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Nearly 3 months ago when I wrote the original Raise the Gasoline Tax diary, the average price of gasoline stood at $1.929.

After bottoming out at 1.616 per gallon in December however, gasoline prices have risen 20% to $1.965 and are threatening to pass $2 a gallon again.

The decline in the price of gasoline from $4.17 to the current $1.965 amounted to a defacto tax cut worth hundreds of billions to American drivers across the nation. Those hundreds of billions were previously being sent overseas to nations like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia. Those countries do not have our best interests at heart and were asserting themselves against us in bolder and bolder ways until the recent decline.

It's long past time to use this opportunity to strengthen ourselves; this calls for shared sacrifice from all of us.

A report in 2005 stated that $1.6 trillion over 5 years was required to bring our infrastructure up to code.

Today? The cost has risen to $2.2 trillion due to the neglect of the Bush Administration.

In short, we cannot wait until the economy is stronger before implementing a gasoline tax to stem rising prices and demand. Americans unfortunately have an all too short memory when it comes to cars and gasoline usage: Truck and SUV sales rising as gas prices drop

And yet, we cannot put even greater burden on the least of us who have lost their jobs, seen their mortgage payments rise, their credit card interest significantly increase, or the cost of their healthcare continue going through the roof.

So what alternative do we have?

Last year my husband (/rant/ not legally since gay couples aren't allowed to get married, but we've been together for almost 9 years, living together almost 8 years. he's my husband dammit /end rant) and I made more than $210k. We save and invest more than $4k a month between our retirement accounts and liquid savings and bought our first home almost a year ago.

In short, we can afford an increase in our taxes. So can every other family who is in the top 5% of all income earners in the nation.

Ask yourself why is it that Social Security ceases taxation at $106,800?

The current rate of taxation is 6.2% up to $106,800 for average Americans. If that rate were reduced to 3%, the real tax cut for the median American household making $50k would amount to $1600. For those making up to the current limit of $106,800 the tax reduction would be $3400.

That kind of savings would make a significant difference in the lives of Americans ($150-$280 month) and would go a long way to alleviating the pain so many are going through.

Conversely, instituting the Social Security Payroll tax at 6.2% for ALL individual income above $106,800 would cover the shortfall created by lowering taxes on the rest of the American public as well as create a surplus of $100 billion annually.

In effect, the payroll tax deduction would offset the increase in the gasoline tax for the 90% of working Americans subject to it.

It would also have the effect of reversing the perverse wealth redistribution taking place over the past several decades.

Why do this, some will argue? Won't the offset in payroll taxes do nothing to change individual's driving behavior?

It certainly will. If you're someone who is suffering through hard times and you receive a couple hundred dollars per month in tax relief, are you now going to buy a Hummer if you see the price of gasoline increased to $3-4 a gallon?

No?

By implementing this tax, we not only reverse the wealth redistribution, we also change behavior. And that is the crux of this tax.

Change behavior of American drivers, reduce our dependence on oil (foreign and domestic), and beef up our national infrastructure.

That said, the following is the diary I wrote several months ago detailing what could be done with this windfall. But before posting that, please use the following links as clues to what others are saying on this crucial subject.

It's Time to Raise the Gas Tax

OPEC Loses Its Muscle

Black Gold: It's Time to Raise the Gas Tax

Plunging Gas Prices Fuel Sharp Rise in Truck, SUV Sales

Win, Win, Win, Win, Win..

Phoenix finally hops on the train

This oil man favors a gas tax hike

The problem with cheap oil

Oil Supply Crunch in 2010?

The Following Was Originally Posted November 23rd, 2008:
First a little history.

As you can see, the price of gasoline has fluctuated greatly over the past 30 years. By and large, however, the price of gasoline has remained dependent on world economic output and fuel efficiency.

In the 1970s, OPEC held the world hostage with two enormous increases in the price of oil. In response, western nations such as Germany, France, and the United States implemented higher fuel efficiency standards as well as increased funding for public transportation.

