Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

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Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Pinky » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:15 pm

An excellent article in the NY Times.

Here's the summary: Gas tax, good. Efficiency standards, bad. Politicians hate the planet.
Consider how a gas tax would work. Because it would make gas more expensive at the pump, we would drive less. When time came to replace the old family S.U.V., we would be more likely to consider a more fuel-efficient option. As more Americans sought gas-sipping hybrids, carmakers would develop more efficient vehicles.
The weakness with the fuel-economy rules is that they don’t affect people’s behavior the way higher gas prices do. They apply only to new vehicles — not the ones on the road now — so it takes quite a long time to alter our overall gas use. And they carry perverse incentives: because new vehicles go farther on a gallon of gas, they give us a reason to drive more, leading to more congestion, accidents, pollution and gas consumption.
According to economists crunching the numbers, this makes mileage standards somewhere between 2.4 and 13 times more expensive than a gasoline tax as a tool to reduce our use of fuel. Indeed, by some calculations, raising fuel-economy standards is more costly than climate change itself.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Protobuilder » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:18 pm

Fuel efficiency standards are feel-good policies that obviously don't work for the reasons listed. However, no politician is going to open themselves up for standing behind a policy that allowed gas prices to rise, even though things would eventually work out far better.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by TerryB » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:27 pm

the problem is, our cars are too awesome

what Washington SHOULD implement, are design standards

prevent manufacturers from making cool vehicles

outlaw stylish headlights, nice interiors, sleak curves

make everything look like an old station wagon

people won't want to buy them, congestion goes down, air pollution goes down, etc
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:14 pm

It's politically possible to improve fuel economy, so you take the less good option that can actually happen.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Pinky » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:19 pm

"Less good" is an understatement. Fuel economy standards might be worse than nothing.

This comes down to two things: Voters are overwhelmingly ignorant and easily fooled, and politicians care about nothing other than reelection.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:24 pm

Grandpa's Spells wrote:It's politically possible to improve fuel economy, so you take the less good option that can actually happen.

Pricing is brutally effective. The compact car and motorcycle industry as a whole has the 70's gas crisis to blame. The big 4 + volkswagen owe much of their fortune to Americans freaking over fuel prices and making a rare smart shift in their behavior.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Gene » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:17 am

Pinky wrote:An excellent article in the NY Times.

Here's the summary: Gas tax, good. Efficiency standards, bad. Politicians hate the planet.
Consider how a gas tax would work. Because it would make gas more expensive at the pump, we would drive less. When time came to replace the old family S.U.V., we would be more likely to consider a more fuel-efficient option. As more Americans sought gas-sipping hybrids, carmakers would develop more efficient vehicles.
Fuel tax increases discriminate against the working poor and folks who cannot afford newer cars. Surprised that the New York Times endorsed it. Maybe owing money to Carlos Slim is starting to influence their ideology?
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Turdacious » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:33 am

Terry B. wrote:Fuel efficiency standards are feel-good policies that obviously don't work for the reasons listed. However, no politician is going to open themselves up for standing behind a policy that allowed gas prices to rise, even though things would eventually work out far better.
Translation-- more regressive taxes during an economic downturn are a good thing.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Protobuilder » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:57 am

Turdacious wrote:
Terry B. wrote:Fuel efficiency standards are feel-good policies that obviously don't work for the reasons listed. However, no politician is going to open themselves up for standing behind a policy that allowed gas prices to rise, even though things would eventually work out far better.
Translation-- more regressive taxes during an economic downturn are a good thing.
Saying that keeping people fat, stupid and happy is good for re-election.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Turdacious » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:07 am

Terry B. wrote:
Turdacious wrote:
Terry B. wrote:Fuel efficiency standards are feel-good policies that obviously don't work for the reasons listed. However, no politician is going to open themselves up for standing behind a policy that allowed gas prices to rise, even though things would eventually work out far better.
Translation-- more regressive taxes during an economic downturn are a good thing.
Saying that keeping people fat, stupid and happy is good for re-election.
It's a difference between broke and even more broke. Just in case you haven't seen the employment numbers, check out Pinky's sig to get part of the picture.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:18 am

Turdacious wrote:
Terry B. wrote:Fuel efficiency standards are feel-good policies that obviously don't work for the reasons listed. However, no politician is going to open themselves up for standing behind a policy that allowed gas prices to rise, even though things would eventually work out far better.
Translation-- more regressive taxes during an economic downturn are a good thing.
It doesn't have to be regressive if you take the gasoline tax and re-distribute it. Reduce income tax for those that pay, stipend for those who are on the government tit already.

