Would $10 per Gallon Gas be a Bad Thing?

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 23, 2010
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I felt that this is an idea worth discussing in its own thread. Would a $6 per gallon gasoline tax, on non-commercial plated vehicles with the revenues going to pay our national debt be a bad thing? I truly believe that this is a win/win idea. It would cut down on our fuel use and greenhouse gasses would make those on the left happy. There would be additional revenue which would make the right happy.

This would cause demand for alternative fuel vehicles which have failed so miserably to increase. You'd see more people wanting to purchase LPG vehicles, Electric Vehicles and Hybrids. The giant SUV's would slowly fade away as people learned that they really aren't needed. Face it, the Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator can only seat seven (eight if you opted for the center bench seat) and there are many much more efficient vehicles that can seat that many.

The USA currently uses about 365 million gallons of gasoline per day. Let's do some simple math… Let's say they collected the tax on 100 million gallons per day times 365 days. That equals 133.225 billion gallons in a year. That is almost $800 billion a year in additional revenues.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,199
1,031
Would $10 per Gallon Gas be a Bad Thing?

You would financially crush and excessively burden those who can't afford to buy a new alternative fuel vehicle.

The giant SUV are fading on their own, replaced by the efficient jacked up station wagon.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
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Projecting tax revenues on a huge gas hike is going to be tricky, the economy would quickly nose dive and there's no way the government could control themselves to alot the revenue for debt repayment when everyone is going to be pissed off at them.

We should be stripping any fossil fuel subsidies and diverting them to r&d for alternatives.
 

Southern Dad

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Original poster
May 23, 2010
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And then no one will be able to afford to go to work. Great plan…NOT. Yes, I know that was sarcasm...I hope...
It was a little sarcastic but not really. Let's think about it. How far do most people drive to work?

That would flop miserably.
Of course, but it is an interesting idea to think about.

Lol yes, good luck getting that past the tea-party dominated Republic party. You I'm sure have seen how enthusiastically they support tax increases, and how happy they are to provide votes for something that's win/win.
But think about the win/win side of it. They don't have to increase the income taxes. This would be a consumption tax that you choose how much you will pay by how much gasoline you choose to use.

On many issues, SD has shown to be his own man who believes what he sees. He sees the benefits of higher gas prices we've had and imagines more benefits if taken further. The punchline would be implementation. Even if one president got it passed, the next would get elected by promising to repeal it.
You are absolutely right, it would take a President with a huge set of cajones. Often it is unpopular to do what needs to be done. You would be surprised to hear that a member of this administration, Energy Secretary Chu once suggested raising the gas tax.

On a serious note it's unfortunate that better infrastructure wasn't developed years ago in some places. If you've ever been to LA, they tried to build a subway system in the 1990s and experienced problems. Today it basically goes from the valley to downtown. There is an extension of some sort to get to both LAX and union station, so it's not all bad. It's just that spacing and infrastructure are nowhere near sufficient to commute without a car in most of California's cities. Mass transit would provide a lot of benefits, but there wasn't enough of a push for it while gas was considered cheap. It would probably have to hit $10 or more per gallon to really motivate those kinds of projects.

High gasoline prices would increase demand for these type of projects making bond initiates popular to pay for them.




In spite of my reply, I think he was being sarcastic.
 

iBlazed

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2014
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There would be additional revenue which would make the right happy.
Who exactly do think comprises "the right"? I would wager the majority of Republican voters are non-college educated and do blue collar work. I would further wager that many of these people drive pickup trucks, especially in the South, and many of those pickups don't have commercial plates. These people really couldn't care less about raising revenue for the government, but more about keeping more money in their own pocket. Nevermind that many of them are only Republicans because of the social aspects of the party, not the fiscal ones. In their minds, anyone who proposes gas tax hikes to cure the national debt would be labeled a "liberal". So no, I highly doubt "the right" would appreciate this.

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But think about the win/win side of it. They don't have to increase the income taxes. This would be a consumption tax that you choose how much you will pay by how much gasoline you choose to use.
Never thought I'd say this, but you really don't get the way Republicans think do you?
 

Southern Dad

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Original poster
May 23, 2010
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Who exactly do think comprises "the right"? I would wager the majority of Republican voters are non-college educated and do blue collar work. I would further wager that many of these people drive pickup trucks, especially in the South, and many of those pickups don't have commercial plates. These people really couldn't care less about raising revenue for the government, but more about keeping more money in their own pocket. Nevermind that many of them are only Republicans because of the social aspects of the party, not the fiscal ones. In their minds, anyone who proposes gas tax hikes to cure the national debt would be labeled a "liberal". So no, I highly doubt "the right" would appreciate this.
Those on the political right tend to want to keep income taxes low, cut spending and have shown a willingness to pay off our national debt but only if it is done without raising income taxes on those at the top. The Fair Tax is a consumption tax that is not only proposed by Republicans but co-sponsored by many other on the right.

