"A Michigan congressman [Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich] wants to put a 50-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline to try to cut back on Americans' consumption."
As I said in my previous post "Probe of Probes" (http://dougreich.blogspot.com/2007/06/probe-of-probes.html), the government does everything in its power to raise the price of gasoline including but not limited to: direct gas sales taxes, taxes on every aspect of the production process, regulations and restrictions on drilling and refining, import restrictions, failure to protect US and other western corporations investment in foreign countries (see Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela) and inflation of the money supply (which raises the price of everything). Yet, every time gas prices rise, it is met with calls for investigations of "Big Oil" and threats of punishment for collusion and other assorted conspiracy allegations. Now in the midst of the worst economic crisis in years where government caused inflation is spiraling prices out of control, destroying capital, and leading to recession and potentially depression like circumstances, this congressmen is calling for Big Government to extort 50 cents a gallon from the American consumer. Why?
Some environmentalists and economists say pain at the pump may be bad for Americans, but good medicine for a sick planet.
But others say it wouldn't change much. Even if Americans abandoned their cars, global emissions would fall by less than one percent.
"A tax on gas is a way to reduce dependence on import oil, reduce traffic congrestion and reduce carbon emissions," said Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute.
If your concern was really reducing dependence on imported oil and traffic congestion then how about eliminating all restrictions and regulations on drilling and refining in the United States and building more roads to deal with traffic congestion? Won't higher prices and the lack of highway expansion lead to less travel and/or higher prices for everything that needs to be transported? Would Dingell and the "Earth Policy Institute" just have us all stay at home like peasants who never venture outside of their village and do with less of the more expensive goods? Would this increase our standard of living or would it be a step backward in human progress?
The answer is obvious. The environmentalists are not concerned about man's welfare. They are concerned with the earth in and of itself. So, while the oil companies scour the earth for life giving petroleum which they make available 24 hours a day at reasonable prices, this crew is calling for using the coercive power of the state to significantly decrease our standard of living. Now, who should we be investigating?