November 11th, 2008
06:05 PM ET

Should the gov’t impose a gas tax to curb consumption?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/11/art.gas.price.ap.jpg caption=" At a gas station in Ohio, the price of a gallon of regular gas dropped to $1.89 yesterday."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The majority of Americans want change, which explains the recent election results. But there is change and there is change.

When it comes to our cars, we have a hard time with the whole concept.

We like to drive and have a long history of having relatively cheap gasoline. But when gas prices hit all-time highs this summer–$4 a gallon and even higher—many Americans had to cut back.

A lot has changed since then.

Oil prices are hovering around 19-month lows and gas prices have dropped for 55 days straight. Forty-six states and District of Columbia now report gasoline selling below $2.50 a gallon. That's the good news. The bad news is there’s evidence we're getting back behind the wheel and returning to our old ways.

What to do? President-elect Obama wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions when he gets to the White House in January. One way to do that is to put a hefty tax on gasoline, big enough that it would force down consumption.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government impose a gas tax aimed at holding down consumption?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David writes:
Definitely, but only if the money is set aside for developing alternative energy sources and the poor receive rebates. However, I'm afraid the vultures in Washington would pick it dry like they've been doing social security. Mexicans pay $3 a gallon. I think Americans can handle it, too.

Mark from Arizona writes:
Whole-heartedly I agree. You car owners are the most spoiled and wasteful people I know. No one is going to take the "high road" and make the necessary sacrifices unless they are forced to. But don't jack it up too high, I like having the bus mostly to myself.

Jim from Fort Collins, Colorado writes:
It doesn't make sense to pour billions into the auto industry to save jobs then turn around and penalize people who buy cars and drive rather than taking the bus.

Jim from New Hampshire writes:
Yes, we should raise the gas tax, ideally indexing it to the price of oil to create a price 'floor'. It would ensure a change in driving behavior, hasten the development/purchase of fuel efficient vehicles and provide funding for the much needed repairs to bridges and roads.

Ballanor from Dallas, Texas writes:
A gas tax is regressive. The citizens who live in poverty would pay the same gas tax or excise tax as the rich folk in gated communities. Should a struggling single mother with 3 kids and no spousal support pay the same gas tax as Oprah Winfrey or "the Monster" Dick Cheney? If you go to a grocery store, you will note that the prices are very high and people have to choose carefully. It is a time of thrift. We are not presently a nation of profligate spenders and will be in no hurry to burn up that gasoline when we need bread on the table.

Terry from North Carolina writes:
Stop putting these ideas on the screen. Some of our lawmakers might just watch the Cafferty File along with the other five people and propose such an idea. We are struggling enough. Let’s leave this alone.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Gas Prices
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Saw this one coming . This is just going to be the beginning to higher taxes across the board from Obama.

    November 11, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  2. paddie in Sturgis, Michigan

    Absolutely. Now that gas prices are down again, it's evident that American's are back to their old driving habits. Apparently, most of us don't learn lessons easily. If keeping gas prices high is the only way to reduce consumption then so be it. America must move ahead with alternative fuels and high mileage cars. No more gas guzzlers!

    November 11, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  3. C in Belen, New Mexico

    No... Such a tax would impose a greater burden on those who are least able to afford it. The same lower income families who were having to decide (last summer) wheither to buy groceries, or put gas in the tank so that they could get to work or (today) look for a job....

    November 11, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  4. John

    Jack: No, because this is tax on the poor who need their cars to get to work. A gasoline tax should only be enacted after the top 5% of income wages are taxed at the rate during the Clinton Administration. There should be no tax on ghasoline until the ceiling on social security is raised to $220,000.00. There should be on tax on gasoline until the corporate tax is reduced by 5 to 10% of its present rate of 35%. A tax on gasoline hurts small and medium busines, because they will only pass the increase on to the customer. Jack, I watched a gallon of milk go from $3.70 to $4.55 when gasoline went over $4.00 a gallon. Give me a break!!!

    John from Alabama

    November 11, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Peri W.

    A couple of cents a gallon wouldn't kill anyone as long as the money went to the highway fund to create jobs rebuilding our infrastructure.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  6. Domenic from Montreal, Canada

    Jack, imposing a gas tax will give those speculators more of an incentive to continue gouging. Beleive me I see this every day in Quebec, Canada. The government does not do anything about it because the higher the fuel, the more they take in taxes.

    Demand will come down with all the new fuel efficient cars coming out on the market. No need to impose more taxes on consumers.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  7. Jim Kelton

    Jack, That would be fine with me but first lets rebuild the nations mass transportation systems and make them viable for people to use. Right now mass transit in this country is sporatic at best. I work in mass transit and would be punished by this sort of tax because I have to drive early in the morning to run a train to bring the masses from suburbia to the city, but would still be willing to give a little extra so that there will be enough to go around. Oop's is that asocialist statement? Jim Kelton Bangor,Pa.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  8. Carrie

    I don't agree with a gas tax. Gas is high enough, even though prices are going down. At this moment, I have no gas to get me to work tomorrow unless I borrow money from someone. If my gas is taxed, I'll get even less for my $40 than before.

    I'm not as lucky as my boss, I don't have a company credit card that pays for my gas.

    The ones that will suffer the most is the Middle Class whom he kept saying he wants to help. I voted for him, I would be very disappointed if he did this.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  9. Burt, Sun Lakes, Az

    No. I think the nation would be better served with a bailout of the auto industries with the stipulation that they produce vehicles with a much higher gas mileage rate than we now have. What ever happened to the can do attitude we used to have in this country.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  10. Anj in CA

    NO! We just got the equivalent of a tax break as gas prices went back to something resembling normal, and this is not the time to take that away. This would hit the middle class and poor the hardest, the very groups Obama has at the top of his list for tax relief.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  11. Steve

    Absolutely. The private sector is never going to put any real money into research and development of alternative fuels until they know gasoline will be expensive permanently thus making alternatives attractive to consumers.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  12. Chris

    Yes. Discourage people from driving their SUV's and other gas guzzling beasts. Encourage public transportation and other more fuel efficient modes of transportation. Unfortunately with gas being cheaper than bottled water, people think they can drive all they want without thinking of the big picture. Obama said he was going to make the environment a priority along with the economy. I see him doing exactly that. At the same time I think the money that's collected from this tax should be put towards green initiatives, and public transportation.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm |
  13. Doug - Dallas

    No! Raising the gas tax hurts lower income earners the most.

    The first tax that should be raised is social security payroll tax. There should be no income limit, period. The system was not designed to handle it's current uses but we are taxing incomes based on it's original intent. Everyone who earns money in this country should pay into the system.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  14. Calvin, Indiana

    Raising gas prices, and thus the price of food, goods, and services.. would kill this economy more than it already is.

    So no.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  15. Ismael (Visalia, CA)

    WOW are you Serious?? we have to pay higher groceries, higher mortgage, and higher everything. Now there has to be a tax raise on the one thing that is actually going down!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  16. Maggie

    Yes, keeping the cost of gas high is the only way for America to reach the tipping point for greener alternative fuel vehicles.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  17. Jackie in Dallas

    The price of gas is already choked by taxes. That said, road usage taxes, or gas taxes, may be the only way to both keep our usage of gasoline down, and to rebuild our roads and infrastructure. There are no pat answers here, Jack. No YES or NO. It is going to have to be a balancing act.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  18. NightWind

    Yes, he should start a gas tax. When gas is cheap people drive more. The price of gas in this country has been kept low while in Europe & Canada it is & has been higher for a long time. I think gas should be $7.00 a gallon so there is less needless driving and another fuel can become the fuel of choice quicker and easier. People are crazy to think fuel should really be as low as it is, and has been for too long. All we are doing by keeping prices low is feeding the habit.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  19. Anna - New Mexico

    No. What's the sense in giving the middle class a tax break, and then taxing them another way?

    November 11, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  20. Carolyn

    No… now is not the time to increase any taxes. So far of what I’ve seen of President-elect Obama he doesn’t seem to make a lot of quick wit decisions. I think before we see a gas tax other alternatives will be explored. I think we should wait until President Obama is in the White House he seems to say this at every opportunity given "there is only one president at a time".

