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    Thread: $1 Gas Tax? One Auto Dealer Says, ‘Yes, Please’

    1. Moderator PsyberVW's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 08:59 AM #51
      Quote Originally Posted by 2VWatatime View Post
      The only discussion is that the "gentleman" wants the force of government to control his market, thus reducing his risks (costs) in business. In other words, he's a sh***y car dealer who can't make $$$ selling cars in SoCal.
      You're conveniently ignoring the real discussion.

      1. Economic Stabilization on the micro level - household budgets and price of staples, areas susceptible to fluctuating fuel prices.

      2. We're running on finite resources which come largely from foreign sources which we don't always get along with and which are themselves, starting to run out. This entrenches us in dubious foreign policy and entangled us in endless wars.

      3. The need to change our individual habits and attitudes towards fuel consumption. I'm a strong believer in intrinsic motivation - I can't force you to want something, but if you want it for your own reasons - then I can't talk you out of it. Objectively speaking, we should all want something better.

    2. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:16 AM #52
      Quote Originally Posted by MrMook View Post
      I sure hope it doesn't go to roads. The last thing we needs are more highways and new construction to "alleviate traffic congestion" from all the commuters. All that does is invite MORE driving.

      Any increased tax on fuel or cars should go to public transportation infrastructure.
      Woah. You live in an area of high population density. Take my word for it, that doesn't work outside of major metropolitan areas. At all. It's a money pit that is never filled. New York? Sure! Detroit? Yeah, I've been on the "Mugger Mover" myself and it works pretty well, but in the biggest part of the country towns are miles apart and the low population density inside those towns dictate that mass transit will simply not work.

      As far as building new highways and the problem with it supposedly inviting more driving doesn't work. Take that model to it's extreme and you could justify narrowing/removing roads so that folks are discouraged from driving. That doesn't work at all. (No, it's not a realistic scenario, I'm just making a point.)

      I think that the problem will be self correcting, but not for a good amount of time. As transportation gets more automated and expensive, folks will both live closer to downtown areas and if they do commute, cars that communicate with one another will be automated and be within inches of each other. I loathe that idea for myself, but the day will come.
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    3. Member MrMook's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 09:44 AM #53
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      Woah. You live in an area of high population density. Take my word for it, that doesn't work outside of major metropolitan areas. At all. It's a money pit that is never filled. New York? Sure! Detroit? Yeah, I've been on the "Mugger Mover" myself and it works pretty well, but in the biggest part of the country towns are miles apart and the low population density inside those towns dictate that mass transit will simply not work.
      You say this as if it's the only option. Yes, the majority of the country lives in low density areas. I would argue that that's simply unsustainable, and bound to change, whether you and the soccer moms like it or not. Yes, I currently live in NYC, which makes it "easier" to get along without a car, but even when I leave the city, I'm not going back to my 60 mile commute like I had in Vermont. I'd like to live within 10 miles of my job, so I can just ride. My bicycle.

      I think we should start breaking suburbia down, and moving into small town models of local communities. Take the "old" European model as an example. You leave a town in France on foot, and 20 minutes later you're in farmland. No suburbia.

      Smaller. More local. Less need for cars. And it's more beautiful. Our bored suburban families travel the world searching for that 'old city vibe', and quaint local customs and food. We could have developed that on our own, but we F'd it all in the A by choosing strip malls and suburbia. Our once-vibrant and important small towns are now abandoned and useless.

    4. 08-11-2012 09:50 AM #54
      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      You're conveniently ignoring the real discussion.
      No, I'm refusing to be drawn into a series of political strawmen.
      1. Economic Stabilization on the micro level - household budgets and price of staples, areas susceptible to fluctuating fuel prices.
      Welcome to the whole of human history. Note that adding more taxes has nothing to do w/stabilizing the retail $

      2. We're running on finite resources which come largely from foreign sources which we don't always get along with and which are themselves, starting to run out. This entrenches us in dubious foreign policy and entangled us in endless wars.
      The endless wars w/Canada & Mexico have drained the budget... in simpler terms, this political assertion is garbage, and you know it.
      3. The need to change our individual habits and attitudes towards fuel consumption. I'm a strong believer in intrinsic motivation - I can't force you to want something, but if you want it for your own reasons - then I can't talk you out of it. Objectively speaking, we should all want something better.
      ?? What the ??? I have no interest in changing either your habits nor motivations, re "fuel consumption". It'd be nice if you held the same view towards me, but I guess you really do wish to control what others do... it's a shame, really.

