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Ray's Modest Proposal: A Graduated Gasoline Tax

edited 2:29AM in The Show
On this week's Car Talk, Ray had a modest little proposal: a graduated gasoline tax.

Starting this year, Ray wants a 50-cent a year increase in the gas tax, until, after six years, we'll be paying another $3 per gallon.

Why? Because Ray thinks it's high time we started conserving oil.

What do you think -- is Ray on to something... or does he have his headlights up his tailpipe?

Share your thoughts right here.

This post has been moved to the new Car Talk Discussion Area, by a Car Talk Lackey. The original poster is TomandRay.



  • edited May 2007
    The low income people are really paying already. If there were any public transportation that had some kind of handicapped entry, I would take it. The drivers have a lot of excuses, they need them, they can't tell you that the bus company doesn't care. If I could carry my own ramp, they probably wouldn't let me carry it with me anyway. Also, the driver insists that you have your handicapped placard or paperwork with you, like they can't tell that I can barely move.
  • edited May 2007
    Ihave listened to the Car Talk brothers for years, and really enjoy them. But, I view their tendency to desire the government to solve all our problems to be THEIR DARK SIDE.

    They are the remnants of a country which had the government regulate everything. it was called the Soviet Empire, and today there are Russian women who marry Mexican men for a better life. Seriously, for those who think I am making this up.

    Back in 1973, there was a fuel crunch, and people wanted the government to DO SOMETHING. In my college class I had a book which gave the figures for dramatically cutting fuel consumption by government interference.

    if you grind the economy to a halt with dramatic increase in fuel prices, everything stops, including all research into new technologies. At this time, it is still not practical to use hydrogen, and hybrids don't yet pay for themselves. But, there has been a tremendous increase in knowledge since 1973, none of which would have happened if the government had killed the eoconomy to cut consumption.

    When the market fixes problems, there is an orderly shift as one item becomes rare, and another becomes more desirable. As gas prices raise naturally, more people will voluntarily shift to toy cars or more public transit, and the eoonomy will continue to be healthy.
  • edited May 2007
    By calling it a "modest proposal" are you comparing this idea to Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"? If so, you should consider that Swift was using satire. He didn't really think the English landlords should eat Irish babies. He was simply trying to demonstrate that if the English landlords were going to continue to expliot the Irish, they were just as guilty as if they had eaten babies.

    So if you are simply trying to stir up discussion on ways to conserve oil, OK. If you really think that any elected official has a chance of enacting your idea, you should open a window in the shop. You have obviously been breathing too much car exhaust.
  • edited May 2007
    Government should NEVER have the right to control any part of the economy.
  • edited May 2007
    If the goal is to stretch our available fuel supplies, I don't know if adding cash to our government's coffers is the way to do it.

    I agree that adding to the cost of the fuel at the pump will encourage people to use less, or find more economical ways to use fuel.

    My concern would be where the money went. I would not be the first to point out that our current administrations record with regard to oil and the conservation there-of is somewhat questionable.

    What I would like to see is whatever disincentive that goes into the pump price go directly into exploring/creating alternatives.
  • edited May 2007
    Ray might be able to afford $6+ for a gallon of gas. I can't. I already work at home and my husband's commute is only 5 miles one way, which is lower than most people's commutes that we know. If gas gets that expensive it's going to hurt the economy because only the wealthy will be able to afford gas for their cars, and stores and restaurants will be closing for lack of customers, thus putting people out of work.
  • edited May 2007
    Sure, go right ahead, tax gasoline more.
    As I zoom buy in my 29mpg Jeep diesel, I laugh, evilly.
  • edited May 2007
    Why is that?
  • edited May 2007
    This isn't what I'd call a "graduated" tax where the more you consume the higher rate you pay. It is a tax that is phased in.

    If I had any faith that the tax would be used wisely to create alternative transportation, I'd go for it, but I am skeptical.
  • edited May 2007

    Get real. I hope your children don't grow up to be Dimocrats too.
This discussion has been closed.