Barbara on one tank of gas for about 20 dollars, which translates at the current exchange rate to about 15 pounds.

In the UK, driving that sort of distance would require me to remortgage the house.

However (deep breath) I think Sulli has a point, though he obviously seems oblivious to the importance of cars to 99 pct of most Americans. First off, if gas taxes rise and income taxes are cut by a matching amount, that might be a good idea, since it gives us more freedom to decide how we spend our money in the first place.

But as a guy said in this thread, the real trick is to cut public spending.

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