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Chet Ruminski Wrote:
Poor people traditionally have gas guzzlers and will be paying a significantly higher percentage. Not fair.
Mexico has a zero gasoline tax and a whole hell of a lot of poor people despite also being an oil exporter. Venezuela has a 12 cents per gallon full gas price (government owns all stations) and has a whole hell of a lot of poor people -- and Venezuela has some of the largest oil reserves in the world. Likewise, Nigeria has a 38 cent per gallon full price and also has lots and lots of poor people despite also being a world oil exporter with massive oil reserves.
Norway, on the other hand, has a gasoline tax of $3.67 per gallon (full price $6.27 per gallon). They also are a huge oil exporting country, but the difference is that they have very few poor people. Norway has invested in public transport (as well as social programs) which are the great equalizer. High gasoline taxes incentivize public transport.
When I lived in London for nine years, I never owned a car. It wasn't economical. We took public transport everywhere, and we had two children. When we traveled all over Europe we took the trains, buses and only occasionally a rental car.
The point I am making is that European countries use high gasoline tax to help subsidize cheap public transport, which helps the poor. A regional public transport system is, of course, more difficult in the USA because we have so many small rural communities that are increasingly feeling more and more isolated. Many of those communities have already died except for a few die hard locals who refuse to move.
In the long term, our country would do better to increase gasoline taxes for highway infrastructure. It helps everyone who travels, including those who travel by bus. Even higher gasoline taxes could help subsidize public transport...which helps the poor.