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Gas Is Cheap!

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Check out this bar graph on A Penny Saved… on gas prices in 2005, check out how much less we pay for gasoline than the rest of the world. Now, it should be noted that since all countries pay roughly the same wholesale price for petroleum, the difference comes in taxes. European nations have always had much higher taxes than the United States because many of them have nationalized healthcare, family incentives, and all sorts of other government (common-use) assistance programs (for example in Germany, the government will give you money to subsidize starting a family and buying a home). All those assistance programs have to be funded by something so it would be understandable gasoline prices are much higher there.

You can’t really look at the graph and draw any far reaching conclusions but it is interesting to wonder what it would be like if, in an effort to affect consumer behavior, jacked up the taxes so that we were paying $6/gallon in gas. Detroit wouldn’t like that very much.

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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4 Responses to “Gas Is Cheap!”

  1. Mark Ingle says:

    The rest of the world looks bad but the goverments are really nailing them with taxes so they get free transportation and other services like in the UK. The rest of the world is buying the oil for the same price.

  2. Khyron says:

    European nations and Japan make much more extensive use of public transportation systems generally, in particular trains, which are fairly energy efficient means of moving people and goods. Those gasoline taxes do get put to better use than in the US. I’m not justifying 70% income tax rates and obscenely high corporate tax rates, which is where the largest portion of the subsidized health care budget probably comes from, I would imagine. (The supply siders should go hawking their wares in France, if they dare.) But providing a data point without full context is a bit misleading, methinks. There’re probably a lot of bits we’ve left out of this conversation as well.

  3. Khyron says:

    More bias for the fire from http://tinyurl.com/r2qly

    “A tenacious economist with the National Defense Council
    Foundation–a right-of-center Washington think tank–Copulos spent
    18 solid months poring over hundreds of thousands of pages of
    government documents, toiling to fix a price tag on America’s
    addiction to global crude. He parsed oil-related defense spending
    in the Middle East. He calculated U.S. jobs and investments lost
    to steep crude prices. He even factored in the lifelong medical
    bills of some 18,000 U.S. troops wounded in Iraq as of March.
    (About $1.5 million each.)

    “Copulos is a highly respected analyst in Washington. And his
    exhaustive findings flabbergasted the Senate Foreign Relations
    Committee this spring.

    “The actual cost of gasoline refined from imported oil, according
    to Copulos?

    “Eight dollars a gallon.”

    “Consumers don’t dodge the bill for all these masked expenditures.
    Instead, they pay for them indirectly, through higher taxes, or by
    saddling their children and grandchildren with a ballooning
    national debt–one that’s increasingly financed by foreigners. The
    result: Unaware of the true costs of their oil habit, U.S.
    motorists see no obvious reason to curb their energy gluttony.

    “‘Gas isn’t too expensive,’” said Copulos. ‘It’s way, way too cheap.’”

  4. Jim Chaput says:

    Our gas prices are subsidized by the troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to include their blood in the price we pay for gasoline because, if we didn’t import Raghead oil, we wouldn’t be fighting there.

    A large portion of our defense budget goes to protect the oil supply and defend against hostile nations that use our own oil money against us. We are paying for the R & D effort on the A-bomb that Iran is building to use against us.

    People say that, if we didn’t import the oil somebody else would. LET THEM! And let them import the Raghead menace with it. We can and must convert to non-petroleum fuels.


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