    November 11, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  21. Kim - Blair, NE

    Good Grief! I hope not. Give us a little time to acclimate to being able to breathe first.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  22. Diff from Maryland

    Jack – NO WAY. All that will do is give the State Governors an excuse to add their State tax to it. Americans are already driving less. The best remedy is Energy Independence and new car design using alternative fuels.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  23. Tom, Bradenton

    Didn't the high gas prizes cripple our economy and citizens? A gas tax would make it worse, how about a gas tax for the oil scoundrels?

    November 11, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  24. Liz in Towson, MD

    No, at least not until most cars run on biofuels and/or are more fuel efficient. THEN maybe taxing gasoline would be a different case, but I wouldn't support taxing biofuels or other modes of power. Taxing gasoline now would only hurt the people he wants to help. Fortunately, I think he's smart enough to realize that.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  25. Sherre

    No. No. NO. NO! ~ America can not afford to pay anymore taxes. We need every dime we can get our hands on to feed our families~ and we are sick of being the working poor (if we are lucky enough to be working!)

    November 11, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  26. Katiec Pekin, IL

    No, Jack, as it would be another penalty to the lower, middle class.
    Believe people realize and understand the importance of saving
    energy and will continue to do so.
    We are not as ignorant as we once were and are paying attention
    to all the critical issues with our country. Have faith we all will
    work at making our country foreign oil independent and we will
    have a leader to support this.
    However, do feel all the tax breaks, lack of pollution control
    will be enforced and will be a big step in the right direction.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  27. Charles, Dallas, TX.

    No Jack he shouldn't he was against it last summer and I hope he still stands behind that. Experts said and he himself that theory doesn't work we need alternatives and quickly. Plus gas will be going back up again and then we want be able to take vacations and go visit doing the summer like this past summer. I couldn't go visit my friends 230 miles aways because of gas prices and to tax it. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  28. Cori from Colorado

    This is just a bad idea. For a man who wants to give 95% of American's tax relief, why would Obama want to impose a gas tax? It's just not in his best interest, or ours.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  29. James, New York

    It seems like a good idea, but this country relies to much of oil. We consume 25% of the worlds oil. And it's not like we can flip a switch to make our cars run on electricity. The technology just isn't there. We tried to put a tax on cigarettes, put just as many people are smoking. I think once our economy grows through innovation, we'll have resources to turn to besides oil. But the technology isn't there yet, so its not going to stop many people from driving. It's a better idea for the future.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  30. Christine, Upstate NY

    I'm a huge Obama supporter, but...
    Any American who has not yet found ways to reduce their consumption of gasoline is not trying or not caring or truly not able to. Imposing a gas tax only punishes those of us who have already reduced our consumption and those of us who simply cannot practically cut back consumption any more. The ones who aren't trying or caring will still not try or care, so the net result of a federal gas tax wil be only one thing: everyone will be ticked off at Obama.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  31. russell bowles

    Release the refueling tanker contract to boeing and as long taxpayers are paying to rebuild the auto industry,make them build new green powered plants that produce a vehicle with either electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell,all in the same plant.Do it right the first time. We don't need a gas tax,we need to get rid of gas.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  32. Jim/NC

    Here we go! Hold on people because you will see where this man will take us.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  33. Eardley ham

    No, Jack. A tax on gasoline is terribly regressive, and unless it were enough to push the price to near $4.00 a gallon, probably wouldn't help reduce consumption that much.

    During the highest gas price period earlier this year I was driving about 50 miles a day on the local freeway. Even though gas was at or above $4.00 a gallon, most of the traffic drove at least 70 MPH (in particular the big luxury SUVs) so not too many people tried very hard to save fuel

    November 11, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  34. Debby

    No, No heck No not now, with so many people loosing their jobs, with food costs still high, find the money else where, Find another way the job crisis is a hemmorage to the country Fix it then consider it after we see gas prices stay level for a month.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  35. Carroll

    Are you Crazy? Who thought of this? What a dumb idea at this time.

    Washington, D.C.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  36. odessa ohio

    well let's see here..for eight years under a bush administration, ceos of the gas and oil has been making money off the middle class..i don't care for the gas tax at all..all of us are going to pay somehow for using gas..my opionion is to get the dirty crooks who has been benefiting the record prices for years and put them in the ktichen sink..i hope that obama has a reasonable plan for the middle class when it comes to a tax gas..

    November 11, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  37. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    No more tax on all gas. What the government should do is impose a luxury gas tax on all registered gas powered vehicles, boats and cars, trucks etc. that do not get at least 25mpg. You would pay the tax when registering your vehicle each year. Make the tax high enough and
    eventually the gas guzzlers would disappear.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    November 11, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  38. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I think rising unemployment and near total loss of our life's savings will do that for him.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  39. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Welcome to California! Our gas is already 20 – 30 cents over the national average. No it is not a good idea, and I think Obama will look for other ways to reduce oil consumption before he does this. He can start by regulating speculation in the markets.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  40. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    NO! Look what happened when the price of gas went up to $4 bucks, Americans took the bus, drove less, and so the price DROPPED!

    An increase in the tax on fuel will only hurt the middle-class and working-class that President-elect Obama is trying to help!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  41. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Ah, so this is what he really meant when he said McCain's gas tax removal proposal was a "short-term fix..."

    November 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  42. Simpliticus

    If this supposed tax is to keep the prices of gas down, No, the tax should not be implemented. George W. Bush's poor economics has seen that gas prices with the falling oil prices, increasing unemployment, and and other recessionary concerns has met that requirement. Obama might consider a gas tax to implement basic infrastructure repairs however. The Oregon governor is exploring a similar gas tax provision.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  43. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Good idea in theory, but it will hurt only the classes of people he is trying to help. It may be a good long term solution, but we need help now. Instead, he should impose a "gala tax" on those corporate executives who are living it up at our expense in those high end resorts.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  44. Lisa in Huntsville, Alabama

    NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!

    Whose idea was this? I sure hope it wasn't Mr. Obama's, because for someone who wants to help the poor and middle class, he'd sure be killing them with higher gas prices for them and the industry that brings them the things they need to live.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  45. Dave P.


    Yes he should. This, of course, would not be very popular but would help keep fresh in everyone's mind that we are WAY to dependant on foreign oil. If we all have to pay more we will drive less and that will help keep prices down. We can also use the money from the tax to fund alternative energy research.


    Iowa City, Iowa

    November 11, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  46. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA


    November 11, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  47. james

    Sounds like a good idea to me. It would help stimulate alternative fuel growth but with this economy, it might be the worst thing to do.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  48. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If this is something the Republicans suggested, no way, no how should Obama impose a gas tax.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  49. Dave in MO

    Sure as long as he is not planing on running for a second term!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  50. Linda in Indiana

    No, there should be no gas tax as long as the economy is in such a slump. Rural, middle America that still drives to their jobs,towns, and schools do not need another burden on their pocketbooks. A gas tax won't help the farmers either!
    Linda in rural southern Indiana

    November 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  51. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    A gas tax would hurt those barely able to make it now. The Idea of a tax at licence time would make more sense.If people want to drive larger vehicles they can afford to pay but only if the money is used for infastruture. Why don't people in favor of alternative fuels realize it takes more energy to produce them than they provide.
    Ethanol; is one of the worst offenders.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  52. Dick B

    I would prefer a higher income tax on the folks on Wall Street to hold down the consumption of greed.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  53. Sarah Louise

    Yes BUT not until the economy has turned around. Increasing the cost of gas is one of the best ways to cut fuel use and encouraging the public to buy more fuel efficient cars However it's not a good idea to implement this at the moment – with the economy in such bad shape it could hinder the speed of the recovery.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  54. Linda in Florida

    I have to say no to this - Florida's gas taxes are already too high. I need my car to get to work and when it was over $4 a gallon, it was very difficult for me. Even tho the prices have gone down, I try not to do any extra driving on weekends, etc. I run errands on my way home from work. I would take public transportation, but in my area in South FL, the pickings are slim.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  55. Dave

    Yes!!!! We as a people have been spoiled by our low gas taxes and our over consumption of the world's oil supply. I have appreciated the smaller, more fuel efficient cars, and the attitudes of fuel savings throughout my European travels. The public transportation system is magnificent , compared to the US, throughout most of Europe. There comes a time we should learn from our allies.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  56. Shirley -AK OHIO

    In order to get the economy back up and running you are going to have to try everything you possibly can in order to rule out the should haves, could haves and I would haves but I didn't because....... if it works "yes", if not, back to the drawing board.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  57. Stacey