As evidenced in the graph above, there have only been two large and sustained dips in world oil consumption. The first occurred in the mid-to-late 1970s during the shocks of 1973 and 1979. The second sustained dip occurred during the 1980s.

The first dip, small as it was, coincided with economic recession due to artificially high oil prices. The second, larger, and more sustained dip, however, was due to the widespread adoption of higher fuel efficiency standards.

In other words, the political will existed at that time to enact stringent laws to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

In the United States, the introduction of CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy, more than doubled our fuel efficiency almost overnight.

So what happened? Car companies, weak willed politicians in Washington and in State legislatures, and the American public were lulled into a sense of low-priced energy as a permanent state of being. Rather than use the opportunity of low prices to set even higher fuel efficiency standards and raise fuel taxes to keep consumption low and pay for public transportation, we instead saw the boom of Suburban sprawl, also known as the "Exurbs". Powered by cheap gasoline, Americans clamored for SUVs, Mini-vans, and other light-truck vehicles rather than the smaller and more fuel efficient cars sold in Europe and Japan.

And finally when the demand for oil outstripped the fuel efficiency standards put in place in the 1970s, the price of a gallon of gasoline began its long and steady climb upward again. When adding in the exploding economies of India and China, a combined 2 billion people modernizing at an astonishing rate, and the demand for oil has skyrocketed.

But what have we seen in terms of oil supply?

While demand has increased significantly, the world's oil production has stayed relatively the same or fallen. That can only mean higher prices under any circumstances.

So while you have the republicans such as Sarah Palin saying we have to drill our way out of this mess, the truth of the matter is that we can only provide 2-5% of world oil production. And that's if we destroyed every pristine environment in the nation in order to get at the oil.

And wouldn't you know it, that's just what the Bush Administration has been trying to do with opening up Offshore Drilling, trying to drill in ANWR, and now most recently going after the oil shale held in the rockies.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/...

All of this misses the fundamental problem facing us. Dwindling supplies and exploding demand.

That said, the reason why oil prices have fallen so precipitously is because oil speculators believe the world economy will fall into recession, lessening demand significantly.

In light of this historical information, we need to take the steps now, while we have the attention of the american people, to raise the gasoline tax and put a floor on gasoline prices and consumption.

As stated before, currently the national gas tax is $0.48. Of that, roughly $0.18 goes to the federal government. With that tax, the federal government is able to raise roughly $25-$30 Billion annually, give or take a few billion.

With national gasoline prices at $1.929, an increase of the federal portion of the gas tax from $0.18 to $1.25 would increase the average price at the pump to $3 a gallon, a price still 27% lower than it was when prices hit $4.11 on average earlier this summer.

That would effectively increase tax revenues to the federal government up to $208 Billion. This would have multiple effects:

  1. When the base price of gasoline rises again to $3, national demand would reflect prices similar to that experienced this past year when miles driven fell at the steepest rate ever in March and May.

In other words, driving patterns did not change until national prices hit $4 per gallon this year. Until that point, people continued to drive, and in fact increased their driving.

  1. In 2001, the GAO estimated that building a high-speed railway system in the highly-trafficked Northeast Corridor, rivaling the TGV in France and the Bullet Trains in Japan, would cost upwards of $70 billion over 20 years.

20 years folks. That's $3.5 billion per year, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the increase in tax revenues.

Now you may ask, "What about the other states?"

The key here is to service the areas of the country that have the highest population density first, and then expand out. And as you can see, the highest population density of the nation is the Northeast corridor by far, and east of the Mississippi by far.

In that vein, John Kerry has proposed the High Speed Rail For America Act which would have the following effect if successful:

But even this is a drop in the bucket compared to what could be spent on a national system as it would allocate only $24 billion over 6 years, or $4 billion per year.

That's nothing compared to the investment France makes in the TGV, per capita.

Building a high speed rail system east of the Mississippi and along the western coastline of the United States, rivaling France and Japan, would  cost $80 billion annually over the next 10 years.

http://campusprogress.org/...

