Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Short term answers fail long term problems

Safe to say, Matthew Yglesias (and Barack Obama) are right with regard to the suspension of the gas tax during the summer months. That isn't to say that one can't have an honest and rational ideological motivation for not having a tax on fuel, but that isn't what John McCain or Hillary Clinton are arguing.

Rather they insist that its suspension will bring much needed relief from surging oil prices, and that's rather ridiculous. Prices will continue to rise with or without the tax in place and any cost savings will be erased, by most accounts, a month into this plan. In fact, over the course of the suspension, the average American figures to save only a half tank of gas, if that much.

Of course, the problem is that politicians and, for the most part, the voting public view this as a short-term issue when, in fact, it should be examined through the long-term prism ... and that means everything from alternative fuels, more fuel-efficient cars, increased mass transit options, etc. and etc.

A short-term fix would be, say, to reinstitute the tax credit that goes to folks who purchase hybrid vehicles. With automobile producers like Chevrolet moving to make all of the vehicles - including SUVs and full-size trucks - hybrid, this would be a good time to introduce an incentive to spur that market along.


Blogger Rich said...

Not to mention it'll annoy the hell out of everybody a few days after Labor Day when the price goes up by 23 cents.

6:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home