Gas Prices: The WaPo Piles On

By October 9, 2006Energy

The WaPo must be reading the New York Times (see piece below) and has decided to pile on. Their editorial today is a little “Me, too!” chirp following the Times piece of yesterday and adding their “Amen” to the concept of higher taxes. Surely the WaPo doesn’t want to be outdone by the Times in calling for more and higher taxes. It really is astonishing that it’s the only solution these folks see. Do they not think consumer behavior will drive the market? Anybody remember the market? They say higher taxes will lead to the roll-out of new technologies, but what do they think is the glide path of new technologies? Manufacturers are working on the newest technologies today. They can’t be ready and scalable in the wink of an eye.

However, the WaPo goes the Times one better in not only calling for higher taxes but in looking wistfully — ruefully — back at the defeat of Bill Clinton’s proposed BTU tax, a miserable idea by most every account except apparently the Post’s. So the WaPo suggests we not go back to the BTU tax, but go for a “carbon tax” instead. Same concept, different name. These taxes will hammer the middle class and those on a faxed income, not to mention manufacturing and other businesses — like transportation — sensitive to the costs of energy. Higher taxes get translated through to the final cost, making everything more expensive for everyone.

Makes you wonder how bad it needs to get before the Post and the Times start talking about the supply side of the ledger. For the moment, higher taxes of every shape and size are about their only solution.

And they’re still a bad idea.