The main reason other countries are so far ahead in HSR is simply because they are investing more. France spends 20 times as much per capita as the United States on rail. This breaks down to $67.66 per person in France versus $3.28 per person here. As this legislation works its way through Congress and as transportation issues become increasingly important over the next few years, here are the facts about high-speed rail.

Of course, we would have the advantage in being able to use the latest technologies to build an all new network without having to worry about legacy costs as the French do. We could also begin to take advantage of technologies such as MagLev to get a step beyond current high speed rail.

  1. We could fund significant investments in Solar, Wind, Geothermal, and other renewables.

In particular, look at technology advances we've seen for Wind.

http://www.technologyreview.com/...

ExRo's new design replaces a mechanical transmission with what amounts to an electronic one. That increases the range of wind speeds at which it can operate efficiently and makes it more responsive to sudden gusts and lulls. While at the highest wind speeds the blades will still need to be pitched to shed wind, the generator will allow the turbine to capture more of the energy in high-speed winds and gusts. As a result, the turbine could produce 50 percent more power on average over the course of a year, says Jonathan Ritchey, ExRo's chief technology officer. Indeed, in some locations, the power output could double, says Ed Nowicki, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Calgary, who has consulted to ExRo.

Currently the strongest wind patterns in the United States are found in the corridor running from Montana/North Dakota down through Oklahoma and Texas. Add in the Great Lake states such as Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota, which also see strong winds, and this country could significantly increase its Wind power output.

State: South Dakota
Current Wind Power Generation: 186.76 MWatts
Potential Wind Power Generation: 117,200 MWatts

State: Ohio
Current Wind Power Generation: 7.42 MWatts
Potential Wind Power Generation: 416 MWatts

State: Oklahoma
Current Wind Power Generation: 689 MWatts
Potential Wind Power Generation: 82,700 MWatts

State: Montana
Current Wind Power Generation: 165.03 MWatts
Potential Wind Power Generation: 116,000 MWatts

State: Nebraska
Current Wind Power Generation: 73.38 MWatts
Potential Wind Power Generation: 99,100 MWatts

State: Texas
Current Wind Power Generation: 6297.35 MWatts
Potential Wind Power Generation: 136,100 MWatts

All information found at http://www.awea.org/...

Now with the current infrastructure in place, Wind supplies roughly 1.5% of our energy needs today. How much has been invested in Wind to date? $28 billion. From the 1980s to today, only $28 billion.

Imagine what could be done with an annual investment of $28 billion for the next 10 years?

But it doesn't end there.

Losses from our antiquated power grid have estimates at $80 billion a year. This is primarily due to losses incurred by power outages, data corruption, etc.

Costs by Sector The study estimates the total cost to the U.S. of power interruptions at about $80 billion per year. Of this, $57 billion (73 percent) is from losses in the commercial sector and $20 billion (25 percent) in the industrial sector. "The reason for the commercial sector’s high share of these cost is the large number of commercial sector customers, which includes small as well as large businesses, and the high cost per outage per customer," notes Hamachi-LaCommare. The industrial sector’s cost per outage per customer is significantly higher than those of the commercial customers, but there are only 1.6 million industrial customers, compared to 14.9 million commercial customers.

The authors estimate residential losses at $1.5 billion, or only about 2 percent of the total.

$80 billion annually. Let that sink in for a moment.

How much would it cost to modernize our national grid so that we could take our existing power generation capabilities, add the new power generation to it, as well as allow more efficient sales between states as well as individuals who generate excess power (think solar panels installed on your roof)?

$75 billion

High-voltage wires mounted on towers erected on narrow (200-foot) rights of way can quite easily move huge amounts of power, over thousands of miles, with very modest losses. Direct-current systems operating at about 600,000 volts are optimal for certain applications; alternating-current systems operating at close to a million volts are more suitable for many others. A single line operating at 765 kV AC can transmit almost 1 percent (4 GW) of the total average power generation of the entire United States, or 0.5 percent of the power that Americans collectively consume during the most power-hungry minute of the year.

