The Corner

Gas Tax Cont’d

Some feedback from readers (who says I don’t believe in transparency!):

So you want to raise gas taxes, huh? And you’re telling me every falling price that breaks my way amounts to a tax-cut? I guess that means every cent I make belongs to the government. That I work for the government – and not the other way around.

And I’m supposed to believe that all this crap about infrastructure “investments”, as if they wouldn’t simply be payoffs to Democrat pressure groups.

Here’s a suggestion.  How about that old idea of cutting spending?

And:

Jonah…are you nuts? “That is, if gas taxes are ever going to be raised at all?”  The government is already taking too much money out of the economy.  Why would a “conservative” ever consider, much less propose, raising taxes? It isn’t our job to figure out a way for Obama to pay for his new New Deal.  We need to offer conservative alternatives to his tax-and-spend policies, not ways to help him push it forward. “Conservative” suggestions like yours are why we are now the minority party.

And:

Jonah,

 

I blame Cosmo’s influence for you support for raising gas taxes.  Next thing we know, you’ll advocate the elimination of the Bush tax cuts in order to fund a massive public works to build fire hydrants.

 

Keep up the good work.

And:

I’d go for that if the problem were that the gov’t isn’t getting enough money.  But that’s not the problem.  They have enough.  It’s time to stop increasing their allowance every time they mismanage what they already get.

Me: I’ve answered some of these in the update to my original post below. But let me say two things: First: we know the spending is coming no matter what. The US government is already on the hook for nearly 8 trillion dollars because of the various bailouts alone. Obama intends to spend somewhere between $500 billion and $1 trillion in additional infrastructure “investments.” That will happen. So simply talking about how it would be better if we spent less money is sort of like talking about how it would be better if Dungeons and Dragons could be played on the holodeck.

Second, I’m well on record being in favor of cutting  other taxes during this bailoutapalooza. I’ve even advocated suspending the income tax for a year.  So if people want to cut counter-productive taxes in order to “pay” for more productive ones — like gas taxes — that’s A-OK with me.

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