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National gas tax

Is it time to increase the gas/fuel tax?

Immediately! And have that Lame Duck president do it. He’s got nothing to lose.

Everytime we don’t do it, the gas price goes up anyway, and the oil companies get the profit. (Full disclosure: I’m an oil-company retiree, and I get some of those profits).

Business can deduct the tax, cab drivers, traveling salesmen. Tax diesel, too, so we don’t start making markets, moving the problem around.

This solution is so perfect it can’t possibly happen.

yes definately! in the uk we pay around 80 percent tax on petrol,(currently ?4.00/$6.00 per gallon)and it makes us think about using our cars less.i know people have the right to use their cars whenever they want,but we have to start thinking about reducing global pollution.the only unfair thing is that it hits the less well off people more.

Yes! Keep the money here are home rather than sending it over-seas, it’s good for the environment, it will us help move us away from a fossil fuel economy (which we will have to do one of these days anyway), raise money to rebuild our infrastructure, create new high-speed trains. Thank you Click and Clack for taking a stand on the issue!

Vote here at to show support for this cause.

Gas tax is an unfair tax to low income people and families.

Yes! The arguments in favor for the 50 cent gas tax in today’s show were all good. The usual argument against taxes is that when people have less money to spend, salespeople and restaurant workers and others will lose income, default on their mortgages, the economy will tank, etc. But if all the gas tax money is spent on “stimulus”, that offsets it. (But maybe it would be even better to borrow the money for the stimulus now and pay it back later with a gas tax starting next fall?) Here’s one more argument in favor: the gas tax has a built-in “sunset” in the sense that as we replace gas-fueled vehicles with new transportation, the hit on our pocketbooks goes down even if the tax is never repealed. [I also posted this comment to the “Show” forum as dboone2 was starting this thread here – sorry for any etiquette breach.]

I agree, but not having sufficient public transportation is also unfair to low income people and families. Having roads in poor repair increases car maintenance costs and shorten cars’ lives, and that’s even more unfair to low income people and families. Decaying infrastructure leads to missed days of work due to congestion caused by unplanned road and bridge closures or accidents. Medical bills are increased by respiratory problems caused by poor air quality and accidents caused by poor road conditions. Safe and fuel efficient vehicles are priced at the high end, and this won’t change without some mix of regulations and incentives. These are all unfair to low income people and families. If the gas tax is spent to fix infrastructure and build public transportation and support affordable fuel-efficient vehicles, it’s a net reduction in unfairness.

Perhaps we could reduce admin costs by just skipping the tax and mandating that we all just write a large check every week and send it directly to a financial institution or auto company. One of the financial institutions we just sent $20 billion of our tax money to just issued $22 billion in bonus checks!

Yeah, I know, you’re going to say the gas tax goes to build, maintain, and repair highways. Right. And the states use it to cover deficits. Anyone whos’ worked with a “general fund” system of appropriations isn;t fooled by the ploy that it’ll go for roads. It’s a true shell game.

Pardon my skeptacism. First let’s stop the porkbarreling, stop the handouts to poorly run businesses, and stop the appropriations to special interest groups. If we are then not wallowing in surplus (we would be) then I’ll support a gas tax hike.

Yes definitely!! Right on. Do a gas tax to solve the problem!!

A significant increase on the gas tax would help stabilize energy prices. When nearly all of the cost of fuel is tied to the price of a barrel of oil, we are completely at the mercy of OPEC, Putin and Chavez. Mass transit projects and alternative fuel technologies cannot get off the ground before being slammed by a drop in prices. Just ask the biofuels folks now.

If they are taxed and don’t receive a benefit in some other form, sure. But low income people also make choices.

For example we all make choices about where we live and where we work. Yea we really do. If job A pays OK and job B plays more we all would tend to pick job B, but what if that Job B was 100 miles away? You might move, you might commute etc. It makes no difference what your income level is, we make the choice.

If an additional tax on fuel would mean better roads, we would be getting some reduction on transportation cost, if it means less consumption then we all benefit by less pollution. Life is tradeoffs and even the poor must have tradeoffs.

IMHO it would not stabilize energy prices, it would raise them. In a deep recession raising energy prices is not the wisest idea.

How about opening up…even providing incentive for…exploration in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve and expanded offshore drilling?

How about a national technology-based project like going to Mars? Much of what we take for granted…thin film technology, polymer technology, metallurgical wonders, thermal technologies, kevlar, even velcro…originated somewhere in the space program.

Increase gasoline taxes now? Not no, but Heck no! Please pardon my strong language. Gasoline taxes are regressive taxes. The effective tax rate goes down as income goes up. Motor fuel taxes penalizes drivers in cities with poor or no mass transit. In a recession, especially one that verges on a “great depression”, a large motor fuel tax increase will reduce demand thus aggrevating the economic slow down. Deflation is far more frightening than inflation. A gas tax now would be deflationary and make economic recovery more difficult.

Gasoline needs to stay inexpensive until the economy is strong. Gas in Texas is now about $1.49 a gallon. This reduction helps people have more money for living expenses such as food, shelter and transportation. Buying cars fights deflation. By the time this recession or depression is over, there will be pent up demand for new cars, and it would be nice if they were fuel efficient and green.

The time to think about a gasoline tax is when world wide demand goes back up and OPEC raises the price of oil. Then a gasoline tax might be of use in funding building brides and roads and in doing so help reduce the inflationary effect of the demand for oil. A tax to fight inflation would be a good thing. A tax to fight deflation would be a bad thing.

As an alum of Harvard, I know how bad the roads in Massachusetts are. I have not been back since the “big dig”, but I suspect Massachusetts has a plethora of roads on which to spend extra from any source of federal funds.

Again, until the economy is out of the woods, a gasoline tax would be counter productive. Well, maybe if we have a “great deprssion part 2” it won’t matter what the tax is since most of us will be scrapping by to ride the T.

The only problem solved is how to spend your money. What is done with the money is a different question. How would the money be spent? What makes you think a national gas tax would solve any problems, and which ones?

Place a $50/barrel tax (import duty) on imported oil. That’s where it will do the most good and be difficult to avoid or circumvent. It will also stimulate domestic production and provide a vast stream of badly needed revenue. Why give it to the Arabs and the multi-national oil companies??

Put some controls on the futures trading markets. When we were paying $4.25 a gallon, most of that money was going to Wall Street energy traders. The ONLY people allowed to trade in these markets must be actual producers who can actually deliver the product and wholesalers who can actually take delivery of 45,000 gallons of product (that’s one futures contract, 1000 barrels). Those who buy and sell on pure speculation must be banned. Energy consumers don’t need to support Wall Street speculators.

No need to increase the gas tax. It’s already disproportionately high in comparison to other retail taxes. I’d be on board with banning trade speculation though. At least make it so if you decide to buy you must take physical delivery of the barrel of oil.

No need to increase the gas tax. It’s already disproportionately high in comparison to other retail taxes

But other retail taxes don’t go to build shopping centers. Most fuel taxes do go to build and maintain roads.