    Making gas more expensive is the first step to decreasing oil consumption and reversing the impacts of global warming. This summer when gas prices were through the roof, myself and virtually everyone I know was making efforts to conserve gas, which in the end helps preserve our planet. So yes, a gas tax will help out everyone in the long run.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  58. Conor in Chicago

    Not if he wants to be hated before he takes office.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  59. Dan, Maryland

    Jack notice how the answer to reduce gas prices is always "more supply?" I have a brilliant idea that would arguably have an even greater affect on gas prices...decrease demand. Simple economics. If we can decrease demand by forcing a gas tax the demand for alternative and renewable energy sources for our homes and cars will sky rocket and finally our American car companies will become competitive again because they would be forced to meet the demand of alternative fueled cars. Another great option I'd love to see as an SUV owner is a higher sales tax on the purchase of any vehicle that doesn't meet a certain MPG rating....let's say 40 MPG? That would force me out of the SUV market unless they find an alternative fuel option I know that much.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  60. Ed Reed

    Yes, with the money only being spent only on roads and bridges until they've been brought up to snuff. After that, the money should be spent on researching alternative energy sources.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    November 11, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  61. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    No! People have paid pretty salty for the right to drive to work so they can feed and cloth their kids and pay their bills. Surely their must be a different way to raise funds.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  62. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Not if he intends on running for re-election in 4 years.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  63. Mike

    No. Not at this time. Should control inflation. People should continue to conserve on energy.


    November 11, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  64. Ray in Nashville

    No, the poor and middle classes in this country are already close to the breaking point. Rather than impose a tax on gasoline, up the CAFE standards that the automakers have to meet and then impose a tax on the purchase of vehicles with anything over 4 cylinders. Contractors, farmers and others who actually need vehicles with big, powerful engines can get an exemption. This might make the "Joe six-packs" and "hockey moms" of the country think twice about opting for that big gas guzzling SUV.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  65. Russ in Johnston, IA

    Only if the Fed dumps the $$ into high-speed rail, plug-ins at filling stations, hydrogen refill stations, electric busses. But, there has to be a detailed energy plan before we start throwing $$ at it.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  66. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    Yes, but not right away.

    Right now the biggest challenge is to get the economy restarted. Once this is accomplished, a fuel tax to repair our crumbling infrastructure,and research alternative energy sources and conservation will be just the ticket. Americans need incentives to buy those fuel efficient vehicles we're hearing so much about.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  67. Marie Ontario

    An increase in a gas tax is not the solution at this time but roads and bridges need repairing and maintaining and the money has to come from somewhere.

    Having said this in Canada the trucks and transports have to pay extra taxes for using our roads because of the added stress they apply when using them. This is a fair way to see that users pay to maintain the infastructure more in line with the wear and tear they exert on them.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  68. Annie, Atlanta

    A few commercials showing how the Saudi prince's family lives would be more effective, and easier on our pocket books.

    Hey, since gas prices have come down when can we expect a drop in prices at the grocery stores, etc.?

    November 11, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  69. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Why? Let the people set the price of gas as they always have. Drive more and use more the price goes up, drive less it goes down. Supply and demand.

    Reduce consumption by kicking the auto industry slackers in the rear end to produce fuel efficient vehicles as they promised in 1974 during the oil embargo. I've yet to hear much from the government about T. Boone's plans which sound plausible and nearly immediate in order to reduce oil consumption.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  70. Glenn in California

    Jack, only if 100% of it goes to an alternative fuel strategy. Since gas prices have dropped so dramatically and $4.50 a gallon gas is now a distant memory, we as a nation will be back to our old gas guzzling habits, just like it's been every time prices have receded from a spike since 1973. We need to bite the bullet and wean ourselves off the imported oil habit, once and for all. It's a matter of national security, and oh yeah, it makes sense too.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  71. TJ, Illinois

    Yes, I'm so sick and tired of Republicans always whining about raising taxes. They always want to spend billions of dollars on some new great weapon system but never on something that actually might end these wars over oil. Take the tax and put it towards energy technology. For god's sake look at our defense budget compared to other countries people. I believe in defense, but this is getting ridiculous. All we need is a clear thinking politician who is not afraid of telling the truth to the American people. But we will get more of the same, worried about their next election.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:06 pm |

    no way we have enough going on with Job losses and forclosures

    November 11, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  73. philip from Toronto

    Then use it to pay off the 10 Trillion dollar debt.
    Name the debt "The Bush Republican Debt" so that no-one ever forgets that Obama didn't cause it.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  74. Helena, Clearwater, FL

    The only reason she is still in the news is because she is such an oddity. Those that enjoy reading about her are looking for a new laugh. She will always be the fool of the McCain campaign for her stupidity and the cream of the crop for comedians. Maybe she should go back to college and take a course in Constitution Law and basic geography. Too bad there is no education for common sense. You either have or you don't so she is out of luck on that issue.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  75. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    Yes. Higher gas prices had a big impact on reduced consumption. Now that prices are somewhat lower Americans will begin to use more gas. Higher prices set by either the market or by increased taxes is the only way to reduce America's consumption for the long term.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  76. Shirley


    November 11, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  77. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: That is the last thing we need is a "gas tax." We have enough "gas" in Congress. The government should tax the oil industry's windfall profits.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  78. Kerry Diehl

    Sure!! ...Go for it Obama!! You're going to do it regardless of what we say or do along with multiple taxes on everything else as well.

    I expect you to tax us till you've got every dollar and piece of "CHANGE" in our pockets!!

    As for the gas tax, I'm retired and can even walk to the store if needed for the next four years. To those who voted him in – "I told you so!"

    November 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  79. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Nope, not to reduce consumption. Let's burn all of the fossil fuel on earth as soon as possible and move on to something better.

    But I favor a revision of the gas tax (gax). It should be a percentage of the pump price, and should be considerably higher than it is now with respect to the cost of a gallon of fuel. We need road repair and maintenance more now than at any time since Eisenhower invented the interstate. Let us drivers pay for it.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  80. J/ARK

    I don't think a gas tax will lower consumption, my personal thought. If the tax was rolled out as a way to fund roads/bridges with just a few cents, that would probably be okay with the majority.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  81. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Why not. We will be paying for the 700 billion bailout....what's a few more cents per gallon.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  82. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Last thing American consumers need now is higher gas taxes. Americans need jobs, jobs and more jobs. Get the economy cooking first. Then focus on trying to change our gas guzzling addiction. We've waited over 30 years so far, another 2 won't make that much of a difference. And besides, let's make sure the US auto industry is still around so we have something to retool and turn green.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  83. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    No a gas tax won't curb the consumption but a higher tax on sale of both used and new gas guzzling vehicles might just do the trick and then that way the consumer has a choice on whether or not they want to pay to lower consumption.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  84. Tina (Texas)

    No they need to inforce the rules they give on the big 3 if the bail them out. Take them over and force them to make smaller more affordable and economic on gas mileage. The days of monster trucks should be gone out the window.
    Tina (Tx)

    November 11, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  85. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Yes. Let`s not forget that change won`t come cheap. We have seen this comming for a long time and just sat on our hands. Now we have waited til the last minute, changing will be much tougher,but it must be done.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  86. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    A federal gas tax would be disasterous at this point in time. The individual States will increase their gas tax because they are in financial straights just like everyone else. Imposing a federal gas tax would only be "robbing Peter to pay Paul". It is hard enough for the average citizen to fill their gas tank as well as feed their family and meet the monthly expenses of just simply surviving right now with gas prices down. Increasing gas prices would domino into every aspect of people's lives. There has got to be a better way to raise revenue. Let's raffle off AIG!

