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Mr. President-to-Be: How About Cutting DIESEL Taxes?


International LoneStar

International LoneStar

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If you’ve lived through enough elections, you come to expect the pious promises from politicians who are shocked, shocked, I say, over some bit of negative economic news, and who promise to take immediate steps to improve things for us poor consumers. Considering the current run-up in fuel prices, you’d expect the three remaining presidential contenders to offer up their own solutions.

Maybe they could start with steps to rein in the speculators who are largely responsible for the record prices we’re seeing? Nah, that would be too difficult, and might tick off some potential investors, er, campaign contributors. Instead, two of the White House wannabes have been promoting the idea of a gas tax holiday, demanding that the 18-cent-per-gallon federal tax on gasoline be eliminated, at least temporarily.

I guess that any money saved is a good thing, though realistically, 18 cents doesn’t mean very much when it comes to $4 gas. And then we’d have to figure out how to make up the billions lost from the Federal Highway Fund, one of the rare places where our tax money really does go to work.

But if we’re talking about a fuel tax holiday, why don’t we focus, instead, on diesel. Surprise, surprise, the Feds actually take a bigger bite out of your wallet for this fuel, a much more significant 24 cents. When you’re getting – maybe, downhill – 5 mpg, this adds up quickly.

In normal times, I might argue that this is justified. After all, heavy-duty trucking puts far more wear and tear on our highways than even that big SUV in your driveway, so it’s only fair that they pay to keep it up.

Or, should I say, that we pay, because we consumers are ultimately the ones to absorb that fuel tax, passed on in everything from our FedEx package charges to the price we pay for food. And right now, the entire U.S. economy is getting socked by higher shipping charges. So if you really want to help out, Mr. (Ms.?) President-to-be, take some steps to curb rising diesel prices. Everyone will benefit.
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Comments (5)
  1. We need some refining capacity that is seperate from heating oil too.
     
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  2. This may be a short term solution but is certainly not a long term solution. Consumer demand for diesel cars would shoot up and market demand for diesel fuel would drive prices right back up. Then you couldn't add the taxes back in without overly burdening both consumers and the trucking industry.
     
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  3. The extra tax on diesel is a drop in the bucket compared with the additional cost of refining the new low sulfur diesel that meets "clean air" requirements. What they need to do is repeal the section of the clean air act that requires diesel engines to be as "clean" as gasoline. Cutting the diesel tax would be a start, however, 6 cents per gallon doesn't account for the difference between regular gas and diesel.
    Not having to go through the extensive refining process, we would see the yeild on a barrel of oil rise and costs would drop. In addition, someone purchasing a diesel car would be able to realize real savings.
    Of course, the government could give a rats a$$ about our well being, so the above ain't gonna happen.
     
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  4. Does anyone know the fuel economy of a class 8 in Europe?
     
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  5. It's too late to repeal the diesel clean air laws. If you tried to pour high-sulfur fuel into a new engine you'd damage it. I loathe to agree with Bush in general but there's no magic wand to be waived here. Today in the news the Saudis told Bush they wouldn't raise production. They said their customers weren't requesting it which is BS, the real reason is that they're making a killing selling it at the current prices so why would they change?
     
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