Sunday, July 5, 2009

Brilliant New Gas Tax Idea

The Wight Floating Consumer Gasoline Tax

I have conceived what I believe to be a brilliant idea. And an effective antidote to the "Cap-and-Trade-and-Tax" bill that just passed the House by a sliver.

The federal gas tax would be increased to some set number that increases the price of gasoline at the pump. The price could be set at, say, $4.00 a gallon. That price would be fixed by means of a floating federal gas tax. The tax would change periodically say, monthly, as the wholesale price fluctuates in the market, so the retail price of "regular" gasoline at the pump would be $4.00, set for some period of time, say two or three years, barring some unforeseen emergency.

The advantages would be overwhelming.

Consumers could budget based on a gasoline price they could count on staying the same. Operating businesses the same. This would relieve such incredible fluctuations we have been experiencing over the past. It is obvious no one can accurately predict gasoline prices, perhaps only the producers can impose some pricing, but even that is far from certain.

Higher prices, as has been demonstrated, will curtail miles driven and diminish the foreign oil purchased. This scheme would continue what has been started, but would stop the tendency for Americans and its politicians to devolve into our old ways. In the 1970's we all meant well with cutting driving, but when gasoline prices sunk, we began driving and driving bigger and bigger cars; SUVs were "invented" and purchased by the millions. It sometimes takes a stick along with a carrot to cause social change. This is a stick.

Now, the rest of the story.

Innovative ideas for alternative energy technologies could also count on an umbrella price to use when costing out the technologies. This could open vast market opportunities, based on a consistent market price. Inventors and innovators would come out of the woodwork. Entrepreneurs would jump at the opportunities and venture capitalists could invest based upon realistic business plans not wild guesses. The millions of jobs our politicians espouse could actually be created. Immense new wealth could be created.

Because of all these individuals creating technologies and companies, the government could concentrate on basic and applied research and let the ultimate successes be based on free-enterprise. Our government intends to use huge amounts of tax monies on alternative energy, raised, it seems from income taxes supported by both parties and candidates. With my plan, success and failure would be based on hundreds or thousands of possibilities, without politics and centralized control inserting itself to select winners. The tax money will be raised anyway, so why get it from users of energy?

To the extent the tax dollars pile up, government could more properly use motor vehicle taxes rather than income taxes for the desperately-needed infrastructure repair, update/replacement, and maintenance and rapid transit.

Would this be some burden on citizens? Yes. But it would be a more direct burden and one somewhat controllable by users. But it would point out problems to consumers and would not allow Democrats to pick and choose what companies and "alternative" energy technologies from which to extort campaign contributions. It would put power in the hands of citizens as a whole and not those who believe they should command citizens to do as they say. Political royalty. So this concept will NEVER be accepted by power-mad Democrats. End of sad story.

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