    November 11, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  87. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    oh that's a good idea, now that i can afford a half a tank instead of a quarter of a tank. ya that sounds wonderful...if i remember correctly i already pay gas tax. maybe i should sell the 1977 ford f-250 now that someone can afford to put gas in it. i almost turned it into a flower pot last summer.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  88. Tony in Michigan

    No thanks, big oil price gouging has already driven down gas consumption.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  89. Steve Canada

    If you look at the events of the last year when demand, either real or contived, took prices to $4 plus per gallon, consumption went down...a lot. There is a very valid theory that this $4 cost was a direct cause of the way the economies of the world have been behaving..The simple answer is no tax is needed..The price will be the penalty..All governments collect based on the price, of crude, gasoline, and byproducts based on crude

    November 11, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  90. Anne/Seattle

    Yes a small one to reinforce for the majority of short attention Americans who will not accept that change in consumption and source is so necessary.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  91. Brian, East Hartford, CT

    The only sensible argument in favor of a gas tax to curb consumption would be to channel the funds raised by said tax into public transportation:
    1) Subsidize the expansion of bus service to serve more areas, run more often, and run more hours of the day.
    2) Invest in commuter rail infrastructure with track improvements to increase capacity, replace aging equipment and expand service.
    3) Make a national high-speed rail system a reality – not that sorry excuse we have in the northeast with high-speed trains that travel slower than cars on the highway over most of the route. The real deal like they've had in Europe for decades.
    When gas prices approached $5.00 a gallon this summer, people started leaving their cars at home and riding buses and trains. It was beautiful! Then they had to stand up on the train or commuter express bus. Then they had to wait for multiple buses to pass before they could squeeze aboard. Then they coughed up $80.00 to fill their tanks and got back in their cars.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  92. Alex

    Jack, imposing a gas tax on Americans is the engine to reducing America's carbon footprint.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  93. Dale, University Place, WA

    While new taxes are going to be inevitable to resolve our huge national debt, taxing fuel as a means of reducing consumption is a bad idea.

    Higher fuel costs, for any reason, eventually create higher costs for the necessities of life. As those costs rise consumer spending will decrease. As spending decreases unemployment rises further causing a further decrease in consumer spending. The problem becomes a spiraling black hole.

    Rather than tax consumers, perhaps the government should conduct an honest investigation of the large oil companies that were given tax breaks and then preceded to abuse their positional power to raise fuel prices. Take some of those tax breaks back to help fund the new breaks that are being given to corporate America.

    Higher fuel costs helped get us into this economic mess and raising fuel costs is not going to get us out of this economic mess. The madness needs to be put aside for real solutions.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  94. Mike S. New Orleans

    I don't think a gas tax is fair at a time like this when so many Americans have to live in their SUV's because they lost their homes.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  95. Dennis North Carolina

    If the money is used to create jobs,rebuild roads and bridges, build schools of the future and used to change our use of energy with new forms of energy. the public will abuse low gas prices so if we pay a little more to change the future to the good and get us off a oil economy than we should do it.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  96. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Because that punishes consumers. A better idea is to tax the obscene oil company proftits and use that money to fund alternatives.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  97. bob, ontario, canada

    Jack, no. Obama should insist that until car manufacturers can give the consumers more fuel-efficient vehicles, no bailout money is to be handed over to companies until the geniuses they have on staff can demonstrate innovative responsibility in helping to preserve our oil reserves by engineering the vehicles they should have been producing about twenty years ago.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  98. Sid....Texas

    A higher tax on gas would not bother me so much if they would just use the tax to rebuild or repair some of these dry creek beds that they call highways in Texas..

    November 11, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  99. Lauri, Baltimore MD

    Not until public transportation is a viable alternative to the auto. We've got a long way to go there.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  100. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Why not go back to the 55 miles per hour speed limit. That will cut down immensely the amount of fuel used. For those who violate the speed limit, a stiff fine could be imposed. Those dollars shared by the states and federal government.
    Given the driving public's disregard for existing speed limits, the money should roll in.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  101. Alabama Angel

    No. I think Americans are doing all we can to hold down consumption. I live in Alabama, and in the area where I am there are people who must commute as far as 100 miles to work. Many people use their cars in business, and their mileage is dictated by the requirements of their jobs. You can't tax that - we can't control that. And you don't fix the high price of gasoline by putting the burden of a tax on the consumer. Tax the oil companies. Put the burden on them. They are making outrageous profits.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  102. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Jack, no to put it in simple terms. These taxes only hurt the lower to middle income. Reduce the speed limit as much as I don't like that and then enforce it especially on the big trucks.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  103. Debora I from Nauvoo, IL

    No, a gas tax hurts those who need to use gas to get to work, to go to the grocery store, drive to school, etc, etc. What we need are different technologies that make use of different energy sources, and someday soon there were be a new invention that will change the world's dependence on oil. We can't even imagine what it will be. Who ever discovers it will be our newest billionaires. Isn't that the best of capitalism and the free market?

    November 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  104. Bill, Quarryville. Pa

    Right now the American people need every opportunity that comes along to save money in these trying times. Raising the gas tax would not help that. It would be committing political suicide for the party that just took over. If the American people with jobs are that naive to go out and start buying gas guzzling vehicles, with the thinking gas prices cannot rise twice as fast as they went down, then history has not taught anything.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  105. Roy - Chicago IL

    The government should demand Detriot up the MPG of cars to 32 miles a gallon from 24 miles a gallon (for the last 20 years!!) as part of any bailout....to curb consumption as you say.
    The 'gas guzzler' tax on new cars should be expanded to all vehicles getting less that 20mpg, to discourage manufacturing and purchasing of those vehicles.
    A straight tax at the pump is not the answer.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  106. Adena from Texas

    No, I don't believe there should be a higher tax on gas. For those living outside the city limits without public transportation this would be unfair. I think American's need to take hard look at their travel and see where they can cut back. I think we should be more responsible drivers and consumers.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  107. Richard


    Placing an additional tax on people really won't curb consumption at this point because most people are driving to get to work and doing the necessary trips to the grocery store, etc. I think the best investment would be to subsidize rail systems and reduce the amount of truck traffic on the major highways. Just consider all the trucks which travel millions of mile each year and the effect of replacing those trips with an updated and efficient rail system. In addition, improving the rail infrastructure could create new jobs in the steel industry and in train manufacturing.

    Thank you,
    Gettysburg, PA

    November 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  108. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    For those advocating higher gas taxes, I invite them to come live in Washington state. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe our state ranks highest in the nation as far as gas taxes are concerned.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  109. David in Raleigh

    This is an unfair burden on the poor.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  110. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    Yes, and the tax should go into rebuilding our national transportation system in both metro and rural areas.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  111. John, Fort Collins, CO

    It doesn't make sense to pour billions into the auto industry to save jobs then turn around and penalize people who who buy cars and drive rather than taking the bus. Hopefully, Barack Obama will establish a goal for clean air, alternative energy and transportation, then develop a coordinated master plan to get us there.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  112. robert sulzer

    No. Instead, how about tapping into the billions of dollars that the "big oil" companies have earned while the rest of us are paying higher prices for everything else. By the way, are the oil companies using the profits to upgrade and build new refineries?

    November 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  113. F Machado - Connecticut

    It would be better to raise taxes on automakers producing tons of SUVs which increase more the consumption, and give tax cuts for automakers who go "green", producing fuel efficient cars and hybrids.

    Another alternative is to increase tax for those buying SUVs without need, just because os status or because the neighbour next door has one.

    Increase gas tax won't solve the problem because it is a necessityand not an option.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  114. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    The only consumption tax that should be levied is on the lending industry, which is borrowing at record low rates and charging us record interest. They are consuming the American public.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  115. Honest John in Vermont

    No. An increased gas tax will hurt working people the most and it will hurt those with little money who are struggling in this doomsday economy. Those with the least money will pay the most. Maybe we should tax AIG and company a bit more on all the BAILOUT money they continue to get.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  116. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Gas taxes are already high enough. The states or communities that don't have to worry about "clean air standards" always have lower pump prices because those that have standards have an "extra" tax added to the pump price in the form of "additives" supposed to keep carbon emissions down....and that doesn't work by the way.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  117. Masoud in New Jersey

    Give Fuel ID cards to people. The more they use, the more taxes. First 20 Gallons free or low tax. Many nations do this and as the price of Oil changes, the program can adjust.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  118. Ginger H -- West Melbourne, FL

    It doesn't work for tobacco, so it won't work for gas. Users will continue to use and cut other things to pay for what they want. Cut the supply of tobacco and users will have to stop, so the same goes for gas. We need alternative means - Hybrids, bicycles, FEET.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  119. Dennis from Albuquerque

    I think that it's probably a good idea. We could take the money and use it for improvements to the infrastructure. Truthfully, we have got to start paying our way and attacking the deficit, so our grandchildren won't be saddled with a debt that can't be paid.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  120. Gary from Colorado

