Daniels also suggested support for increasing gasoline taxes. Kahn wrote, in a passage Daniels read from Thursday, “One fully justifiable tax would be on imported oil. Any large importation of oil by the U.S. raises security problems. There are, in effect, external costs associated with importing oil that a tariff would internalize.
“Now, maybe that transgresses some philosophical viewpoint of yours,” Daniels told the well-heeled crowd of 250. “But to me, that’s an interesting point today, just as valid as the day he wrote it.”
It’s not completely clear where the Kahn quote ends and Daniels’s own remarks start. But I’m skeptical of the idea. Do our imports from Canada and Mexico–our top two suppliers–really raise “security problems” that justify a tariff?