Raising gas tax could diminish possibility of an oil-driven recession

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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