should the US tax gas more?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #1
    i'm watching (american) football, and have been noting how many car commercials there are during such events, and how BIG these friggin' things are getting. (in particular, the ad w/ the huge Ford pickup truck sitting on top of a rock and growling).

    so i did a little fact checking:
    - U.S. deliveries from primary storage of motor gasoline in July were 9,099,000 barrels/day (1)
    - fed tax on a gallon of gas, 18.4 cents (i think that's a 2001 figure) (2)
    - average state tax, 23.6 cents (again, 2001) (2)

    i'm gonna combine these stats, a little sloppily, but what we've got:
    - using the july 2004 numbers, americans are buying 6,005,340,000 gallons of gas/year (i'm figuring 55 gallons/barrel)
    - that works out to roughly $2,522,242,800 tax revenue/yr, $1,104,982,560 of which is federal

    check out how other countries tax (2):
    so what if the US did that?

    based on the numbers above, a total of $3 fed tax / gallon would get the fed $18,016,020,000 / year, or $49,358,958 / day. with a national debt of $7.4 trillion, which increases $1.69 billion each day, we could actually reduce that to a little over a billion each day.

    or shore up social security. or stop cutting fire dept and police budgets. or buy body armor for the troops in iraq. or actually fund NCLB. or... or...

    the best thing, imo, would be the auto market adjusting and selling higher mileage cars.

    (1) link
    (2) link
     
  2. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
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    UK
    #2
    yes. gas guzzlers are evil, the whole mentality of the us car industry sickens me, i cant wait untill the oil runs out, the sooner the better
     
  3. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

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    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #3
    Vote no.2 for yes.

    How much black-liquidy gunk of the planet does the US Govt think there is down there?

    So count this also as a vote against short-termist political policies [non-country specific]
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Yes they should. You guys and gals over the pond get through WAY more than your fair share of the remaining petrol (gas) in the world. If you had to pay real money for it (like we do!) maybe everyone wouldn't be trotting round in cars/trucks with such huge, uneconomic engines.

    edit: hehe, all the responces so far are from UK members, and we're all of the same opinion. Anyone would think we're jealous of your "gas" prices :eek: :D :rolleyes:
     
  5. sebisworld macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    #5
    They need to do that. The behaviour of many US citizens is simply not responsible.

    What always bugged me though is why so many teenagers drive pick-ups when only few of them actually make real use of them and why is it like impossible to get around the US with public transport systems?
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6

    We, Americans, are a very car-centric society. Having a car is equated to having independence (you are free to go where ever you want to when ever you want to). Especially living in LA I wish there was better public transportation. When I spent a semester in London I loved using the buses and underground so much that I was actually bumbed when I came back home and had to drive everywhere.

    If you can create public transportation that can, in most cases, get you from point A to point B faster than driving people will start using it, IMO. Unfortunetly much of the public transportation in the US are buses and they are typically much slower in getting you from point A to point B than driving yourself.

    My hat's off to the politician(s) that actually try to raise gas prices. It'll probably be the last thing they do in their political careers.

    Lethal
     
  7. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #7
    overall, the public trans system in the US is pretty bad. i'd love to see $1 out of every $3, in my example above, be used to shore up existing and create new public trans systems.

    and if people started driving cars w/ 4x the mileage they get now (not an impossibility, there are already such cars in europe), their cost/mile would be about the same.

    and imagine the overall health benefits if americans started walking and riding their bikes more.
     
  8. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

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    #8
    I thought that a barrel was 42 gallon (beside the point, I know) .... In Europe they pay about 1,20 Euro/Liter with is roughly $4/gallon .... That provides enough incentive to drive smaller vehicles.

    I noticed in general that American's love to keep their office lights burning during the night, keep the airo at home at around 70 so they can use a comforter when going to bed, rather buy 100 watt bulbs, blow the lawn, etc... Impossible to get the energy usage down here.
     
  9. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #9
    hmm normal petrol is around 1.10 € /liter
    (aren't there two different types of gallons ?) diesel is 0.79-0,80 already and still the germans are driving across the border for buying gasoline
    around 0.50 cent tax per liter ..(thats how much for a gallon ? 2.5 $ ? )
    and even at that prices the people are buying gasoline... our minister responsible for the budget was quite happy about the unexpected _additional_ 200 million € he got this year from the fossile-fuel tax

    the best way would be to increase the taxes slowly in that way the people wouldn't really notice
     
  10. sethypoo macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    #10
    We should tax gas guzzlers more, but those who drive Low Emissions Vehicles (LEV) or Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEV) should get tax breaks.

