Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gasoline Tax Holidays

Band-aids not reform

The holiday season is coming-up so the politicians have to do something about gas prices so that the people don't get mad at them when they drive around the country. Gas-tax holidays are being called for.

Of course, a temporary tax holiday does nothing to reform people's behaviours. People in the USA like their cars, they like driving and we built a huge highway system to support this culture. The tax break just encourages more driving in big cars. If the pols really want to help they would cut spending and then cut the gas tax for good. If pols want to discourage big cars and drving then, well, keep the tax in place. These tinkerings around the edges don't help at all.

Industry will have the incentive to come up with cost-saving innovations to keep people driving and buying cars. Again its the American way. But changing tax laws ad hoc doesn't encourage anything except short-term political gain, and people who think their 'leaders' are helping them.