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Raise Taxes on Gas & Cars...Fund Alternatives!

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posted on May, 25 2008 @ 06:47 AM
While I realise this topic won't be extremely popular here on ATS, what with so many Libertarians and Republicans, but consider this for just a moment.

Part of the problem we face with rising energy costs is related to increasing demand. Now I understand it's a global issue, but consider is just in the US for example. With a $1.00 increase per gallon, and a 10% fee off of the value of one's vehicle, a lot of revenue could be raised that could go towards building high speed rail systems, light rail systems, expanding rural bus service, and mass transit in metropolitan areas. Plus, incentives towards alternatives could be built into the plan, whereby say someone owns a $30,000.00 vehicle. They would have to pay $3,000.00 yearly to have it licensed to drive. However, if this vehicle got say, above 30 mpg, the person could have a $1,000.00 deduction. If it got 45mpg $2,000.00 deduction...we could get very creative and create some serious incentives for people to adopt alternative energy and transportation. Plus the car companies would want to produce a product that would yield the lowest tax for the consumer who would purchase the product. Moreover, the increased tax on fuel, and on the yearly value would serve as a major incentive for people not to drive or to use the bus, or whatever. In fact, instead of a tax, people could be paid (out of the surplus that this plan would create) to ride a bike, or to take the bus. If they decided to sell their car and not buy a new one, a rebate is granted...

If such a plan was adopted by treaties all over the world we could significantly reduce the amount of oil demand and prices could go down. Also, businesses could be offered incentives for planning pools and off days. Churches could close every other Sunday for instance to help people save gas.

What do you-all think? Seriously, if we added a buck or two tax onto every gallon, and used that revenue to fund research into alternatives, and also to fund new transportation systems; that coupled with the incentives to not burn as much fuel would really benefit the whole.

Ok, shields up max away!!!

[edit on 25-5-2008 by skyshow]

[edit on 25-5-2008 by skyshow]

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 09:04 AM
reply to post by skyshow

just what we dont need... is more goverment control and more taxes...

people can barely afford things now and why cant the car manufactures figure a way to raise the mpg without burdening the consumers ?

i have a better idea...

make it illegal to sell cars that burn fossil fuels...

then maybe we would see some of the new technology such as hydrogen fuel cells...
Hydrogen vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 10:14 AM
I'll try to avoid cursing at the thought of newer and higher taxes. *grin*

There are a *lot* of major problems with this plan. First, let's look at the 'ripple effect'. Jacking up the price of gas and diesel fuel by $1.00 isn't just going to raise the cost of gassing up the Kia by $20.00 per tank (more on that score later). It's going to hit long and short-haul truckers with yet another hike in fuel prices, which will have to be passed down the price chain to the consumer. It's also going to hit farmers fairly hard. I know from growing up on a family farm exactly how much profit margin they DON'T have. Once again, the increased fuel price will have to get passed down the chain. There'll be a (or another) huge impact on commercial air travel, which will carry through into business costs and take more wind out of the sails of the tourism industry. In the short term, your proposal would probably drive several small farmers under, along with several regional airlines. The price of food and manufactured goods would go up as well.

Another problem is that "10% of the vehicle's value" idea. Is that 10% of the value of the vehicle when it's new? 10% of its depreciated value? 10% of its "blue book" value? What if I add things that increase value, like a better stereo, custom paint, or better tires? Do those things up my "research surcharge" ?

Are commercial vehicles subject to this 10% fee? If so, you're going to cause a massive spike in prices for everything, and drive even more people out of certain sectors of the economy. If they aren't, then what stops me from incorporating as "Stormhammer Consulting" and declaring my vehicle to be a company car? Talk about an enforcement nightmare! I need a Tylenol now...too bad that they're going to cost around $2.00 each.

You're also assuming that 'earmarked' revenue stays earmarked. I can guarantee you that it won't. All of that extra money is going to become yet another Congressional hog-trough. Even if you put provisions into the law locking it to a certain purpose, it will be subverted within two years. I watched it happen in Missouri when they instituted a state lottery. Lottery profits were earmarked for when the money started rolling in, the state Congresscritters took one look at all of that cash, and promptly sent it all over to the Education budget....then cut the conventional funding for education by the same amount, and used the cut money for their projects. If you think it wouldn't happen here, think again.