The biggest problem with new revenue streams is that there would immediately be those that wanted to spend it on something other than paying down the debt.
 

iBlazed

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2014
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Those on the political right tend to want to keep income taxes low, cut spending and have shown a willingness to pay off our national debt but only if it is done without raising income taxes on those at the top.
Again, do you really think Billy Bob in Bumblescum, Mississippi cares about how much income tax rich people are paying or our national debt? He cares that his gas is cheap. The people you are referring to are the 1% educated and wealthy Republicans who have absolutely nothing in common with the rest of their party, who are mostly blue collar and uneducated.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you strip out all the social aspect of the GOP like gay marriage and abortion and the whole Jesus thing, they wouldn't have a leg left to stand on. The party would be dissolved tomorrow. That's why they leave that stuff in their platform.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
It's been argued for decades that based on the price of gasoline, the U.S. is not paying the true cost of using fossil fuels. It's similar to other environment issues where we willingly burn our house for an economic benefit. At what point will the smoke and temperature increases finally make us uncomfortable enough to change, after we end up living under a tarp exposed to a vicious environment?
 

Southern Dad

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Original poster
May 23, 2010
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Again, do you really think Billy Bob in Bumblescum, Mississippi cares about how much income tax rich people are paying or our national debt? He cares that his gas is cheap. The people you are referring to are the 1% educated and wealthy Republicans who have absolutely nothing in common with the rest of their party, who are mostly blue collar and uneducated.
You are right Billy Bob probably doesn't care but let's be honest, as long as that same candidate is pro-Gun Billy Bob will vote for him. It isn't like he's going to switch to the Democrats.

Have you been to Bumblescum recently? I heard they got a second stoplight.

It's been argued for decades that based on the price of gasoline, the U.S. is not paying the true cost of using fossil fuels. It's similar to other environment issues where we willingly burn our house for an economic benefit. At what point will the smoke and temperature increases finally make us uncomfortable enough to change, after we end up living under a tarp exposed to a vicious environment?
When the water is plentiful you don't worry about the well but when it goes dry…

Think about your own driving habits and things that you observe. How many vehicles on your daily commute had only one occupant? When we get ready to go somewhere do we think about combined errands to save fuel? Do we even think about saving fuel? How many people have remote starters to heat or cool their vehicle before getting in it.
 

iBlazed

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Feb 27, 2014
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You are right Billy Bob probably doesn't care but let's be honest, as long as that same candidate is pro-Gun Billy Bob will vote for him. It isn't like he's going to switch to the Democrats.
Nah, at that point Billy Bob will probably feel so disenfranchised he probably just won't vote.

Have you been to Bumblescum recently? I heard they got a second stoplight.
Do they also have them moving pictures and perfume for your armpits?
 

Southern Dad

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Nah, at that point Billy Bob will probably feel so disenfranchised he probably just won't vote.
You are probably exactly right. And that would be true on both sides. The people who are staunch Democrats wouldn't vote for a Republican and vice versa it's only those middle of the road ones that would go either way.

Do they also have them moving pictures and perfume for your armpits?
Of course, with gasoline at $10 per gallon they would have to all pile in the truck to go to the County Seat to watch the moving picture. Which would be a great example of conservation. They would also combine the trip to the movies with the trip to the gun shop, tackle store and convenient store to buy beer and lottery tickets. So it could be a good thing even for Billy Bob.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
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In Britain and much of Europe, they pay the equivalent of $8 a gallon, and even that is subsidized. Just getting rid of the subsidies for motor fuel (including taxing it to actually cover the cost of the supporting infrastructure) would bring the price of fuel into the ten dollar range. So, if you want to put $6/gallon toward the debt, without taking away the subsidies, you would be robbing Peter to pay Thor.

And, really, the debt is not a simple bucket of red ink. At least half of it is money the government owes itself. The way accounting works, you would probably have to have two PhDs in that stuff to fully understand it.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
As out military provides security for the world oil market, we already pay $10 a gallon, likely more.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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661
Colly-fornia
So... You exempt commercial vehicles from your plan, but then you start trying to sell the plan using numbers based on taxing every gallon the US consumes?

Flim, meet flam. Typical of those on the right.
 

b-rad g

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2010
895
1
The giant SUV's would slowly fade away as people learned that they really aren't needed. Face it, the Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator can only seat seven (eight if you opted for the center bench seat) and there are many much more efficient vehicles that can seat that many.
Can you show me which one of the fuel efficient vehicles that can seat eight AND tow 9000+ lbs.?
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,654
122
I felt that this is an idea worth discussing in its own thread. Would a $6 per gallon gasoline tax, on non-commercial plated vehicles with the revenues going to pay our national debt be a bad thing? I truly believe that this is a win/win idea. It would cut down on our fuel use and greenhouse gasses would make those on the left happy. There would be additional revenue which would make the right happy.

