Ben Langhinrichs

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Definition of insanity, in reverse

Mon 28 Jul 2008, 03:27 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
For years, environmentalists and defense hawks alike have bemoaned our reliance on foreign oil, with good reason, I might add.  What to do, what to do?  Of course, when gasoline prices went way up this spring, we found out that the laws of supply and demand had not been repealed after all.  Today, on, I saw Drivers cut commutes by 9.6B miles, which describes the impressive decline in miles driven, new records of mass transit riders, and many people finding many creative ways to reduce their use of gas.  The only downside, according to the article, was that gas tax receipts were way below what was needed to maintain the highways, not to even think about repairing the bridges.

So, having finally figured out (as if we didn't know) how to lower gas usage, but still having the issue of lower gas tax revenues, why is it so completely predictable what politicians would suggest?  That's right, lower the price of gas, both by increasing supplies and taking a "gas tax holiday". 

And what happens if they are successful?  The price of gas goes down, and people go back to using more, but we have even fewer gas tax receipts.  Sigh!

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