On to other problems. This is going to sound snide, though it's not intended to be. Do you work for a living? My wife and I both do, and your proposal would pretty much land us both in the poor house. "Reduce consumption" isn't always an option. My driving is already limited to commuting 4 days per week, driving to church on Sunday, and twice a month runs to the grocery store. My wife is in pretty much the same boat. Our schedules don't mesh well with mass transit, and the low staffing on our shifts makes carpooling with co-workers impossible. I don't have $57,000 to buy a matched pair of Toyota Prius, and I certainly don't have the $Ins,ert, Rid,ic,ulo,us A,mou.nt needed to buy a house closer to one of our jobs....just how am I supposed to 'reduce consumption' ?

Sorry...your idea would probably reduce consumption, all triggering a rather stunning economic depression...which would pretty much stall the very research you're trying to promote, long before it had a chance to bear fruit. Then there'd be the problem of getting the new technology built, but that's another story.

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 04:25 PM
reply to post by Brother Stormhammer

Thanks for taking the time to type that all out. I would definitely exempt truckers and farm machinery. You made some valid points with that one. For those who dislike taxes on oil, the irony is we are paying the tax anyway, but it’s going to Saudi-Arabia, and it’s $trillions per year!

The problem I have with not doing it is, that it is going to to go up anyway, unless we don't curb our demand, along with development and use of alternative energy sources. Tax incentives and penalties are one way to facilitate this. People may not initially like it but we have been borrowing from the future generations for far too long and burning up all the fuel like there's not tomorrow.

In terms of the airlines, yes I feel bad for everyone that we won't be able to fly across the continent for $99.00 anymore. Airlines should never have been de-regulated in the first place. Airline A has retirements and pensions to pay out, while airline B enters the market without retirements and pensions to pay, and thus has a lower operating margin, can charge less and ultimately drive airline A into Bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Airline A emerges from bankruptcy and in the process screws all the workers who's own sweat and tears helped build that airline into what it was, by destroying their pension, ah but now you argue they can more adequately compete and still fly coast to coast for $99 and compete better with airline B. Fuel increases are going to continue.

Prices are going to rise on their own due to staggering global demand. But if we don't come up with a new national strategy and policy to research/develop alternative energies to oil, and increase efficiency standards dramatically, we are going to be caught outside the bathhouse with our pants down. You talk about taxes; how about the Saudi-oil tax we pay. Next year something like 6 trillion dollars will go to international entities most in the middle east to satisfy our ungodly thirst for oil. It's insane, and yet, essentially, we have no major effort nationally to change this, other than showing up at the pump and handing it over.

I wanted to at least start a thread where we could kick around some ideas. I read quite a bit, and watch the news (even though TV is the worst source for news, but PBS kind of balances out the networks) and I find it really strange that very little of the national political chatter has anything to do with new energy strategies such as conservation, development of alternatives, implementing incentives etc...

My point boiled down is this: Gas is going $10 per gallon and probably higher in the future regardless. We can do nothing and let it happen, or we can be proactive (we should have started the proactively several decades ago!) and work towards preventing economic calamity.

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 04:35 PM
"We contend that for a nation to tax itself to prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

- Winston Churchill

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 04:43 PM

Originally posted by skyshow
If they decided to sell their car and not buy a new one, a rebate is granted...

Along with the rest of the points made here, I'd ask the OP to consider the value of the auto industry in North America. Lot of chickens in a lot of pots due to those guys. Never mind that Asia gets to restrict the import of our cars, but our politicians open our doors to their cheap imports...but that's another thread.

Tell ya what, lets just take one percent of the world's military budget and put it into green transport/transit. Yah...that'll fly.

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 05:10 PM
reply to post by JohnnyCanuck

Starred! Can you imagine what could be done with just a sliver of the military budget? Wow, it's hard to fathom, just like the amount of USFRN's that will be transferred to Saudi Arabia this year to pay for oil.

Talk about waste, look at the military budget. The other night on Coast to Coast (I don't remember the guest's name) the point was made about how aircraft carriers are obsolete because when they do tests out in the gulf or open sea, a half mile behind it surfaces a Chinese sub. If this is true, and they are actually obsolete, we sure as hell are spending a huge amount of cash to keep these floating fortresses in operation.

Nobody likes to think of increases taxes, but why is it any different then saudi or any other OPEC nation charging $135 USFRN per/bar. when it costs them around $3 to $5 to pump it? Now I know there are some other middle folks envolved between them and the pump, but basically it is no different then a massive multi trillion dollar tax on the people of the usa, only the money leaves the country (they of course re-invest in our country, but you know what this means? It means they bank rupt us basically with this outrageous oil price, then buy up our companies with pennies on the dollar).

Something to think about...

[edit on 25-5-2008 by skyshow]

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