    Jack, this would be a great opportunity to establish a sliding scale excise tax, especially with gas below $2.00 a gallon in some places. We need the funds to fix roads and bridges. If prices spike again, the sliding scale would have a leveling effect by easing the pain of large price hikes.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  121. Nancy, Tennessee

    No gas tax. After federal taxes, social security taxes, sales taxes, land taxes, vehicle registration taxes, landfill taxes, and taxes on taxes; I really do need the ten cents that is left in each dollar of my pay check for food, lodging, and the such. Do you think politicians who would consider more taxes have a clue about how many taxes we already pay! Government needs to stop spending money on worthless projects and quit tacking pork on to every bill. Even in the worst of times, they had to add to the $700 billion economic bailout..where's the shame!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  122. Eric

    Sure, as if we americans aren't taxed enough already. Let's just do that and turn our recession into a depression. While we are at it let's raise taxes on food,clothes,create a tax for the air we breathe, and whatever else we can think of. We should pass the fair tax into law, now that's an idea. But, since it would help everyone of us american citizens that would be unheard of would it not? It only works if it hurts the citizens and helps the government. Anytime you raise taxes, the poor and middle class hurt! Heck we might as well just go into communism and have a welfare government!
    Eric from Johnson City,TN

    November 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  123. Chryssa

    Only if the monies went immediately and directly to improving public transportation. And by that, I mean switching today to a 24/7 service schedule in every city, with more buses and routes by next Monday.

    Boise, ID

    November 11, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  124. Daniel Ambrose

    Yes on this. SImply because either way the government taxes us, nobody is going to like it. I'd rather see it done this way, rather than to raise income taxes. This is such an obvious decision here.

    Daniel Ambrose

    November 11, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  125. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    No. The tax will only hurt the lower income people who are suffering enough as it is. Force the Oil Companies to build more refineries with the excessive profits and tax breaks they have been enjoying. We have not increased or built a new refinary in over 20 years, yet out demand for Gas and other products from Crude Oil has increased 10 fold.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  126. Jeff from Minnesota

    Based on the past year when gas was supposedly extremely expensive, any consumption tax would have to put gasoline at above $5 per gallon or greater to have an effect. However, whether or not a consumption tax were a good idea would hinge on where the money collected would go.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  127. Gary in High Point

    Yes, if the price of a gallon stays about where it is now then a ags tax could be very helpful in our recover. The tax could only be used as the current tax is ans would be adjusted lower as the orice of a gallon raises.

    Yea, it's a good idea...getting out of this mess Bush is leaving us is going to hurt some but lets dtart somewhere fast.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  128. Keith - Halifax, Canada

    Think of it as realistic tax instead of consumption tax. Ease a bit more tax in while the economy is decline but wait for the economy to recover before implementing realistic prices. The failing North American auto industry can be tied directly to artificially low gas prices in the US. It does not have the environmental impact, maxed-out-capacity, cost of infrastructure, or dependence on unfriendly regimes factored into its price. So the North American auto industry churned out gas guzzlers like there was no tomorrow and now they are all dressed up with no place to go.

    Also your debt load is frightening and you really need the money. Most Americans do not realize how much of their tax goes just to service the debt.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  129. T J

    No, we still have not broken even for all the gouging that we went through the last two years..

    November 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  130. Gigi in Alabama

    Please, NO! We are having a hard enough time now. Once a tax goes on a gallon of gas, it stays there.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  131. Ryan from Sacramento

    No, don't tax the consumer, tax the oil producers and invest the money in alternative energy and alternative car engines, make it so the Exxon Mobils can't keep their ridiculous profit margins without becoming uncompetitive. Making the consumer miserable and unable to afford energy due to monopolistic oil company profits and a government-imposed gas tax isn't the way to end our dependency on oil; fostering competition among energy producers is.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  132. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Taxes should only be used as a source of revenue–not as a behavioral control method.

    It is despiccable to see such a total lack of federal planning and effort to create a nationwide mass transit plan. Most Americans have a one hour commute to work. There isn't adequate regional (city to city) transit available–and due to differences in work hours (flex time, overtime, parttime)–car pooling is very difficult to do.

    I've believed for a long time the federal government should be in the lead in planning, allocating, and creating intraregional mass transit that will move most commuters out of their cars and into buses and trains.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  133. Jason, MA

    Yeah... sure, i'll agree to a tax on Gasoline. The same as i'll agree to being even more poor than i already am. Let's do it!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  134. CK, Connecticut

    No, but we should tax the numbskulls who insist on driving gas-guzzling Hummers and the like all the time. Those monstrosities confuse me, anyway. I wasn't aware there was military action in the suburbs of Connecticut. And no, your kid's soccer game doesn't warrant the enormous SUV, either...

    November 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  135. Jeff in Connecticut

    Actually, that's not a bad idea. Now, while prices are lower, the average American's attention span will cause a loss of urgency about the inevitable end of fossil petroleum. We, as a Nation need a daily reminder of the pickle we're in. I admit it.........I am an addict. I love my cars, trucks, motorcycles & boats. What's great is there's a dealer on every corner willing to satisfy my need. Rehab isn't free. Yes Jack, let's put 50 cents a gallon on gasoline and put it directly into renewable energy such as solar hydronic which is economical for the average homeowner. However, we've got to leave the diesel for truckers alone.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  136. Bruce St Paul MN

    In ordinary economic times I would say yes. But things have changed. After decades of policies that robbed the middle and lower classes of what little wealth we had, disposable income is only a dim memory, savings a more recent, but fading memory, and runaway debt the status quo. In this climate, people are trying to conserve everything. A gas tax would just be another burden on top of the rest.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  137. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Jack, don't bring up taxes, some jerk in congress will damn sure want to impose one. They tax everything now, only one or two items that they don't tax, and they would tax it if they could look in you bedroom.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  138. Mertis

    Not now. Get the top 5% paying their fair share first. I for one didn't go back to consuming more gas and now that the summer is over and the kids are back in school, it there's an increase it could be because the buses are back on the road and parents are dropping kids off on their way to work. Trust me, none of us are JOY RIDING...

    November 11, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  139. Jon in Columbus, Indiana

    There is no easy answer to this question. Public transportation has deteriorated greatly in this country, while living space has spread far out. I'd have to walk for an hour to get to the nearest bus-stop. And no, living closer in would not help, as the time and money saved would be eclipsed by the cost of housing, even now.

    Closing tax loopholes on those oil companies that made record profits while everyone else was melting down would be a better first choice.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  140. Jane in CA

    Absolutely!!. Just phase it in, five or ten cents a month. Keep consumption low enough to hurt the oil producers in the pocketbook. And use the money to repair and maintain this country, things like the electrical grid and VA hospitals.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  141. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Any tax of gas should go to the improvement of roads and bridges. Find another source for irresponsible projects,i.e. A bridge to Wasilla.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  142. gail Centre, Al.

    Is this a real question, or is this a joke?
    we are already taxed to death, that's a no brainer.
    NO, NO, NO,

    November 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  143. Randy, Salt Lake City

    If it actually goes to improving the roads or better yet, mass transit, well, yes. But since we live in The United States of Greed, it'll probably go to some fat cat campaign contributor so he can buy another couple of houses or a bigger yaught. Yeah, it'll probably hurt the lower income people, but since they were stupid and bought into the BS of buying a big Brontosaurus SUV or BFT, they deserve it.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  144. Jimmy from NC

    Tax for consumer, NO! Tax the oil companies, YES!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  145. Charla in De Kalb, Texas

    A gas tax such as this will be economic disaster for those of us in rural communities, where there is NO SUCH THING as public transportation. I personally drive 40 miles to work one way. People will not be able to afford to drive to work, and may be forced to move from the smaller communities to the larger towns, where the costs of living is greatly more expensive. I guess somebody is going to take my money one way or another!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  146. Marty

    No, they shouldn't! It seems to me that the people have responded to the summer's high gas prices by lowering their consumption significantly without government intervention, so why start now? Raising taxes is not an incentive and it's not for our own good. It's so the goverment can rob the last few people who have a job of their hard-earned money and give it to their wealthy buddies when we're not looking.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:33 pm |


    November 11, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  148. s burns, dublin, ohio

    No. I'm thinking of my college students who drive to and from class daily and I'm thinking of most of my co-workers who when gas prices were so high, they had to decide on food or gas for work, literally.