    I'm a poor college student who owns a '02 Civic. I get about 35 MPG and am still running short on gas cash. I live in CA, so I have gas prices of $2.32 per gallon at the moment, and I don't want them to go up again. I ride my bike as much as possible, and mainly use my car for hauling and grocery runs.

    The public transportation system around here stinks. I have repeatedly been late to classes when a bus hasn't shown up on time. Also, since so few people actually ride the buses around here (Northern CA), the bus drivers seem to think they can take the "scenic route" or actually make a food break while on route! Ridiculous, I know.

    I know we Americans and wasteful. But please realize that there is a large number of us who try to conserve as much as possible. Of course, we're labeled as hippies or "nature-freaks" by conservatives as they roar by in the Cadillac Escalades and other gas guzzling SUV's. Pisses me off.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #11

    Not to take this OT but those are some pretty broad stereotypes yer painting. I wouldn't call LA a hot-bed of conservatives and I see more gas guzzlers here (SUVs, Hummers, high performance sports cars) than I did in Indiana (a traditionally conservative state). I think it has more to do w/wealth and wanting to fit in than with political affiliation.

    I think a mix of a relatively slow increase of gas taxes and offering tax breaks, and other incentives, to purchasing cars that are U/LEV's would be a good combonation to get people to switch. One incentive in LA, or at least a proposed incentive, is that if you buy a U/LEV you get a pass that gets you a year of free parking at city meters/parking lots.


    Lethal
     
  12. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    Aug 10, 2004
    #12
    I would like to see a concentrated effort, man to the moon style, to changing the technology and infrastructure to a fuel cell format. Then a progressive, slow at first gas tax to encourage the move.
    Petroleum is a finite resource, while hydrogen is too (theoritically), it is abundant, and the byproduct is water (greenhouse? I don't know).
    I stood up and applauded at home during W's speech directing money and resources to the issue, the problem-although it is a good start, it is a drop in the pond.
    To tax gasoline when there are no other viable options, is a huge tax on the poor, those and who could least afford it. The rich can buy $10/gal gasoline, they just might have to give up the jet or yacht.
     
  13. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #13
    thats how it should be in a urban enviroment ..i only use the car if i have to (hauling,buying lot in the supermarket or driving around with more people) or in the evening when i want to clubs who are further away

    and thats the problem...the us economy is so focused on the automobile since decades that it can't easily switch to something else...and people won't voluntary switch from cheap cars to public transportation (if more people would use it it would offer much better service)

    'my' bus in the morning drives to university (a 30 minute trip through the whole town) drives every 5 minutes from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm (the tram only every 7 minutes) and during rush hour they sometimes insert additional ones because of the pupils...
    outside of the day times they are coming at longer intervalls (15 min bus, 30 min. tram) and at night they have a so called 'nightliner' every hour, who picks up the people who are partying a bit longer
    (it's a 120.000 people town)

    heck even here in a town of only 45.000 people they have abus system with >10 lines driving at 15 minutes intervalls which get you around the town pretty good
     
  14. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #14
    theoretically the fuel cell is a good idea _but_ only if you combine it directly with renewable electricity sources...hydrogen is very power effective etc. but after all you need electricity to produce it ... you know burning fossile fuels to produce hydrogen isn't really helping much ;)
    sooner or later renewable energy sources are the key: wind, water,thermal,sun and (often forgotten) _plants_
    it's easy to build an engine running with vegetable oils (some modified cars/tractors are driving around here already)

    really ? it's a tax on those who buy/bought cars with huge gasoline milages...people won't stop driving cars because of it
    just like the _huge_ taxes on car purchases doesn't stop them buying them

    after all 50 dollar-cent tax increase on gasoline for a whole galone over a period of 3-4 years wouldn't kill people..perhaps some will walk more often (which would help in a different case)
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #15
    Just to clear it up:

    Drum = 55 gallons
    Barrel = 42 gallons (all in US petroleum units, of course)

    And I'm kinda wary of raising gas tax too much. Simply speaking from a socioeconomic standpoint (as opposed to a prudent conservative [as in conservation] standpoint), it hits the poorer classes disproportionately.

    If we had a fair income tax system that didn't so heavily favor the rich, we wouldn't need to be talking about squeezing money out of gasoline use.
     
