One of the consistent refrains heard during times of high gasoline prices is that government ought to do its part and suspend gas taxes until the crisis is over. At the risk of losing my "conservative" credentials, I dare suggest that this is the very last thing that should be done.
For starters, today's "crisis" is merely the economic growth of India and China--and hence it's not a temporary crisis, but most likely a new reality. It won't "be over" anytime soon.
To continue, a suspension of gas taxes would likely lead to a suspension of road construction. We could save a little bit of money on gas, but pay a bundle on car repairs later.
And worst, a suspension of gas taxes would likely encourage Congress to think that they can "do something" to counteract market forces--a belief that nearly always leads to disaster.
I'm generally happy when government cuts needless taxes. As long as government's building roads, however, the gas tax is the last one we should remove. The cost is just too high here.
Open thread - Events are very much in the saddle at the moment, so we'll need to make this an open thread. If you have time and aren't worried about the latest snownami,...
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