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View Diary: Polls: Fix the economy, no consensus on tough energy choices, stable view of Obama (120 comments)

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  •  In theory... (0+ / 0-)

    a gas tax would increase demand for things like good, affordable train service. This would cause someone to serve that need, eventually. Also remember the fact that the whole reason the train cost so much more than driving is that driving is heavily subsidized by the government (ie, through road building, maintenance, etc). Shift the subsidies and incentives around and you change these things: that is ALL I'm arguing. It's not some immutable law that cars are the "cheap" way to get around...it's the result of a deliberate set of policy choices that need to be changed for a wide variety of reasons. The American experiment with a "car society" is actually an economically perverse situation at this point, which your complaints illustrates. Also, owning and operating a car is far from cheap, and many people can't afford it at all. It's insane for our society to make it such a huge part of how we do things, as this also contributes to the economically stratified nature of our society.

    As I clearly stated, any policy like that will have winners and losers in the short term. It's still a good idea in the long term. What you're describing (the cost of a particular commute) is 100% a short-term problem, not a long-term one. The gas tax increase is a policy designed to effect a long-term change. You need to think more big picture on this.

    Also, I never said that it should happen all at once. I think it should be raised gradually over time in order to give people and the economy time to adapt before the next increment in tax rate.

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