09 June 2008

The most idiotic "I told you so" I think I've ever heard...

And it's from Charles Krauthammer, who had the solution to our current gas crisis 25 years ago. And what is that solution?

Why, it's a gas tax of course!

Some things, like renal physiology, are difficult. Some things, like Arab-Israeli peace, are impossible. And some things are preternaturally simple. You want more fuel-efficient cars? Don't regulate. Don't mandate. Don't scold. Don't appeal to the better angels of our nature. Do one thing: Hike the cost of gas until you find the price point.

Unfortunately, instead of hiking the price ourselves by means of a gasoline tax that could be instantly refunded to the American people in the form of lower payroll taxes, we let the Saudis, Venezuelans, Russians and Iranians do the taxing for us -- and pocket the money that the tax would have recycled back to the American worker.

Oh, he's serious, I assure you. But wait, he's only getting started. Apparently, completely unbeknownst to the rest of the world but knownst to Krauthammer, oil prices will fall if we cut back on our consumption.

Want to wean us off oil? Be open and honest. The British are paying $8 a gallon for petrol. Goldman Sachs is predicting we will be paying $6 by next year. Why have the extra $2 (above the current $4) go abroad? Have it go to the U.S. Treasury as a gasoline tax and be recycled back into lower payroll taxes.

Announce a schedule of gas tax hikes of 50 cents every six months for the next two years. And put a tax floor under $4 gasoline, so that as high gas prices transform the U.S. auto fleet, change driving habits and thus hugely reduce U.S. demand -- and bring down world crude oil prices -- the American consumer and the American economy reap all of the benefit.

Yeah, it's not like we have a dwindling supply of oil, or that India and China are drinking up more and more as they're economies modernize, or that a big chunk of our oil comes from volatile regions with bad people, or that speculators on the market tend to artificially inflate the price of commodities.

Yeah, let's tax it, that'll drive down costs. Who needs to develop alternative fuels? Conservation and reducing consumption? Hogwash!

Sorry Charlie, but you're just fucking stupid.

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