Can We Just Raise Gas Taxes and Get it Over With?!

"Certain realities need to be faced, even in an election year. First, oil prices are likely to remain high for some time as demand for energy continues to grow at a fast pace in China, India and other developing countries. Second, there is an urgent need to curb the world’s carbon emissions to address the threat of global warming."

"Americans — like the rest of the world — must find ways to curb their use of fossil fuels. Higher, not lower, prices are an important way to spur the needed technological innovation and curb demand."

"The Bush administration’s answer to high gas prices — increasing domestic supplies — is equally simple-minded. On Tuesday, President Bush again lamented Congress’s unwillingness to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration or to allow more refineries to be built on abandoned military bases. He said efforts in Congress to impose restrictions on carbon emissions and tax oil companies’ windfall profits “would make energy even more expensive."”

"There is not enough oil in Alaska to provide a lasting solution. And Mr. Bush’s prescription would do nothing to address climate change or quench the thirst for oil."

"Fortunately, Mr. Obama has not caved to the rising calls for cheap energy and has refused to follow his rivals down this misguided path."

An increase in the gas tax could possibly be a great catalyst to spur innovation in the stale energy sector. While it would be difficult for lower income individuals and the middle class who can hardly fill their tanks currently, the Congress could suspend other taxes for these populations that would put extra money in their wallets. As Thomas Fridman said yesterday, a temporary suspension of the gas tax is not an energy policy. Instead, we need some critical thinking in Washington and not the usual going at it alone policies of the Bush administration and his cronies.

Update: Bloomberg agrees that that gas tax holiday is a stupid idea. [Image credit: cobalt123]