There has been an endless stream of talk about gas prices. Lots of too high, why isn't the government doing something, blah blah. Now we get candidate spewing crap about tax holidays and such. No one seems to have a vision of the future. They are just pandering to the public desire for immediate gratification.
This is, of course, where I tell you what is best(in my mind anyway).
The gas prices are not caused by supply and demand. Supply is nearly at an alltime high. Demand is down and we are on target to have a yearly decrease in consumption. Adding more supply by drilling in ANWR or anywhere else won't help as we are not using the gas we already have. We are adding nearly 100000 barrels of refining capacity per day, but refineries are decreasing production because of low demand and high overhead costs.
The question not asked is... should we seek to lower prices or are high prices good for the world moving forward? I would suggest that, in the long run, high prices will be better. Eventually... we will run out of gas. Using gas polutes the air and water, so the sooner we move on to something clean and renewable, the better off we will be.
I would suggesting putting in a plan where people know that gas prices will be increasing, via a tax, scheduled over the next 10 years, say 50.. cents per year. This will allow people to plan on higher gas prices and made good financial decisions based on them. Can't afford to drive 50 miles to work on $8 per gallon gas? Move closer to work. Take public transit. Carpool. These are really all things that people should be doing rather than complaining about the prices.
The extended time frame of my tax increase is to allow people time to adjust, to get out of leases, rental agreements, mortgages, etc and to figure out how to deal with it. Lots of parents drive their kids to school when perfectly good public busing exists. This should also drive people out of the suburbs and back into the cities, reducing 'sprawl'.
This doesn't even cover the basic financies of the country with our record deficit, shrinking GDP, and growing debt burden. Why reduce income and encourage people to buy products made overseas(gas) during a time of financial crisis? We should be trying to reduce out debt and reduce costs. Its like having a family with 50K of income and 50K of credit card debt when they find out they are taking a pay cut/facing a job loss. Should they increase spending and tell uncle bernie not to bother paying them back that money they loaned him? No, they should cut back on spending, pay down debt, and collect any debts owed to them.
Chance of them implementing my plan... 0%
Being able to tell them 'I told you so in 10 years'... priceless.