The only real problem I can see from going with a fairly aggressive consumption tax and getting rid of an equal portion of the income tax is that it would need to be phased in over a few years. Say the tax was going to be $1 a gallon. Phase it in at $0.25 a year over 4 years. People wouldn't much notice the quarter increase every year and a reduction of some of their income tax would offset the hit to the wallet.

The tax would also have to be set up to keep prices at a certain level, or it wouldn't work any better than anything else. As the world's number 1 consumer of gasoline, we dictate a huge chunk of what oil costs the world. If you knocked out 50% of our gasoline use the world would be awash in cheap oil. We'd need to have a way to keep the price at the pump at whatever arbitrary high level that keeps demand swinging toward alternatives. Some ability for the tax to slide. But that would at least make budgeting for your fuel a certainty rather than a crap shoot.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Turdacious » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:49 am

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Turdacious wrote:
Terry B. wrote:Fuel efficiency standards are feel-good policies that obviously don't work for the reasons listed. However, no politician is going to open themselves up for standing behind a policy that allowed gas prices to rise, even though things would eventually work out far better.
Translation-- more regressive taxes during an economic downturn are a good thing.
It doesn't have to be regressive if you take the gasoline tax and re-distribute it. Reduce income tax for those that pay, stipend for those who are on the government tit already.

The only real problem I can see from going with a fairly aggressive consumption tax and getting rid of an equal portion of the income tax is that it would need to be phased in over a few years. Say the tax was going to be $1 a gallon. Phase it in at $0.25 a year over 4 years. People wouldn't much notice the quarter increase every year and a reduction of some of their income tax would offset the hit to the wallet.

The tax would also have to be set up to keep prices at a certain level, or it wouldn't work any better than anything else. As the world's number 1 consumer of gasoline, we dictate a huge chunk of what oil costs the world. If you knocked out 50% of our gasoline use the world would be awash in cheap oil. We'd need to have a way to keep the price at the pump at whatever arbitrary high level that keeps demand swinging toward alternatives. Some ability for the tax to slide. But that would at least make budgeting for your fuel a certainty rather than a crap shoot.
Regressive taxes primarily hit people that pay very little or no income tax. And as with home heating, there is a strong correlation between income level and energy efficiency.

A gas tax indexed to prices would create an unstable income source for government, and they wouldn't go for it. In the event of a price shock, they could end up with limited revenue or even negative revenue.

Even if your solution was put into place the gas tax comes out of the monthly budget, while the income tax credit would come once a year in a lump sum. The two policies have different effects and shouldn't be considered as one for one offsets.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by tzg » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:05 am

Tell me more about government tits. Are they better than free market tits? Let us see concrete proposals.

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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Herv100 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:20 am

Considering man made global warming is not real, I'll go with neither.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by tzg » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:50 am

Does that option involve tits (government or free market)?

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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Protobuilder » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:54 am

Turdacious wrote:
Terry B. wrote:
Turdacious wrote:
Terry B. wrote:Fuel efficiency standards are feel-good policies that obviously don't work for the reasons listed. However, no politician is going to open themselves up for standing behind a policy that allowed gas prices to rise, even though things would eventually work out far better.
Translation-- more regressive taxes during an economic downturn are a good thing.
Saying that keeping people fat, stupid and happy is good for re-election.
It's a difference between broke and even more broke. Just in case you haven't seen the employment numbers, check out Pinky's sig to get part of the picture.
Before everybody gets all worked up, you realize that gas is already insanely cheap in the US, don't you? Most cities outside of the Northeast have no reliable public transportation (and fight to keep things this way because 'people like their cars'), people like to build huge homes out in the suburbs and buy cars that get terrible mileage. Now, the key to increased job growth is even more cheap gas?
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:41 am

Herv100 wrote:Considering man made global warming is not real, I'll go with neither.
Global warming may not be true in your eyes, but air pollution from burning fossil fuels, and ground and water pollution from the mining, refining, and transporting of fossil fuels is indisputable fact.

The cost of a fuel tax that moves us toward alternatives would be offset 10 times over by the cost savings in air pollution related healthcare costs alone.

And we'll not even discuss the cost in dollars and lives of skirmishing in the shithole ME to make sure the oil markets stay well supplied.

