Problems With Gas Tax
There are at least two problems with the idea of placing an anti-consumption tax on gasoline at the pump.
The first, and most important, problem is that of transparency. Whatever your justification for a new tax -- unless, of course, the sole justification is to punish consumers -- the willingness and ability of tax collectors to prove that proceeds of such a tax are used solely and completely for purposes agreed to by the taxpayers.
All you have to do is look at the TARP fiasco, and I do not see how you can think that a new gas tax will be used "properly" and fully accounted for. At the state level, look at the Education Lottery.
A second, admittedly lesser, problem is the existence of a market force currently at work that will most likely raise pump prices by 50 cents or more per gallon by itself. Since December, an instability between the market price of a barrel of oil and the price of a gallon of refined gasoline has been working itself out.
In effect, $1.50 gas was an aberration not in line with $38-per-barrel oil. When The Pilot reported recently that the price of gasoline was "creeping up," it was in fact pointing to the tip of a small iceberg. We could easily see $2.50 gas without the benefit of a 50-cent tax.
Does Editor Steve Bouser of The Pilot wish to be the local lightning rod for the return of $3 gas?
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