According to one recent analysis, windmills located principally in the heartland could meet over 25 percent of current U.S. electricity requirements (or 20 percent of projected demand in 2030) if linked to population centers across the country by 19,000 miles of high-voltage grid.[13] Such a grid would cost an estimated $60 billion to build. A somewhat larger, 21,000-mile grid designed to network all major sources of electricity, including wind, might look something like the one shown in the accompanying conceptual map, and would cost about $75 billion. That would add roughly 0.3 cents to the current 9-cent average retail price of electricity.

Here is the study:

http://www.aep.com/...

And look how much goes wasted every year because we cannot shuttle energy efficiently to the areas of the country that need it.

But here's the kicker:

Electricity—not oil—is the heart of the U.S. energy economy. Power plants consume as much raw energy as oil delivers to all our cars, trucks, planes, homes, factories, offices, and chemical plants. Because big power plants operate very efficiently, they also deliver much more useful power than car engines and small furnaces. On their own, our passenger cars consume less than half as much raw energy as our power plants, and turn it into useful power at the wheels about half as efficiently. If we could plug our cars directly into the electric grid, and choose the best time and place to plug them, idle capacity in existing plants could power almost all the miles we drive. With a 10 percent boost in production, the grid could also take care of all the heating supplied by oil-fired home furnaces.

Electricity is also comparatively cheap. If we could deliver electricity straight to electric motors connected to our wheels, it would deliver miles at a price that most current car engines could match only on gasoline priced under a dollar a gallon. Delivered to our homes at off-peak prices, electrical heat would cost homeowners a lot less than $4-a-gallon heating oil. Electricity is cheap because the gigantic furnaces and boilers that spin million-horsepower turbines and generators run almost entirely on fuels that cost much less than oil. As a result, we spend roughly half as much on electricity—about $350 billion a year—as we’re currently spending on $100-a-barrel oil, and electrically powered systems do more, faster and better, than oil-fired alternatives.

So let's see what we've learned:

  1. Increase the federal gasoline tax from $0.18 to $1.25. Raise up to $208 billion in additional revenue.
  1. Subtract $80 billion annually for the next 10 years developing national high speed rail that would rival the French and Japanese.
  1. Subtract $15 billion annually for the next 10 years building a 21st century power grid (figure you'll have cost overruns).
  1. Subtract $45 billion annually (5x the amount invested in 2007) for the next 10 years building out our Wind power generation capabilities.

That still leaves $68 billion annually to develop and deploy Solar in the perpetually sunny states of California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Not to mention aiding in the development of bio-diesel (not corn ethanol, please by god), fully plug-in electric cars, and fixing our bridges, tunnels, and roads.

This is a future that we can realize folks. What is the alternative? Leave the gas tax the way it is today, the world economy recovers, and gas prices rise back to where they were. Instead of raising $200 billion annually to spend here at home, we'll be sending that potential tax revenue overseas.

I hope to god that the Obama administration sees this and implements the increase in the gas tax soon. While the national mood is ready for it and while people still have memories of $4 gasoline in their minds, it must be done. Because I can tell you that once people have adjusted to cheaper gasoline, it'll be too late.

We don't have much time to act. Thanks for reading.

Originally posted to Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 12:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  wow. kudos for your patience. (5+ / 0-)

      Jesus ain't comin', go ahead and put the Nukes back now.

      by RisingTide on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 12:53:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Crude has been going down at the same rate... (0+ / 0-)

      ...gas at the pumps has been going up. The election is over so high gasoline prices can't hurt anymore Republicans and oil soaked Democrats therefore were are being gouged again even as crude price drops. The pricks can't say no to temptation to soak us even as the economy is failing and they are making it worse...AGAIN.

      Nationalize the frigg’en oil corporations and put a retroactive tax on their huge profits over the last two years and apply it to the stimulus package then run the oil corporations for profit to finance the recovery, that seems fair to moi.

      The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

      by Bobjack23 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 02:46:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not entirely accurate or fair. (0+ / 0-)

        Gas prices have dropped 53% from their highs, less than the 69% drop of crude, because refiners are cutting back on the amount they're supplying due to waning demand, not because they're price gouging.

