> Michael Johnson, PE wrote:
>>>>Sorry Patrick, but the last thing we need to do is give the government
>>>>one more way to yank money from our wallets. They have more ways to do
>>>>it than we can count right now.
>>>>They need to REDUCE the taxes they currently have on gas.
> Right, then the American consumer is so darn happy with the cheap gas
> he responds by doing what? Well, of course, he consumes more gas which
> in turn drives the price, and the profits of oil-rich countries (many
> of which we are spending huge amounts/$Bs of dollars wagging war on or
> trying to control.), back up.
I want the market to set the price of gas, not the government. If that
means it is $3.00/gallon or $1.00/gallon then so be it. Capitalism
works best when the laws of supply and demand are applied. If the
government want to get us away from oil then they could develop new
technologies for alternative energy sources and give it away to
companies willing to bring it to market. Don't inflate gasoline prices
to the point I have to ride a moped to get around. I'm not even going
to get into how unfair it would be to lower income people.
> Plus, cheap gas keeps anyone from investing in alternative fuel
> sources. It's a nice little cycle. And that's the main reason the
> oil-rich countries walk a tight-rope on prices -- high enough to make
> good money, but not too high to cause investment in alternatives.
I guess the free market system is working if they know they can't
totally rape us on oil prices. IMO, we will stop using oil only when
the clear majority of the people in the country want to use alternative
energy sources. Whether that results from economic, political and/or
environmental reasons is anyone's guess.
>>>>Gas tax hurts the people that can least afford it the most.
> Only if the government doesn't "redistribute" those dollars in the
> forms of compensation -- reduction of other taxes.
Income redistribution doesn't really solve anything. People on the
lower end of the economic ladder need to be given opportunities, not
endless handouts that make them dependent, IMHO, of course. Plus, I
don't trust the government to "redistribute" anything, whether it be
money or cheese.
>>>>The government collects plenty of taxes. They don't need more money, they > >> need to make do with less.
I knew there had to be something we agreed on. ;)
>>>Even though the prices of crude do have an impact there is also the
>>>issue of the capacity to turn raw crude into fuels. There hasn't been
>>>a new refinery built in the US in about 30 years while the demand
>>>curve has steadily increased.
> That's an issue, but the bottom line is demand is growing faster than
> they can pump it out of the ground.
>>>Certain taxes on fuel are supposed to go to pay for the infrastructure
>>>to support the use of vehicles, i.e. roads & bridges. Unfortunately
>>>in many states these taxes go directly into the states general funds
>>>and never do get spent on improving the roads if the roads in my area
>>>are any indicator.
> The problem is we have more roads/bridges than we can take care of. A
> road that was a single lane ten years ago, is now probably two lanes,
> at least. And a two-lane road is twice as expensive to resurface.
>>>Yes driving a high-performance vehicle to & from work is a royal
>>>blast. However, it simply isn't required. The major problem is no
>>>viable mass transit alternative for the majority of the country to get
>>>anywhere. I can drive the 18 miles to work in 30/40 minutes. If I
>>>was to take the bus it would be more like 2.5 hours in each direction
>>>and I still have to get to the bus stop.
> There is no fix to that one. Human nature is we all want our space.
> And space now often means living 10+ miles from work.
>>>The answer is out there somewhere, but I doubt that anyone in the US
>>>government is going to come up with it.
> It's higher fuel prices by way of higher gas taxes. Think about this.
> If you had to pay say... an extra $1K per year for fuel, but received
> other tax cuts to make up the difference what would your response be?
> Of course, you'd find ways to cut your gas consumption, and a brainy
> neighbor or company would search for cheaper alternatives to oil.
>>If the government wants to reduce our consumption of fuel then they
>>should just ration gasoline and be done with it. That way we won't have
>>them digging in our wallets so deep. Personally, I think fuel should be
>>taxed just like any other commodity. Just apply the state's sales tax
> Drop gas prices that far and you'd breed fleets of Hummer-sized
>>Fuel tax is just another way government has found to increase
>>revenue covertly. I don't believe these amounts per gallon tax rates
>>are shown on the pumps. Why do you think that is so? Also, why are
>>they included in the advertised price? If the tax was added on to the
>>purchase like sales tax the public would be forced to know they are
>>getting raped on gas taxes and probably wouldn't stand for it.
> Exactly, and then the consumer would respond to the new lower prices by
> doing the above.
