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Wed, Apr. 30th, 2008, 09:27 am

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.

Wed, Apr. 30th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)

The $.50 a gallon tax increase isn't going to go over well in this economy, but the premise behind the tax is one I can agree with. I live walking distance to a commuter rail stop, so I commute to work on public transportation. That said - my gas usage is probably lower then most. I value my time at home, and prefer to live near work. I can't imagine commuting an hour to work each way with the current price of gas. Its a waste of time and money.

My sister made a great analogy between gas and obesity, Americas two greatest vices it seems. Gas is a bad habit, just like junk food. Should we give a tax break on cookies to help the economy? We obviously need to change our habits.

Wed, Apr. 30th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)

Right on sister!

Yeah, well, I know that no group of people will every endorse my policy. Individuals, maybe, but groups are too easily swayed.

Also, some people are really entrenched in their hometowns and are not willing move or take a local job.

That, and the tax would be cumulative per year, so it would slowly build up and push people to make better decisions.

Speaking of your cookie analogy, that brings me back to a nutrient/calorie density tax I proposed a year or two ago. It would have taxed food that provided empty nutrient-free calories. Great idea, but again, no one would ever go for it. Maybe when I become dictator... or buy my own island country.

Thu, May. 1st, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)

MOVE CLOSER TO WORK! Have you priced housing in Sudbury; even Northborough? Why ever do you think I live in Worcester...for the culture? Public transportation; between Worcester and Sudbury...don't think so. Why do you live so far from work; oh yeah...the culture!

Thu, May. 1st, 2008 11:21 am (UTC)

Ah, but once the people in Sudbury move into boston(where they work), more housing will be available in Sudbury.

This is why the tax is phased in to allow the shuffle to happen and not to hit people all at once. You'd need to give it time for the distribution of people to shuffle closer to work. Eventually the ever increasing tax on gas would make Sudbury too expensive for anyone who didn't actually work in Sudbury.

Thu, May. 1st, 2008 11:22 am (UTC)

That and there are no strip clubs in Sudbury... well, none that I know of.

Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)

Ya, so I would still have to make the Worcester/Sudbury round-trip everyday so in my case it's a wash either way!

Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)

I see Norm's still a perv...lol.

Mon, May. 5th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)

Hey Phil... you still around? Still married?

Mon, May. 5th, 2008 10:21 am (UTC)

Why Norm? You looking for a little fling. A change of pace?

Mon, May. 5th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)

I'd turn straight first Kyle, lol.

Mon, May. 5th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)

Getting divorced and moving to Boston, gawd where have you been? lol

Mon, May. 5th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)

Last I heard you were moving to the Philippines...