      Quote Originally Posted by MrMook View Post
      You say this as if it's the only option. Yes, the majority of the country lives in low density areas. ... Our once-vibrant and important small towns are now abandoned and useless.
      Why the endless love for 15th century living? Bah.

    5. Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 10:32 AM #55
      I think it's time to make a real life Jurassic Park and then kill the dinosaurs so they turn into fuel. It's the only way we can ensure fuel for centuries to come.

    6. 08-11-2012 11:14 AM #56
      I would be open to a higher gas tax as long as the revenue is bound to transportation infrastructure and public transportation.i'm not sure about $1.00/g, but the tax should at least adjust with inflation.

      The current Federal gas tax was set at $0.184 in 1994 and generates $32bb/yr. If adjusted with inflation, the current tax would be about $0.28 generating about $48bb/yr.

      Every year, as the value of the dollar diminishes through inflation, the DOT has less buying power to maintain and expand our transportation infrastructure.

    7. Banned Chris Stack's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 12:06 PM #57
      Quote Originally Posted by 2VWatatime View Post
      The only discussion is that the "gentleman" wants the force of government to control his market, thus reducing his risks (costs) in business. In other words, he's a sh***y car dealer who can't make $$$ selling cars in SoCal.
      What you are missing is that the government ALREADY controls the market. He wants it done in a more predictable, consistent way.

    8. 08-11-2012 12:11 PM #58
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      What you are missing is that the government ALREADY controls the market. He wants it done in a more predictable, consistent way.
      I'm not naive...

    9. Member Electioneer's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 12:56 PM #59
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      Personally, I'm all for a gas tax, if it replaces other current half-wit measures like CAFE.

      Here's the problem: everyone agrees that we should use less gas, because it is A) bad for the environment, B) a finite resource, and C) pro airily supplied by people that hate us.

      The problem is, we all need to use at least some gas. But like anything else, if it's cheap, we will waste it, and if it's expensive, we'll conserve it.

      The problem is, choosing what is waste and what is conserve for an individual. I'm a free market guy. So the best free market way to let people chose is make gas expensive, and let people chose how they will conserve it. Some people might want to still commute far and live in the country, but drive a more fuel efficient vehicle and/or carpool. Some people might want to drive a massive 8mpg pickup, but live a mile from work. Some people want a big honking V8 sports car in the garage, but daily drive an economical 4cyl or hybrid. Whatever. But the OnLY way to conserve fuel and let people chose what works best for THEM is to make gas itself relatively expensive. Otherwise, you get stupid Bs like CAFE which tries to drive consumer behavior but ends up demanding carmakers sell 40mpg hybrids to people who want 18mpg SUVs when gas is $1/gal (late 1990s.).

      You can blab all day about "gas tax isnt fair to the poor" or "it will make groceries expensive" or whatever, and you're right, but you can't drive down American fuel consumption by just trying to screw wealthy SUV drivers (congestion charges, CAFE, SUV-free zones) and giving the poor a pass because "it's more fair"; it simply doesn't work. And yeah it makes groceries more expensive, but that means if you live in the. Idwest you eat beef and fif you live on the coasts you eat fish and everyone grows vegetables locally because it is more efficient.


      I'm a red-blooded car enthusiast like the rest of you, and I love driving and using gas. But if you're going to demand we use less gas, I want you to do it in a way that lets me chose HOW to use less gas, and the only good way to do that is to tax gas.
      This.
      If you can't fix it with a hammer, then you have an electrical issue

    10. 08-11-2012 04:13 PM #60
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      See my response above. There's free market and there's free market. The Feds are going to meddle. Let's get them to meddle in the least disruptive way possible.
      No, that is neither free market nor free market.

    11. 08-11-2012 04:17 PM #61
      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      The underlying logic in adding the overhead is to create a buffer so that fluctuations in gas prices don't impact business and individuals as wildly as they do currently.

      Within this past year, I've paid anywhere from $3.33/Gal to $4.95/Gal for the same fuel, from the same station. I buy about 20 gallons at a time. That's a difference of $32.40 per tank of fuel.
      The markets do not care what the tax is. How will this stop the fluctuations? If you pay $3.33 to $4.95 now with an added tax you will pay $4.33 to $5.95.