>>The reason I am so passionate about lowering taxes, or at least keeping
>>them stagnant, is that we are taxed at incredible rates when all the
>>local, state and federal taxes are combined. Individually they don't
>>seem so bad but add them up and most of us would be shocked. The thing
>>is that many of these taxes are not based on income so the poor are hit
>>disproportionately hard. Hell, state governments even pray on people
>>through lotteries. Many of the people I see buying those tickets
>>haven't got the income to justify such an extravagant purchase. Do you
>>think the government cares that they are praying on the poor by offering
>>lottery tickets? Granted, no one is forced to by a lottery ticket but I
>>expect more from our elected leaders than to shamelessly take money from
>>people that can't afford it.
> Aren't they required to print the odds of winning on every ticket? If
> folks can't do simple math, or use simple logic, they deserve their
> money to be pissed away. But let's face the facts, most want a
> "simple" way to fortune.
If they do print the odds on the tickets I would wager the print is so
small you need a microscope to read it. It is true that many people are
just looking for the easy fortune. This is why we will always have a
segment of the population that is poor. They just don't want to work,
period. This is why I have a problem with just handing out government
assistance without requiring results. There are a small group of people
that will make a career from playing the system. It isn't fair to the
taxpayer, or the people that truly need assistance, to let these people
be leaches. This is why, IMO, things like income redistribution doesn't
work. It entices people to become dependent instead of self sufficient.
Let's face it there are many, many people who would be happy to take a
government handout over gainful employment. As the old saying goes,
"Whatever you subsidize your create more of it".
>>One day people will put all this together and the politicians will be
>>held accountable at the ballot box. It is happening gradually right
>>now. Why do you think the Republicans have retained the House, Senate
>>and more often than not the Presidency?
> They have big business and the religous right in their back pocket?
> Money + religion is tough to beat/defeat. Just ask Bin Laden.
Respectfully, this is where you are dead wrong. I vote Republican and
in no way fit the stereotype you just stated. I am self employed and
haven't been to church in years. The reason I vote Republican is
because for me there is no better alternative that stands a snowball's
chance in hell of winning an election. I don't care about any of the
religious issues. I do care greatly about conservative economic issues.
I am actually more Libertarian that anything. I just know that voting
Libertarian in today's world is a waste of my vote. One other thing I
know is that should liberals get their agenda enacted they will run this
country off a cliff economically and from a national security standpoint.
Bush didn't get 60+ million votes because all the church's got the vote
out and all the corporate CEO's voted. He got them because a vast
majority of people are tired of having issues like gay marriage, gun
control, tax increases, etc. rammed down their throats. The majority of
the people in this country hold conservative leaning views when it comes
to taxes, gay marriage, gun control, government intrusion in everyday
lives to name a few. Bush's votes were not from a legion of red-state
rednecks. They were from a broad cross section of the country. He made
percentage gains in all ethnic and gender groups from the 2000 election.
No political talking head gave him a chance if Kerry got more than 54
million votes. The point being is that what many think is a traditional
Republican vote just doesn't fit anymore. After the 2004 election it
should be clear that Republicans positions are more mainstream than
anyone thought possible.
>>The biggest reason is they are the only party that is willing to cut taxes.
> They're not cutting sh*t. They're building debt. Yeah, they give you a
> little tax break here and there, but they're paying for it with a check
> they don't have the funds for.
IMO, we basically have two choices. First is to lower taxes and run a
higher debt (BTW, our debt relative to GDP is better than any other
developed country) and the second is to have us taxed excessively and
still run up the deficit. Of these two, I'll take the first. If you
expect Congress to control their spending then you're delusional. At
least lower taxes will fuel economic growth which in turn increases tax
revenues. All excessive taxing will do is stagnate economic grow and
reduce tax revenue which will result in a perpetual downward spiral.
>>Even they aren't doing it enough to suit most people. It is happening here
>>where I live at the local level. People can't understand why there property
>>taxes are sky rocketing when inflation isn't. The expenses of the local
>>government aren't increasing 20% a year so why are their local taxes. The
>>average person is starting to see what is being done to them from a tax
>>standpoint. It may take a few more election cycles but I believe there
>>will be a major shift in the public's attitude toward how they are taxed.
> Oh, it's coming. But unfortunately the debt will still need to be
Not really. It will need to be "serviced". It will never be paid off.
>>Well, I feel better after that rant. :)
> Me too.
Feels good, huh?
> '93 Cobra