Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Really Stupid Ideas

I really don't know why this one gets kicked around so much. No surprise Fred Hiatt's gang loves it.

Lawmakers need to work toward a sustainable solution. Increasing a gas tax that has remained unchanged for the past 15 years and has lost much of its value to inflation would certainly help, but the gas tax will bring in less money if Americans stay off the road or switch to other fuels. One solution is to charge commuters for the miles they drive instead of the gas they purchase.

No tax is perfect, including the gas tax, but it does in a very small way discourage driving by raising its price and encourage the use of vehicles with better mileage. These are both features, not bugs, and fretting about people perhaps not using as much gas kind of misses the point. That's a good thing! Oh and there's the "everyone install a GPS system so a central computer can track all of your movements" aspect, too. Need to raise more revenue, increase the tax. The big concern is that the political impossibility of doing that will lead to politicians searching for high tech back door methods of doing the same, blessed by Fred Hiatt's crew.