Do Amercians Support a Gas Tax?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | 06:45 AM

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Here's something that is a bit of a surprise: While most Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to a higher federal gasoline tax, their views change if the tax were to be earmarked for specific ends: 

"A significant number would go along with an increase if it reduced global warming or made the United States less dependent on foreign oil, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The nationwide telephone poll, conducted Wednesday through Sunday, suggested that a gasoline tax increase that brought measurable results would be acceptable to a majority of Americans.

Neither the Bush administration nor Democratic Party leaders make that distinction. Both are opposed to increasing the gasoline tax as a means of discouraging consumption, although President Bush, in recent speeches, has called for the development of alternative energy to reduce dependence on foreign oil."

This is more than a classic example of how a question is phrased that generates a different answer; This is a polling question addressing a specifically different issue beyond the gas tax question. It is in part a referendum question on faith in Congress on spending and priorities.

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Click for larger graphic   

28gaslarge

Courtesy of NYT
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No suprise that the Dismal set disagree:

"Many mainstream economists believe that a shift that raises the gasoline tax while lowering income-based taxes is the most efficient way to reduce consumption. It might require a $1-a-gallon increase in the tax phased in over five years, said Severin Borenstein, director of an energy institute at the University of California, Berkeley."

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Source:
Americans Are Cautiously Open to Gas Tax Rise, Poll Shows
LOUIS UCHITELLE and MEGAN THEE
NYT, February 28, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/national/28gas.html

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | 06:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack (1)
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» Do Americans Support a Gas Tax? from Zmetro.com
Barry Ritholtz:"A significant number would go along with an increase if it reduced global warming or made the United States less dependent on foreign oil, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The nationwide telephone poll, conducted We... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 28, 2006 8:05:06 AM

Comments

Never, ever, ever under any circumstances would I support a gas tax. I wouldn't put another dime in the tax coffers. The Department of Energy, an oxymoron extraordinaire, was created in the 70s to solve this exact problem. 30 years later, what has the DOE done to wean us off of foreign energy sources? I'd like to knwo how much the DOE's budget is. And how many nuclear power plants we could have today if the money was spent on such as an example. I support dissolving the DOE. We did fine without it for nearly 200 years.

I would support a market based incentive system which would enhance private industry development into energy efficiency and job creation in that segment. I would also support a fast track system which removes the approval bureaucracy of nuclear power plants which have new technology to reduce waste and half life significantly and have much improved safety controls. And I support a mandate to increase auto CAFE standards at least 50%. Which would still be 33% lower than Japan, Europe and soon to be China.

Posted by: B | Feb 28, 2006 9:12:54 AM

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