This would cause demand for alternative fuel vehicles which have failed so miserably to increase. You'd see more people wanting to purchase LPG vehicles, Electric Vehicles and Hybrids. The giant SUV's would slowly fade away as people learned that they really aren't needed. Face it, the Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator can only seat seven (eight if you opted for the center bench seat) and there are many much more efficient vehicles that can seat that many.

The USA currently uses about 365 million gallons of gasoline per day. Let's do some simple math… Let's say they collected the tax on 100 million gallons per day times 365 days. That equals 133.225 billion gallons in a year. That is almost $800 billion a year in additional revenues.

the last time we tried to pay off the national debt people wanted more spending
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,104
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IOKWARDI
Can you show me which one of the fuel efficient vehicles that can seat eight AND tow 9000+ lbs.?
With six people sitting in it and a trailer behind, it is reasonably fuel efficient. But when mom uses it to buy a bag of groceries, it is not.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 23, 2010
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Shady Dale, Georgia
In Britain and much of Europe, they pay the equivalent of $8 a gallon, and even that is subsidized. Just getting rid of the subsidies for motor fuel (including taxing it to actually cover the cost of the supporting infrastructure) would bring the price of fuel into the ten dollar range. So, if you want to put $6/gallon toward the debt, without taking away the subsidies, you would be robbing Peter to pay Thor.

And, really, the debt is not a simple bucket of red ink. At least half of it is money the government owes itself. The way accounting works, you would probably have to have two PhDs in that stuff to fully understand it.
It is very true that it is complicated. A lot of people assume that we owe China all the money but the truth is most of it is owed to the USA. However, I don't think anyone would believe that paying it back is a bad thing.

So... You exempt commercial vehicles from your plan, but then you start trying to sell the plan using numbers based on taxing every gallon the US consumes?

Flim, meet flam. Typical of those on the right.
Actually, I did the math on 100 million gallons per day but posted the link showing that the USA currently uses 365 million gallons per day. I believe that my math estimate was fair considering that I was only counting on 28%. This is really not going to happen so we can work on it.

Of course, the insult doesn't really help much.

Can you show me which one of the fuel efficient vehicles that can seat eight AND tow 9000+ lbs.?
You are right there are some limitations to using smaller vehicles so it won't work for every situation. My Lincoln Navigator rarely gets used for towing and is generally used only when I need to haul a giggle of little girls somewhere. I generally drive a Toyota Prius. Many people will find that having a second vehicle works better for them.

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the last time we tried to pay off the national debt people wanted more spending
And that would be the problem… Keeping politicians fingers out of the till. The left would want to fund a new social program and the right would want to fund a new war.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
Actually, I did the math on 100 million gallons per day but posted the link showing that the USA currently uses 365 million gallons per day. I believe that my math estimate was fair considering that I was only counting on 28%. This is really not going to happen so we can work on it.
Where did the 100 million number come from?

Of course, the insult doesn't really help much.
Says the man who calls poor people lazy, and teachers grifters. Civility is a two-way street.
 

TPadden

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2010
628
218
So... You exempt commercial vehicles from your plan, but then you start trying to sell the plan using numbers based on taxing every gallon the US consumes?

Flim, meet flam. Typical of those on the right.
So .... you assume the revenues would be going to pay our national debt.

Flim, meet flam. Typical of those on the left :D!
 

CalWizrd

Suspended
Jun 21, 2011
373
1,554
NYC/Raleigh, NC
Who exactly do think comprises "the right"? I would wager the majority of Republican voters are non-college educated and do blue collar work. I would further wager that many of these people drive pickup trucks, especially in the South, and many of those pickups don't have commercial plates. These people really couldn't care less about raising revenue for the government, but more about keeping more money in their own pocket. Nevermind that many of them are only Republicans because of the social aspects of the party, not the fiscal ones. In their minds, anyone who proposes gas tax hikes to cure the national debt would be labeled a "liberal". So no, I highly doubt "the right" would appreciate this.

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Never thought I'd say this, but you really don't get the way Republicans think do you?
Jeez, could you possibly paint with any broader a brush?
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 23, 2010
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547
Shady Dale, Georgia
The tax law could be written in such a way that the funds could only be used to pay the national debt. This is a far fetched idea that isn't likely to happen because both parties would be in trouble if it did. The State of Georgia passed the Lottery into law back under Governor Zell Miller (D) with the stipulation that all money had to go to education. Years later there was some discussion of changing that law to use some of the money for other things… Because it took a change to the law to make it happen it didn't go anywhere. It couldn't get support.

Sooner or later we will have to do something about our ballooning deficit. That may be austerity measures like Greece or higher taxes which will be equally unpopular. At some point the service on our debt will exceed the amount of discretionary income that the federal government has.