    12. Member stascom's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 04:31 PM #62
      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      The markets do not care what the tax is. How will this stop the fluctuations? If you pay $3.33 to $4.95 now with an added tax you will pay $4.33 to $5.95.
      I think he means that that buffer of excessive price will vary for the government. So their revenue will fluctuate instead of our prices. Logical but too expensive. Do not want.

    13. 08-11-2012 04:36 PM #63
      Quote Originally Posted by stascom View Post
      I think he means that that buffer of excessive price will vary for the government. So their revenue will fluctuate instead of our prices. Logical but too expensive. Do not want.
      If the argument is that we have gas artificially set at $4.95 with a "market" value of $3.95 and the government gets the $1 but if the market is at $4.50 with the government getting .45 that is a god awful idea.

      If the problem is the constant variability of price what you do is make it that you must take physical control of oil when you buy it. Make it a commodity again as opposed to an investment vehicle.

      Granted, the government isn't about to do that as they benefit too much from the current system but the answer to that is not to give them even more of our money.

    14. 08-11-2012 06:31 PM #64
      The ultimate answer is to monetize the true cost of a gallon of gas, and spend the excess over current prices to negate the costs to civilization as a whole such as emissions and use of a finite resource that is bound to peak ... sometime. But that's the problem. Actually properly estimating these costs is virtually impossible, and even if there was a scientific consensus (possible but not likely because car and oil companies can hire scientists too), our current government would never survive the political implications of actually putting such a system in place. Bummer because the US could really be the leaders in this, but we actually are dragging our feat and being one of the bigger roadblocks of the industrialized world in trying to get an international system in place that can help. See Kyoto Protocol

    15. 08-11-2012 06:48 PM #65
      Kyoto was nothing but a wealth redistribution scheme. It's why not a single politician voted for it and even the countries that did have largely abandoned it.

    16. Moderator PsyberVW's Avatar
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      08-11-2012 08:11 PM #66
      Yes- I was aiming more for a fixed price that would lock price per gallon into something like 5 year terms.

      Quote Originally Posted by 2VWatatime View Post
      No, I'm refusing to be drawn into a series of political strawmen.
      ..
      It'd be nice if you held the same view towards me, but I guess you really do wish to control what others do... it's a shame, really.


      Why the endless love for 15th century living? Bah.
      Do you not agree that we will run out of fuel?

      Is it not better to start planning for this eventuality in a way that minimizes the impact to our infrastructure and society?

      I'm looking at this as objectively as possible. Personally, I love cheap gas and big engines. If it could last forever - I wouldn't really give a damn about this discussion.

      But continuing on a path where we pretend it will last forever while knowing that it will not - that's as silly as staring at an ice-berg for 12 hours and not changing course...

      We've conceded long ago that this particular businessman is just looking to pay the rent -- but the topic isn't new and it seems that if done properly- it will REDUCE the amount of influence a government will have on telling you what you need (CAFE) and let you choose your own priorities.

      A bonus/side effect is that we stop wasting money enforcing CAFE standards and instead have a couple bean counters making sure our pennies are going to the right accounts (and they are very efficient at doing just that.) So we stop bleeding money, and in turn start taking some in... (which as mentioned, could be given back as a rebate at some point or perpetually just re-invested).

      I have yet to see a compelling, objective argument as to why that would be a bad thing?

      1. Less Government
      2. Trend toward Economical stability
      3. More personal freedom (truer to free market)

      The counter argument is to use policy to influence change (CAFE standards, tax rebates on hybrids, etc..)

      How efficient is that, really? The manufacturers spend millions lobbying to keep CAFE off their heels and the politicians to favor their interests. Instead of leading people to make "better" choices on their own, we ate trying to limit their choices at the assembly line. How soon will it be before there is no more "guzzler tax" and instead a "guzzler ban"?

      What if some manufacturer comes up with a way to power a vehicle without gasoline or electricity -- do we want our government saying "no" because it doesn't meet the government imposed guidelines? This could very well happen as our government gets more and more entrenched in dictating what technologies are "best" for us.

      It seems strange to me that the people who don't trust government with their money WILL trust government with their lives. They WILL allow government to prescribe what is in their personal best interest.. Does that seem right to you?

