Thursday, April 27, 2017

Increasing the pollution tax on gasoline can potentially help our country greatly. It can help reduce gas consumption per capita, and pollution. It can also help increase hours worked. According to The National Bureau of Economic Research "a 10 percent increase in gasoline prices would decrease gas consumption by 4.3 percent, or roughly 37 gallons per household per year. That same increase in gas prices would also increase hours worked by 0.07 percent, approximately 2 hours per household per year. Raising the gasoline tax thus has the triple benefit of lowering fuel consumption, decreasing pollution, and providing an incentive for people to work at a more socially optimal level" (NBER Les Picker, 2017). This displays the possibility that increasing the pollution tax on gas could help the United States on three separate subjects. Reducing pollution and gas consumption while increasing incentive to work.

A pollution tax increase on gas can potentionally be very bad because there is no guarantee it will solve all of the problems it promises to fix. With cars being more efficient than ever it is possible that the small decrease in gas consumption will not make any affect at all. According to the Cato Institute "State and federal gasoline taxes should be abolished. Local governments should tax gasoline only to the extent necessary to pay for roads when user charges are not feasible. If government feels compelled to more aggressively regulate vehicle tailpipe emissions or access to public roadways, pollution taxes and road user fees are better means of doing so than fuel taxes. Regardless, perfectly internalizing motor vehicle externalities would likely make the economy less efficient-not more-by inducing motorists into even more (economically) inefficient mass transit use" (Cato Institute, Taylor, Van Doren, 2007). This supports the idea that the economic hardship that increasing taxes will cause does not outweigh the absolute minimal effect it will have in the environment.

Personally, I do not think we should increase the pollution tax on gasoline. I think that it will hurt our economy too much for little to no gain. On top of this it could cause companies who consume a large amount of gasoline to move outside of the country. This would mean a lot of jobs lost for something that will have almost no affect. According to Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes magazine, "Higher gas taxes will help save the environment. No, they won't. They'll make us poorer, which is bad for everything, including the environment. Poor nations have lousier environments than do rich ones. Cars emit a tiny fraction of the pollution they once did. The big, bad thing in gasoline--lead--was dealt with decades ago, when it was removed" (Steve Forbes, Forbes, 2015). This supports the fact that increasing taxes on gasoline is inefficient and does not solve the problems it is aiming too. It will only countinue to hurt our economy.

3 comments:

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  3. Jack what I think you forgot to mention is how much carbon emissions still hurt our environment! Is the economy really worth destroying our planet for? I don't think so! For you to suggest such a heinous idea is lunacy and will not be TOLERATED!

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