Gas taxes are, according to numerous elected officials in the U.S., the single most unpopular tax among voters. Likewise, when legislators and government officials discuss increasing the gas tax, a heated debate almost always ensues.
Over at the the Economist, Ryan Avent presented this compelling argument in support of raising the federal gas tax:
The current rate no longer brings in enough money to cover current highway spending. Petrol taxes are an efficient way to raise revenue, and the government needs revenue; President Obama's deficit commission recommended an increase in the federal petrol tax rate. Burning oil produces carbon emissions, and dearer fuel would reduce America's sky-high per capita carbon footprint. But a higher tax rate would also diminish the possibility that a sudden rise in oil prices would throw the economy into recession. ... But those prices are rising anyway; better to capture the revenue and use it, all while improving behavior.
Avent's theory that increasing the gas tax could diminish the possibility of an oil-driven economic recession seems to have some merit. Additionally, Business Insider proposes that gas prices be pegged at $5 after 2015 to insure stability. With the cost of crude oil soaring, static gas prices would eliminate dramatic week-to-week fluctuations and make the cost of fueling up, at the very least, predictable.

[Source: Infrastructurist | Image: mandj98 – C.C. License 2.0]


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