      Take a breath, sip your beer..
      It's just a discussion man, let's discuss!

    17. 08-11-2012 08:30 PM #67
      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      Kyoto was nothing but a wealth redistribution scheme. It's why not a single politician voted for it and even the countries that did have largely abandoned it.
      Of the 191 countries that signed and ratified Kyoto, only Canada withdrew (recently, and who can blame them when they are so linked to the US economically?). My point is not to hold Kyoto as a shining example of perfection, just to show that the US really needs to start getting out and leading on this subject immediately. We have more of the means to do so than any other country, yet we trail the international community significantly.

      It should be more expensive to burn fossil fuels, and the extra expense needs to go directly back into efforts to negate the damage. That's all.

    18. 08-11-2012 09:24 PM #68
      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      I'm looking at this as objectively as possible. Personally, I love cheap gas and big engines. If it could last forever - I wouldn't really give a damn about this discussion.
      Why is it that we can't have cheap gas and small engines?

      We've conceded long ago that this particular businessman is just looking to pay the rent -- but the topic isn't new and it seems that if done properly- it will REDUCE the amount of influence a government will have on telling you what you need (CAFE) and let you choose your own priorities.
      How would people choosing expensive gas and large engines solve the problem?

      The rest of your argument completely negates your initial arguement. You argue that we should plan for the eventual running out of oil but then argue that having large ineffient engines as a choice is a good thing.

      As an aside to that argument, Corvette's get double the mpg's that used to get and are much faster. The reason this was done was to meet CAFE standards.

    19. 08-11-2012 09:27 PM #69
      Quote Originally Posted by InfraRedline View Post
      Of the 191 countries that signed and ratified Kyoto, only Canada withdrew (recently, and who can blame them when they are so linked to the US economically?). My point is not to hold Kyoto as a shining example of perfection, just to show that the US really needs to start getting out and leading on this subject immediately. We have more of the means to do so than any other country, yet we trail the international community significantly.
      While others may not have pulled out they are no longer trying to meet the standards. Yes, for the very same reason Canada pulled out, we never signed on. Too many exceptions to the treaty. 2 of the 3 largest countries with emissions were exempt.

      It should be more expensive to burn fossil fuels, and the extra expense needs to go directly back into efforts to negate the damage. That's all.
      We should use less. That's all.

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      08-11-2012 11:05 PM #70
      I don't want a $1.00 gas tax in California right away. Start it out at 10 cents. Raise it by 10 cents per year until revenue peaks, then reduce the tax rate every year to keep at maximum revenue. All proceeds go to the California general fund. According to CA law, half of the general fund has to go to schools. California will once again have the best schools in the country, and university will be free to state residents.

    21. 08-11-2012 11:31 PM #71
      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      Do you not agree that we will run out of fuel?
      No. Not even an issue, thus the balance of the "discussion" is a rather pointless exercise in futility.
      "We" can no more "run out of fuel" than "we" did in the days of kerosene, wheat & oats, or whale oil. By the time petro products run low in supply, other forms of energy delivery will become more cost effective, rendering any such efforts moot. That's reality.

    22. Banned Chris Stack's Avatar
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      08-12-2012 12:07 AM #72
      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      Why is it that we can't have cheap gas and small engines?
      seriously brah?

    23. 08-12-2012 12:14 AM #73
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      seriously brah?
      Seriously. I see you made no arguement as to why we can't.

    24. Banned Chris Stack's Avatar
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      08-12-2012 12:16 AM #74
      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      Seriously. I see you made no arguement as to why we can't.
      It's not that we can't, it's that only a few whackos would pick a small wheezy engine over a big powerful one if gas is cheap. See: "what people chose to drive in the late 1990s."

    25. 08-12-2012 12:33 AM #75
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      It's not that we can't, it's that only a few whackos would pick a small wheezy engine over a big powerful one if gas is cheap. See: "what people chose to drive in the late 1990s."
      O.K. so we agree that we could but I covered your other point. It's why we keep the 52 mpg CAFE rating or whatever it is. (It's set to go somewhere around this number).

      Manufacturers then can't build huge gas guzzling vehicles and still hit this number. Small engines are no longer wheezy tractor engines either. My TDI JSW is quicker than an Olds Vista Cruiser with a V8 and I average 40 mpg as opposed to 13.

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