    Additional gas taxes won't curb the wealthy from driving, it will hurt those in the middle class and the poor who are just barely "eeking" by.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  149. Russell, Seattle, WA

    Americans already have enough trouble making ends meet. I'd like to see the government spend valuable time and energy on the economic crisis and when there is relief then tinker with this kind of thing but not until then.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  150. Pliny - St. Louis, MO

    Absolutely not; the government has no business engaging in taxation to modify the behavior of the citizenry. The government was empowered to tax us in order to accomplish its constitutional duties. Do we want to live in a tyranny where the government assumes it knows better than us and dictates our lives to us? Surely not.

    St. Louis

    November 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  151. andrea from MA

    an user tax such as this hurts poor and middle class people. the tax should be abolished. just increase the income tax on anyone making $250,000.00 or more. these people can afford a tank of gas not like the rest of us. i haven't had a full tank of gas since the one that came for free when i bought my scion xb in march 2006.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  152. JW Georgia

    Yes.....conservation and curtailment of fuel consumption is the most immediate action we can take toward energy independence. A tax should start at twenty five cents a gallon, and be raised each year in perpetuity by 25 cents until we get off the stuff altogether. Otherwise, Detroit will continue to build the biggest, profit making gas burners possible, moms will continue driving little Johnny two miles to soccer practice, and drivers will continue to each power two tons of single occupant steel back and forth to town and call it "commuting". If we don't fix this now, get ready for the American standard of living to decline even further that we're currently anticipating. And the fools who want to call this a liberal tax and spend policy can go ahead. We finally have someone in office with the shoulders to handle that kind of whiny noise.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  153. Elizabeth in NC

    Hello? No new taxes remember???

    November 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  154. Cindy from Georgia

    LOL! Guess you don't drive often Jack...

    November 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  155. william fitzwater

    They impose a stiff gas tax in Europe to reduce traffice and to use tranist. The united sates just does't have the stabilshed infrastructure for public tranist to use as a alternative. The tax also effects shipping and other transporation parts of the US econeny.
    I think a VAT (value added tax ) would be better as long asd it does not affect large ticket items.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  156. Janice Illinois

    No we have been cheated enough , What I don't understand is why the people have put up with this so long. We are being ripped off royally! One day the gas is 5.00 a gallon and now 1.9?. Oil companies are like school bullies until you stand up and do something about it, it will just keep on going on. When are we going to as a public stand up to them?

    November 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  157. carol in Oregon

    No lets tax something made in America and produces jobs at home.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  158. Tim in Texas

    Nope, impose a windfall profits tax on the oil companies. Use it to bailout the auto industry but with the stipulation that they must produce energy efficient vehicles. Also, regulate hedge fund investments, and tax the crap out of their capital gains - this is the tax that needs to be made progressive. These rip-off artists have been driving up prices for decades
    and as of yet, nobody seems to really have figured out how they have subverted the capitalist system.
    Tim in Texas

    November 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  159. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    No, because it won't work. And obviously, given the degree to which prices have fallen, consumption is down. Most folks I know are driving far less, have bought hybrid vehicles, and have decided to think seriously about the environment. I'm not going to increase my driving just because prices are lower, as I enjoy having a little more moolah to play around with each week. Now, if I can just get the rest of America to follow my lead...

    November 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  160. gail Centre, Al.

    No more tax on gas, But all the dems. know is tax, tax, tax,
    Because they are going to spend, spend, spend. Let's vote for congress, and the president, to take a pay cut. Sell Pelosi's jet, and no more expense account's.Now that's a good agenda.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  161. Joe Morelli Brooklyn NY

    This is as ridiculous as Bush saying America is "addicted to oil." Of course we are addicted to oil, because our government designed it that way. Most cities do not have sufficient public transportation, so we have to drive our cars most places. Also, our politicians and big oil companies have kept available technology virtually unavailable to us, like flex cars and sugar cane ethanol. All this talk about our environment, and green fuels, what a joke!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  162. perry jones

    Oh, yes please will you tax us we know this is for our own good . We need you to tax us more have you put any thought in to beef ,pork chicken and don’t forget about bread. Oh please tax us on all those plastic bottles and don’t forget a special tax on those rubber tires we use every day, oh please remind us every day we are bad and we need you to punish us thank you. You know maybe the government could give us all a new I.D Card with our tax code on it that way they would make sure we all paid our fare share Oh that would be nice THIS ONE WONT MAKE PRINT
    the non spelling republican
    Perry Jones
    Council Bluffs Iowa

    November 11, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  163. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Leave it up to the states and cities. I worry about the farmers. They have enough to contend with as it is

    November 11, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  164. Mary from Austin, Texas

    No! We need incentives to take the bus, metro, switch to an electric car, or better yet...convert our vehicles to lean green machines. Instead of pouring more money into Ford, GM, and the rest of the auto industry, the government should give the money to them if they are ready to make green vehicles.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  165. Melanie in IA

    Remember any increase in gas also increases transportation costs for food, medicine, and clothing. Families need economic assistance not more financial burdens.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  166. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    No we paid over $4.00 a gallon...we paid over $3.00 a gallon...it is about time we got some kind of a break somewhere. But nowhere is there an adjustment for lower fuel prices, not electric bills, not food bills etc.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  167. susan from Idaho

    Absolutely not, our truckers need to be able to haul goods without the high fuel prices. So many have been forced out already. Also, the price of everything has gone up as a result. You want to know where to get extra revenue? Tax Exon Mobile they are the ones with the money. Let’s have the trickle down start from their pockets.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  168. bloggingawayadhd

    I think he should impose a gas tax on foreign oil, so it becomes less profitable to import energy instead of using the multiple sources of energy (including the sun) available right here in the US.

    Harrisonburg, VA

    November 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  169. Karen - Nashville

    Did it work for cigarettes?

    November 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  170. Sandra fromTexas

    I can't decide. I know a tax will hurt the middle and lower class drivers. However, consumption must stay as low as possible. If gas prices stay low, nothing will change until the next time. I just can't say what the solution is to this never ending problem.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  171. Kay in WV

    A gas tax is inherently regressive, hurting those least able to afford it, but if we are going to seriously take a stab at energy independence the cost should be borne by all so, while I am generally against regressive taxes, yes we need to impose higher taxes on gas. The days of asking government to do more while also demanding lower taxes are over folks, the bill is due now.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  172. Harold from Anchorage,AK

    How about the 55mph national speed limit? It saved fuel AND lives;instead of driving 70 mph to get to work or holiday, plan ahead and start out earlier.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  173. Patricia

    Well, let's see.... Millions of Americans are now taking mass transit, which means we've curbed our consumption by millions of gallons already. As a matter of fact, oil prices have fallen to $60.00 a barrel, which means there is now a glut of oil on the market. Now, would be the time to finish filling the S.O.R. at these rock bottom prices.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  174. Gary NC

    No. The best way to curb consumption is if everyone were to by one of the new soon to be released GM Volts. Just think how much consumption would be cut if you got the equivalent of 100-150 miles per gallon.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  175. Al Bledsoe in Dallas

    Huh? You mean increase the taxes already imposed, don't you? Another way to curb consumption would be to let US Auto makers fail. Place a huge tariff on foreign cars and make them double or triple or more in cost. Then let each state keep taxing the registration on this appreciated value. If the US Auto maker wants a bail out - they have to produce cars that only run on renewable energy sources and are 100% recyclable. No cars on the road more than 5 years old. Could fix over weight problem in US, too.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  176. Jan from Delaware


    I think Obama knows that he can't raise any taxes or start any new ones while our economy is in this state of emergency. Besides, I am proud that Americans took the bull by the horn and cut consumption themselves. It was a lesson well learned. Hate to say it, but he is going to have to lay the emissions problem squarely in the lap of the automakers to solve the problem and fix it. Of course, they have to find a way to pay for it because they took a dump too.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  177. Justin

    No, it would punish the working class and drive up costs for other goods. It would be better to buy up and scrap the inefficient cars that are more than 8 years old, and offer tax incentives on cars that get more than 30mpg. If folks want to waste their cash driving an SUV and sending their dollars to the Saudis, that is their right.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  178. yolonda from Memphis

    Now that gas prices are down it only means that I can fill up less often. I will admit the gas prices made me leave my car parked but I am a full-time student and I cant afford a gas tax. Personally, my driving is still cut to a mininum because I am trying to recoup losses from $3.50/gallon prices.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  179. Charlie (Bethpage, NY)

    No, not until we have other means in place. Once we have other options that don't cost an arm and a leg, then yes, tax people and force them to conserve and make better choices...until other means become more readily available and affordable, we can't tax people.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  180. kathleen , san juan

    The tax should go to the auto companies only if they use it to develop alternatives to gas-powered vehicles.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  181. Gerry from Virginia

    My lord no Jack... What about us seniors who are on fixed incomes and MUST drive to doctors, grocery stores and so on. When the government proceeds to get alternative fuels, that will help with fuel consumption and green house gasses. what we really MUST do is keep pressing our government to alternative fuels and not let up just because the cost of gas has gone down.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  182. samuel

    right now we should look to new ways of energy like solar and wind. we shouldn't even think of gas. new ways of energy is better for america.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  183. Brady

    No. There is no evidence that Americans are back to their old driving habits. It is also unlikely that gas prices will stay down this low. Right now, the American consumer is benefitting from these lower gas prices. Don't take away those benefits.

