The idea of implementing a gas tax is becoming as regular in the national debate as the seasons. Those in favor: the Wall Street Journal and Bill Ford, Jr. Those opposed: John McCain (remember him?). New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman brought the debate back this weekend in his latest column, which calls politicians out for their wimpiness for not dealing with energy issues – including nuclear power and, yes, a big huge gasoline tax – in any serious way. Friedman found an energy economist willing to support a $1 tax on each gallon of gasoline and diesel (oh, how our European readers must laugh at the idea of just adding a simple dollar to each gallon), but politicians say this is "off the table." Friedman writes:
Such a tax would make our economy healthier by reducing the deficit, by stimulating the renewable energy industry, by strengthening the dollar through shrinking oil imports and by helping to shift the burden of health care away from business to government so our companies can compete better globally. Such a tax would make our population healthier by expanding health care and reducing emissions. Such a tax would make our national-security healthier by shrinking our dependence on oil from countries that have drawn a bull's-eye on our backs and by increasing our leverage over petro-dictators, like those in Iran, Russia and Venezuela, through shrinking their oil incomes.
Not very wimpy, that. Read the whole thing.

[Source: NYTimes]
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