        Besides, I wouldn't call a $0.30 increase since December gouging. It's certainly not like the $1-2 increase we saw last year.

        That said, the gas tax implemented in the way I've outlined is the way to go to resolve this issue while relieving the most Americans of the stresses of gas prices.

        President Barack Obama - #44

        by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 02:52:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I mind, I would, and I don't buy it. (0+ / 0-)

          Nationalize the industry.

          I was talking about since gas started back up that it has matched the drop in crude since that point and it has.

          Furthermore I'm just about as interested in being fair with the oil monopolies as am interested in sipping their product through a straw or they have been interested in the general welfare. They interfere in our government to the detriment of nearly everyone not in the industry and have no interest in stopping global warming and other pollution, I could care less about the greedy hogs they have had their day now the general welfare of the country has to supercede and use them for its benefit.

          The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

          by Bobjack23 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:32:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  At what point are you referring to when you (0+ / 0-)

            talk about the drop in crude and the rise in gasoline?

            President Barack Obama - #44

            by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:34:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think I was clear on that. (0+ / 0-)

              twice

              The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

              by Bobjack23 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:35:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm talking timeline. In other words I'm asking (0+ / 0-)

                for evidence of your claims.

                President Barack Obama - #44

                by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:37:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  When the price of gasoline started back up localy (0+ / 0-)

                  ...the price was $1.54 a gal. for regular and crude was %52.00 bbl(spot). Last week gas went to $1.89 a gal. for regular and crude fell to $39.00 BBl(spot), not Regulas is 195 and today crude was 37.41 bbl spot), Ok

                  Now I've played prove it long rnoug

                  The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                  by Bobjack23 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:50:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  correctiom: now regular is $195 a gal. (0+ / 0-)

                    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                    by Bobjack23 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:51:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Understood. I hope you understand that you can't (0+ / 0-)

                      use local fluctuations in the gas market. You have to use the national trends as that is the way you smooth out variations.

                      By that macro measure, crude prices haven't dropped the same way that gas prices have risen.

                      President Barack Obama - #44

                      by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:56:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You were not accurate and you should acknowledge (0+ / 0-)

                        ... the fact. Divide 1.95 into 40 and 15 into 52 then compare the results. Gasoline went up at approximately the same rate as the crude went down.

                        The spot price of crude is not local and locally we are about average for the country as a rule.

                        Now like I said I've played prove for long enough have a nice day.

                        The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                        by Bobjack23 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 04:08:43 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The price of crude in December, when gas bottomed (0+ / 0-)

                          out nationally at $1.616, was $33. Since then, the price of crude is up around $40 while the price of a gallon of gasoline is at $1.95.

                          Both are roughly 20% price increases.

                          Want to try again?

                          President Barack Obama - #44

                          by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 04:14:09 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

  •  i think dems thinking it's bad timing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger, Rick Winrod

    With people losing their jobs and all.

    •  It'll never be the right time. With the economy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rick Winrod, JesseCW, txcatlin

      tanking, people argue that it's not the right time to raise the gasoline tax.

      When the economy recovers and gasoline prices are again north of $3-$4 a gallon, it won't be the right time either. Why? Because the extra taxation will cause the economy to falter.

      Or so some will argue.

      We need to do this now.

      President Barack Obama - #44

      by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 12:59:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Winrod, Yalin

    This was really informative.

  •  May our leaders have the political courage... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Winrod, Yalin, JesseCW, txcatlin

    that you request of them.

    And hopefully they'll index the gas tax to inflation this time so that we don't have to keep revisiting this issue.

  •  Judging by reaction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Winrod, JesseCW

    of my family and friends after Governor Patrick proposed it, it's going to be a tough fight to get it done.