Getting rid of oil as a strategic resource whose slightest hiccup can crush our economy and the use of which destroys our environment? That should be job number 1 of any sane government. Especially when the move will end up saving you money in the long run.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Protobuilder » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:44 am

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:Getting rid of oil as a strategic resource whose slightest hiccup can crush our economy and the use of which destroys our environment? That should be job number 1 of any sane government. Especially when the move will end up saving you money in the long run.
The fact that anybody even tries to argue with this or propose any policy in the contrary is insane.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Turdacious » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:01 am

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:The cost of a fuel tax that moves us toward alternatives would be offset 10 times over by the cost savings in air pollution related healthcare costs alone.
Eh?
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:59 am

Turdacious wrote:
Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:The cost of a fuel tax that moves us toward alternatives would be offset 10 times over by the cost savings in air pollution related healthcare costs alone.
Eh?
"One of the biggest hazards to our health is pollution. This can be in the form of pesticides or other gases that we're breathing in," said Holtorf

A report last month from the non-profit National Academy of Sciences sought to quantify the "hidden" costs of energy production and use, such as the damage air pollution has on human health.

The committee estimated that air pollution associated with electricity generation and vehicle transportation contributed to $120 billion in health care problems in the U.S. in 2005, the most recent data available.
http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/03/news/ec ... /index.htm
$120B 2005 dollars every year. Forever. That we could knock a huge dent in by moving those externalized costs of fossil fuels into a consumption tax that internalizes those cost.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Turdacious » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:11 am

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... 000721.pdf

This report? They aren't quite making the bold claims that CNN claims they are.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Pinky » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:14 pm

AEN is basically right. You don't have to worry about global warming to think we should reduce gasoline consumption. And using higher gas taxes to fund an EITC expansion would deal with the hit taken by the working poor. On the other hand, driving up car prices with poorly thought out regulations provides no government revenue to do anything.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Batboy2/75 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:04 pm

Pinky wrote:AEN is basically right. You don't have to worry about global warming to think we should reduce gasoline consumption. And using higher gas taxes to fund an EITC expansion would deal with the hit taken by the working poor. On the other hand, driving up car prices with poorly thought out regulations provides no government revenue to do anything.

IMO- All economists must live under their suggested regulations first for 10 years before their half baked ideas are finally foisted upon the regular citizenry. At least that way we know you fucked harder or at least you got fucked first.

It's none of your business or the governments business what or how much I drive, who I fuck, what I eat, who I pray to or don't pray to, what I watch on TV, or what I read.How about all you pocket tyrants take a break from using the power of government to fuck with other peoples lives and go smoke a joint, have a coke and a smile, and stop using the tax code as social control tool.

This is nothing more than a Sin tax for the Gia worshippers.
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by DrDonkeyLove » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:31 pm

Batboy2/75 wrote:
Pinky wrote:AEN is basically right. You don't have to worry about global warming to think we should reduce gasoline consumption. And using higher gas taxes to fund an EITC expansion would deal with the hit taken by the working poor. On the other hand, driving up car prices with poorly thought out regulations provides no government revenue to do anything.

IMO- All economists must live under their suggested regulations first for 10 years before their half baked ideas are finally foisted upon the regular citizenry. At least that way we know you fucked harder or at least you got fucked first.

It's none of your business or the governments business what or how much I drive, who I fuck, what I eat, who pray or don't pray to, what I watch on TV, or what I read.How about all you pocket tyrants take a break from using the power of government to fuck with other peoples lives and go smoke a joint, have a coke and a smile, and stop using the tax code as social control tool.

This nothing more than a Sin tax for the Gia worshippers.
Your simplistic ideals have no place in our new nanny world.

I think Bloomberg and friends just outlawed extra large cokes in NYC so it will have to be 2 small cokes and a smile. It's funny because NY'ers tend to look at themselves as tough and self reliant survivors of the big bad city ("if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere") and they let that little fat fuck Bloomberg tell them what size soda they can purchase. WTFWTFWTF?
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Re: Fuel Efficiency Standards vs Gasoline Taxes

Post by Gene » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:45 pm

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Herv100 wrote:Considering man made global warming is not real, I'll go with neither.
Global warming may not be true in your eyes, but air pollution from burning fossil fuels, and ground and water pollution from the mining, refining, and transporting of fossil fuels is indisputable fact.

The cost of a fuel tax that moves us toward alternatives would be offset 10 times over by the cost savings in air pollution related healthcare costs alone.

And we'll not even discuss the cost in dollars and lives of skirmishing in the shithole ME to make sure the oil markets stay well supplied.

Getting rid of oil as a strategic resource whose slightest hiccup can crush our economy and the use of which destroys our environment? That should be job number 1 of any sane government. Especially when the move will end up saving you money in the long run.
Corporate Whores and Greens control the debate about "substitutes for oil". Corporations want a short term subsidy. Greens want to build bridges to the 19th century. Most people are complacent.

The result is that Oil stays on top.
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