    Brady from Columbus, Ohio

    November 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  184. Jimmie in Colorado

    They should, but most of the politicians hope to be re-elected. It won't happen.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  185. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    no! Reward better and different behavior through tax incentives! If you take the bus..give a tax credit! If you buy an energy efficient car gove another tax credit!

    Money talks in changing behaviors but not by taxing people more but by giving them incentive to change for more money in their pockets!

    Reward work, school studies, good environmental behaviors at home through renovation, at work through condensed and reduced work week, green practices from companies, and good environmental practices on the road through the use of public transit or shared communiting and buying or leasing efficient cars and truck.

    TAX on what is not good...junk food, bottled water, companies that pollutes but reward them when using better environmental practices by reducing their taxes on their profits.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  186. Paula (Indiana)

    I agree with the gas tax as long as the gas companies don't get ANY of the profits from it. Give it to education or to the many people who have lost their jobs... just don't give it back to the oil companies... they've been bilking the public for years. They don't need anymore of my money. I want my taxes to go to people in need!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  187. Jasmine in Germany

    How about a gas tax depending on the type of vehicle you're filling up? The Hummer used to drive to the mail pays an increase, the old VW used to go to and from the factory doesn't.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  188. Michel W. Illinois

    No, imposing taxes on gas would again hurt mostly the lower and middle income people. And those folks need to get to work the most, so I don't think it's a good idea. There's better ways to protect the environment, such as investing in alternative sources of energy and making cars that run on those sources of energy.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  189. kristi-wa

    No. I think the government needs to give rebates to those who would love to buy hybrids or electric cars. They are still so expensive.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  190. John ILL.

    Absolutely Yes ! Maybe we can drive our way out of this stupid hole the republican put us in!! But I think we still need a very large push...

    November 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  191. Carol in Durham Maine

    We are alrady paying through the nose with gas taxes. It has been a nice repreave. Don't worry the prices are going to increase within 30 days and then we'll shorten up our driving again.
    And neither Bush nor Obama should give Detriot any money unless they retool to more fuel efficient cars.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  192. Steve

    Yes. Gas prices are absurdly low (when they were around $4/gall it finally made sense). The only way to get off of oil and on to alternative energy is to make oil more expensive and make people understand it's just not gonna work. Obama should say no to more drilling and yes to drastically raising gas taxes (whether on oil companies or a per gallon tax, the price will go up either way). Of course, it won't happen. Most Americans are too selfish or, even worse, too stupid to understand the need for short-term suffering to lead to long-term gain.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  193. Akan

    No gas tax. What we need is vehicles that are gas efficient. That's what should be the incoming administration's priority. The big three ran itself into the ground with all these gas guzzling vehicles because of greed to make more money. Now they need help when they didn't offer any help to us when they made these vehicles.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  194. vern-t anaheim,ca

    no extra tax on gasoline as it will only hurt the poor and middle class who have been hurt enough by the taxes of george w. bush.find someone else to tax the rich maybe?

    November 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  195. Tom Doyle

    And when the price goes back up, as it certainly will, what then? Will the tax be recinded, or will we just sit and wait for the next recession.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  196. Jay in Texas

    Absolutely not, Jack. Manipulative inflation of gas prices was what sparked the economic mess we are in now. Americans have already adjusted their driving habits significantly since its price reached its peak over $4. Personally, I have cut my gasoline consumption by about 60% from a year ago. Americans have learned to combine trips, take shorter routes, abandon their gas guzzlers, ride bikes, and walk. Supply and Demand is working as it should and shouldn't be tampered with at this point just because the lower prices of oil is costing some billionaires, millionaires and Wall Street gamblers a bundle. Face it, the doom and gloomers were wrong about the oil shortage. Supply is far outranking demand and that is the reason the price is dropping.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  197. Spencer/VA

    No. Is this a trick question Jack? We shouldn't be paying more for gas than what we were paying for it in 2000 before that so called president of ours took office. As I recall, a gallon of unleaded was under a $1. Boy, those were the good old days.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  198. Tedd of New Jersey


    Normally, no more stupid taxes. However, on this one-maybe it's justified.

    Reason, we had two major warnings of problems over imported oil during the 1970's. What happened? First there was research going on during the Carter years. After that, no more. Reagan, with the help of the Dem. Congress stopped any government push for a solution.

    End result? We just saw it.

    Yes, prices are down now. Give the idiots in DC a chance and it will be business as usual. We need new fuel sources now. No more malingering on it. If necessary, curb use of imported fuelds by additional taxation. Otherwise, out come the SUVs and business as usual. We'll keep sending money out ot the country until we are drowned in pollution and debt.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  199. marv

    oh yes just what we need, another tax on gas
    has anyone thought about maybe lowering the speed limits
    on all, and i mean ALL roads in the country and enforce them, would this
    save gas? this was done some years back as i remember
    when there was a so called oil shortage-if there ever was a

    waterford, mi

    November 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  200. Tim

    Well that depends. Do you want him re-elected in 4 years? I will guarantee you right now that if he increases the federal gas tax the Democrats will do nothing but lose seats in both the House and Senate in 2 years and Obama will be out. This is a perfect ploy on the old "No more new taxes" thing. H.W. didn't create any new taxes, he just increased the old ones and guess what – he lost.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  201. Ken-Long Island

    Yesterday Governor Patterson of New York proposed 12 billion dollars in cuts to the New York State Budget. These cuts would be in Medicaid and state funded education. Governor Schwarzenegger has announced a similar deficit. The federal government will have to foot the bill as well as the deficits for all of the states. That's on top of the stimulus package, the bailout and healthcare. The only way to pay for it all is to print money taxing all of us equally through inflation. No need for a gas tax in this economy and there shouldn't be one in any economy. If the American public hasn't learned its lesson this time it deserves whatever it gets. We must achieve the goal of energy independence now, whatever it costs, it will be worth it.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  202. marv

    yes, the tax should be large enough to make people stop
    and think about their driving habits.
    and added tax of around $5.00 per gallon should do it.

    the money could be used to pay off some of the 700 billion
    dollars we the good taxpayers of this country now have to
    deal with.


    November 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  203. Tyrone

    Jack my comments from Australia the countries round the world have paid high prices for the greedy and irresponsible American public consuming 25% of the worlds oil while we have paid high prices for many years its time the US started to pay for using gas guzzlers without any concern for the environment and the rest of the world.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  204. Fred May WA

    Jack, If auto makers would stop putting all the frills on their cars and build them for transportation only they would save money on materials reduce weight increase mileage. Autos are not moving living rooms they are for transportation.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  205. Paul Anthony Maglaya

    Taxed the oil companies.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  206. jackie millette

    I think a gas tax should be imposed from Monday thru Friday to curtail usage and encourage the use of public transportation. I am personally making an effort to conserve energy and feel the good should not continue to suffer for the bad. Increasing tolls during rush hour and for vehicles with fewer than two occupants would satisfy this problem. Transportation tax credits for public transporation and car pools would also encourage people to modify their energy usage. The people that can afford to pay the taxes will continue to use the same amount of gasoline. We walk or bike to work America day monthly!

