Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Inconsistency (gasp!) From Someone Who Thinks Gas Taxes Should Be Raised

Thanks to NewsAlert (see blogroll at left) I was alerted to this column from the American Enterprise Institute. The author thinks gas taxes should be raised by a dollar a gallon, with the increased tax money to be spent on a smorgasbord of socialist programs. Here's my favorite reasoning of his, however:

Every time I am stuck in traffic, I wish my fellow motorists would drive less, perhaps by living closer to where they work or by taking public transport.

Do you think, Comrade Mankiw, that your fellow motorists wish the same of you?

Apparently with the Left it's not just "Free speech for me, but not for thee." It's "Everything for me, but not for thee, because I know better than you do what's best for you."


Anonymous said...

It seems like every time a liberal is stuck in traffic, another dumb kneejerk law is floated for election.

The solution, to me, seems to be to keep all liberals off the freeways.


David said...

Independent of the apparent hypocrisy factor--consider this: "..as a higher gas tax discouraged oil consumption, the price of oil would fall in world markets."

It would also fall in the US and Cananda, undercutting producers who are developing alternative sources such as oil sands and coal-to-liquids.

If one wanted to address energy security through tax policy, a much better approach would be through tariff on imported oil only.

allen said...

An even better way to reduce gasoline prices would be to stop fiddling with the market.

Of all the monumental idiocies we indulge ourselves in via our elected representatives it's distorting the free market that's most attractive even against a backdrop of uniform failure of those manipulations.

EllenK said...

I wish our local transporation organization had been more aggressive early on and had not bowed to political correctness. Conventional wisdom said that the growth of the city was north and west and traffic patterns bear that out. But our local officials, controlled by the Dallas City Council decided to build the rail transit south and east first. So now you have the issue of an area that is rapidly growing leaving no right of way for rail. So the rail lines have to buy land at higher prices slowing down development. This would have been avoided had they been proactive rather than reactive. Surrounding cities have paid into the till for promised rail lines that were supposed to be here in 2003, then 2007 and now they say 2010. I think that consumers and workers living in suburbs of Dallas that have been paying into DART but have had their services delayed repeatedly should press a class action suit to get a refund. Believe me, DART in Dallas will never make their deadlines, unless it makes them look good on the evening news.

Foobarista said...

The sad thing is that in most other areas of economics, Greg Mankiw is a completely reasonable guy, and a solid economic liberal in the traditional sense of the word (ie, not a statist or socialist, but adamantly free-market). But he's drank the global warming Kool-aid and has to prove he's a Nice Person (tm) by opposing it and proposing expensive statist solutions for it.

He also uses the silly "lemming argument" that massive gas taxes aren't killing Europe, so they can't be so bad. After all, Europe is doing so wonderfully...

MikeAT said...


If it makes you feel better, Houston METRO is even more intelligent. Most of Houston’s growth is west and southwest. So where do they install the first light rail. Down main street from downtown to the Astrodome. It cost per person twice (if I remember the report right) as much to transport someone on the rail then it does on the busses it replaced.

Now, the make up for this, METRO, in its infinite wisdom, cut back on its park and ride routes from the suburbs. Park your car, catch a bus and it’s non-stop to downtown. They are the most efficient in the entire METRO system and they actually take cars off the highways…can’t have that!

Long term, METRO is planning train routes to the suburbs…but the western suburbs like Katy are not in the loop, even though Katy is the fastest growing suburb in the area. Why? Well, five years ago when planning was started on the expansion of I-10 West, the TX Department of Transportation asked METRO for input, if they wanted space on the I-10 for a light rail. METRO refused to answer or said no. So, the expansion plan went forward and just as TXDOT was about to begin contracting for the construction, METRO announces it needs the center of the expansion for light rail. That ended up delaying the expansion project for a few month and METRO lost out.

Organizations like METRO give worthless government agencies a bad name!