  16. yuc7zhd2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    #16
    Several very important things
    1.) A higher tax per gallon of gasoline is regressive. The poor would pay a higher percentage of real income than rich people, who are more likely to not care about the tax anyways. The fair way to do it would be to place a higher sales or yearly licensure tax on vehicles that consume more gas. The current tax actually is quite high and regressive anyways, but its almost bareable.
    2.) Although arguments of the US being wasteful are valid, comparisons to other regions are really invalid. This nation is very spread out. Population is much more dense in other nations. I walk when I can, but I can't walk 25 miles to university in the morning, and there is no public transportation option (not just no option that I like because the buses or trains are dirty, there IS NO PUBLIC TRANSPORT).
    We need to come up with a decent public transportation option, make gas affordable for the lower classes, or there will be a nationwide economic shutdown when people can't go to work, and tax those with ego's so big that they need an equally big SUV to contain it.
    Edit: forgot to mention, the US doesn't have a public transport system for a resoundingly simple reason... GM and Ford bought out all of the trolley lines in the early 20th century and destroyed them, literally. The only town mayor that wouldn't give in... the mayor of san fran. Foreign countries aren't the only ones that get screwed by US corporations.
     
  17. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #17
    some good point about the regressive nature of a gas tax. perhaps we could try a multi-pronged approach:

    1. gradually raise gas taxes, over the period of the lifetime of a vehicle, giving drivers and manufacturers time to adjust

    2. give tax breaks to buyers of efficient cars

    3. increase the gas tax on inefficient vehicles

    4. legislate higher mileage vehicles

    5. increase subsidies on public trans

    6. develop more bike lanes and carpool lanes

    7. give tax breaks to companies that subsidize public trans for their employees and/or arrange their own carpooling/bussing solutions

    any otheres?
     
  18. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #18
    Takao, you answered your own rebutal, use solar, geothermal, wind, etc....to produce the electricity to make the H. :eek:
     
  19. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #19
    yes that was my point..it doesn't make sense to burn oil for producing hydrogen...
    how about starting building a few hydrogen powerplants instead of saying 'we will support developing new energy sources' (for me that sounds like 'we will support development of flying vehicles')
    the technologies are there 'ready to use' in some cases
     
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #20
    Subsidise (clean) coal and coal technology. We have so much of it that doesn't get mined/used because foreign oil is subsidised to a cheaper price.

    Then again, I am from Pennsylvania, so I could be biased. ;)

    Perhaps the return of steam cars could give us a boost ;)
     
  21. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

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    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #21
    CAFE was not yet raised during this discussion .... Since 50% of the population seems to be driving pickup truck based cars (a country of farmers as we are :rolleyes: ) , bump the CAFE up to say 30 mpg.
     
  22. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #22
    takao,
    Very good, very well. Also look into MHD, magneto hydro-dynamics. Did work on it in college.


    For those interested in alternate energy, there are a billion places on the web, (please don't audit me to prove a billion, just, there are a lot), to get good info.

    Here is one of my favorites.
    Notice the article this month on the Prius.
     
  23. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #23
    i just recognized that i messed upo hydrogen and hydro electric power plant in my previous post
    you know what i find interesting: i've got a bunch of 'new technology' kinda magazines around (called 'hobby') from my uncle from the years 1968-75 or something like that....i liked the article about gas saving city vehicles powered by a 'hybrid system' (yes that phrase was used)..and the concept paintings were by...GM... surprising that it took 30 years, isn't it ?
     
  24. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a

    sorryiwasdreami

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    way out in the sticks
    #24
    They should tax the living $#!+ out of gas here in the US and spend the tax money on passenger trains and buses (that don't cost more than it takes a car to travel!!!)

    But if our government did that, then we couldn't go to war in Iraq. Oh shoot.

    I love the public transportation systems in Italy. You can go from the largest cities to the tiniest villages on public trans. Cheap. Fast. It is SO efficient and so cost effective that it is just plain stupid to spend 4-5 euros/gallon on petrol.

    They also have energy efficient cars down pat. The biggest vehicles (even cargo vans and large capacity trucks) aren't even as big as our SUV's. Many ride motorini (vespa-motor bikes), or drive tiny, little cars.

    The result is a healthy, bustling street life, clean cities, and cheap transportation. Why haven't we, the richest and only superpower in the world, caught onto these simple concepts?

    Well, because we are the richest and only superpower in the world.
     
  25. makisushi macrumors 6502

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    Northern VA
    #25
    I vote no on more taxes on Gas. It already costs me a fortune to fill up my Hummer H2 and Porsche 911 Turbo.
     

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