  •  Gas Pump Prices Going UP (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tigerdog, Rick Winrod, Yalin, JesseCW, jbjowe

    this time because refineries are cutting production. Crude is still going down.  Wondering if this means at least the obscene profits are staying in America?
     And I do totally agree - it's time for a gas tax increase (from a member of the unemployed who can't personally afford it)

    •  Indeed, because of falling demand. Yet as soon (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tigerdog, Rick Winrod, JesseCW

      as prices go up again, that extra money is going overseas.

      President Barack Obama - #44

      by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 01:08:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  $2.27 in El Centro, CA (0+ / 0-)

      Drove up from Mexico to El Centro, spent the night at a motel before heading onward. At the 7-Eleven across the street gas is $2.27 regular unleaded, $2.47 for the fancy stuff. I was shocked! Just a couple of weeks ago it was $1.93

      We find that after years of struggle we do not take a journey, but rather a journey takes us. John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

      by tigerdog on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 01:57:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  persuasive diary with well-reasoned arguements, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yalin

    although I could have done without knowing how much money you make.

    Also, $4 gas was a contributing factor to our current economic clusterfuck, imo.  I would advocate that the increased tax be structured in such a way to keep prices below $3.50.

    You are correct that the time to do this is now while gas is cheap.

    •  Thanks! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rick Winrod, JesseCW, txcatlin, MCinNH
      1. Stating my income was the best way to accent the point I wanted made.

      That said, you don't know who I am so it's all good. :)

      1. My argument for an increase in the gasoline tax was to set the floor for gas prices at $3 a gallon. That would amount to a $1+ increase in the gas tax today.

      It would also mean that even with global prices supporting a $3 gas price, we'd have the price set to $4.

      With the reduction in the payroll tax in play, however, 90% of the country would not feel this pain. They would, however, be incentivized to purchasing more efficient cars.

      It would have the benefit of helping to close our budget deficits as well as finally moving us in a concerted way toward energy independence.

      It has boggled my mind why the payroll tax is so regressive.

      That'd be the easiest way imo to raise revenues while sparing 90% of the country.

      President Barack Obama - #44

      by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 01:30:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to share the sacrifice... (0+ / 0-)

    however, I make just over 10% of what you do.  That is a lot bigger sacrifice for me than it is for you.  I understand the argument and even agree that it would work, but it's one more thing that would fall disproportionately on people like me.  I pay the same price for gas to get to my $25,000/yr. jobs (yes, I have two jobs to get me to that vast amount!) as everyone else.  There are people a LOT worse off than I who will be in even worse shape.  There has GOT to be some way to protect us peons who must drive in order to work.

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 02:28:36 PM PST

  •  You have no idea ... (0+ / 0-)

    $2.49 today in NorCal, rising quickly from the $2.09 we had just a few weeks back. The oil companies are gouging again. It is time to nationalize the bastards.

    If the economy were healthy, I'd be in favor of gas taxes similar to those in Europe. But as I can't even afford my medications now, it would be backbreaking to me. I teach all over the area, with no mass transit options so I drive 100 miles most days.

    Tax people who sit on their ass all day, not those who really work for a living! Spend on more mass transit to get us out of our cars.

    Don't raise taxes on the working people at this time.

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 02:53:16 PM PST

    •  Let's clarify one thing. Oil companies gain on (0+ / 0-)

      the price of crude, which has been falling. It's the refiners which control the price of gasoline.

      They've been cutting back because they lost money last year due to buying crude at high prices while selling at relatively cheap gasoline prices.

      The reduction in demand, therefore reduction in refining, is what is causing the increase in price.

      That said, I offered up raising the tax burden of my household, but we work damn hard for our money.

      Do not confuse someone making $50k with someone who "works hard" while those such as myself who are relatively affluent do not. All just because of how much money we make.

      President Barack Obama - #44

      by Yalin on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 02:56:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not how much, it is how it is earned (0+ / 0-)

        Most people working in capitalist enterprises as executives are overpaid, IMHO. No executive deserves a higher salary than those actually involved in production. The hardest working people I know are teachers and nurses, and none of them make anything near what they deserve.

        I am glad Obama is trying to put in some caps, but I'd prefer a $100k limit.

        Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

        by MakeChessNotWar on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:12:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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