    November 11, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  207. Alex Lewin

    Absolutely we should levy a hefty tax on gasoline, just as European countries have done for many years. It ain't pretty, but it'll work.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  208. Lisa Karraker

    Absolutely. Our planet is in a state of crisis. If people can't control their own gas usage, it needs to be controlled for them.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  209. Rebecca

    I think the taxes need to fall on the oil companies, not the people of America. We have these bad habits but it's hard to break them when gasoline is the only option. More research for greener fuels needs to be funded by taxing the oil companies.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  210. Barb

    Absolutely not! What makes anybody think that those who can least afford just one more tax can reduce pollution. Get a life people.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  211. Kina, A Veteran in NYC

    Jack, i doubt if taxing gas would reduce Americans' consumption. People will still spend on gas and then complain, just like we were doing all summer.

    Kina, New York.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  212. Gary

    No, but a tax for funding alternative fuels/engery would be ok.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  213. Micah Miller of Canton OH

    Yes, yes, in every sense of the word yes! Big Oil and oil countries are milking the US for every red cent– we're never going to get our own oil independence, we need a gas tax to curb consumption and invest in giving us energy independence using the whole litany of technologies.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  214. Seth

    Driving down consumption is the equivalent of driving down demand (economically speaking). When demand drops, prices will follow. There are much better ways to curb GGEs.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  215. Adrian

    Not yet. There would have to be some reasonable and cheaper alternatives in place in order to pull off something like that. It makes sense but just not at this point.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  216. steve osgood

    Not to be a socialist, but a luxery tax when we go over a spending limit (like in major league baseball) could be an adequate solution, of course the folks in the transportation industry would take a hit, but I'm sure our "friend" the IRS could take care of that!

    Steve O.


    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  217. Ruth Lawson

    NO NO help the economy not hurt it.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  218. Joel Heiny

    Absolutely, especially if the tax revenues raised get reinvested in mass transit districts across the United States.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  219. Kenneth from Texas

    I think one should be imposed but not until we have new sources of energy in place as promised by the upcoming administration, this way we can say to the people "you can still use oil, but it's going to cost you more, because there are now other means available". Not only will this reduce consumption, but will encourage people to buy cars that use newly developed fuels and help us progress out of oil dependence.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  220. Dan Vasquez

    YES! Financial pain seems to be the only thing Americans understand. Green house gases, global warming and Peak Oil don't seem to mean much here.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  221. Sharon Whitmon, Bourbonnais, Il

    Aren't we hurting enough out here? Jobs disappearing, groceries sky high, utility costs up. We need help not more taxes!

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  222. Doug Burke

    Yes! We have to stop frying the planet. It shouldn't be just a gas tax, but a carbon tax. This would raise the cost of emitting carbon dioxide and push the adoption of clean technologies like wind and solar. I am no conservative, but this is something where the market could work wonders, if we count in the costs of carbon pollution.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  223. OMS

    Yes IF the funds should be directed solely towards rebuilding of our crumbling and dangerous transportation infrastructures and the development of alternative energy sources.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  224. Mike Peoria Il.

    If they want to further destroy the economy. Go right ahead.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  225. betabeta

    I live in Baton Rouge, LA. We don't have good public transportation, heck we don't even have decent public transportation! Plus our salaries are lower than most states. Unless the gov't is willing to provide alternative options for transportation in areas like mine I think the tax would only worsen our economic situation.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  226. Felicia (in Georgia)

    Not yet! This should be done when the Big 3 have produced enough gas alternative vehicles, and Americans have had time to recover from the recession. Afterwards, it becomes fair game for gas taxes!

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  227. Irene in Texas

    I need to get to work so I guess I will pay the price. Maybe they should tax people who own gas guzzlers

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  228. Christina

    YES! The government should impose a gas tax aimed at holding down consumption. A lot of people will complain about the extra expense, but it is so necessary. We are way too dependent on energy sources and methods of transportation that harm the environment. Ultimately, damaging the environment is bad for the human race. We need to take care of our Earth.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  229. Shawn

    Absolutely not! The giant increase in gas prices is what has hurt this economy. People and businesses are hurting because of how high the price of gas and oil was. A higher tax on gas will hurt the middle class more than what we are already going through.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  230. Jon from Tempe, Az

    I would say no to a gas tax. The problem is all of those gas guzzling suv's out there. I would therefore propose a suv taxs. There could be an excise tax on cars that do not meet gas efficiency standards and they could charge these vehicles a higher vehicle registration cost. We should penalize people who do not use gasoline wisely.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  231. Steve, Massachusetts

    A gas tax is way overdue. It's the only way to drive down demand, and bring people to use public transport. Plus, its the first step toward filling in the burgeoning budget deficit.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  232. Chris

    Yes, thank you for bringing this up. We shouldn't cut the legs out from under consumption, but some kind of floating tax. We need something to both make people think of limiting consumption as well as driving at least some research into change. This should have been done while the price was coming down though. These things are much more acceptable when it limits the drop than when it can actually be seen raising the price.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  233. Myra Becnel

    Yes, I think that would be the first step in getting us all to conserve and finally become aware of what we are doing to achieve this.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  234. Suzanne ONeill

    Yes, I do believe a gas tax is a good idea. I say this as I'm checking my budget to see if I have enough money to drive home for Christmas. But I believe its the only thing that will encourage us to support initiatives for fuel alternatives. Sadly, we only seem to demand change and reform when we are hurting, but in the long run, its the best thing for the country and the environment.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  235. Ryan

    No new taxes! Let the market handle this and keep the government out.

    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    November 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  236. Velda Collins

    I'm from Madisonville, Ky. and I think it is sad that we cannot discipline ourselves with regards to the usage of gasoline. Here in Ky. raising the tax on tabacco hasn't made much a change so I don't think raising the tax on gasoline will either.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  237. Brian Wells

    We absolutely should put the $1.00 tax in place. When the tax was at $3.50, that "extra" dollar was going to oil companies or foreign sources of oil. Raising the tax will keep the dollars within our economy and will reduce consumption which will aid the environment too. Some of those tax dollars could be invested in alternative energy solutions that WE could sell to others.

    Otherwise, when the price goes up (as it will) the dollars will continue to bleed out of our economy.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  238. Sonoran Desert DT

    Absolutely not! It would simply mean more of our money for these criminals in Washington to waste. If anyone is really truly serious about curbing oil consumption ...then do the right thing by introducing serious energy alternatives that can compete on the same level as oil. Taxing oil changes nothing in terms of attacking the problems associated with oil. The very concept is very immature and myopic.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  239. Amy

    Sure, why not? We live 45 miles away from work and easily spend $400/month on fuel even with the current "low" gas prices. I enjoy subsisting on Cheerios and Mac n Cheese, and always look forward to each payday's guessing game of "Which bills can't I afford to pay this time?"

    November 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  240. Will - OR

    Of course there should be a gas tax, many other countries impose a similar tax and it is effective in bringing down polution and traffic. Driving is fun and convenient but is taken for granted in the US.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  241. Happy in Arizona


    November 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  242. Brian

    I would be open to the idea of a gas tax if I could see exactlly where the money was going and how it would be used. I was excited to see gas go up because it was forcing people to change their habits and think about the future.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  243. David (Go Hoosiers)

    This is why we have government, often times people make the wrong decisions for themselves. Buying housing they can't afford is a perfect example and look where that got us. Forget our army or economy. The best thing we could do to increase our influence in the world and keep our status as superpower is to get off fossil fuels.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  244. Jon

    Absolutely. The tax would reduce consumption and ease congestion. The revenues generated by the tax should be put directly into mass transit for our most densely populated areas and into high speed rail lines between major cities.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  245. Ted Ericson

    No new hefty gas tax; it takes money out of circulation. Impose a 59 mph speed limit nation wide. It will save 20% on fuel and save many lives. Do you remember the 55 arrive alive from President Carter. It worked even though we did not like it

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  246. Bo Brawner

    didn't obama say he wanted to cut taxes on those that are hurting the most? this sounds pretty hypocritical to me... not a good start buddy.... and i voted for you

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  247. Matthew in Indiana

    A gas tax would only be worthwhile if the taxes collected were used to fund the development of new, environmentally-friendly automotive technologies. Many Americans have to drive the same amount, high prices or low, so any tax levied should have a direct benefit for them.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  248. Obama Zombie,NY

    I think it's great idea, sock it to them Obama.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  249. Sam from Ohio

    Curbing gas consumption ultimately means driving less, right? Than how could our economy possibly recover from a contracting economy if people are limiting their ability to spend money at stores? Think about it!

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  250. Steve

    We can either:

    A. Tax gasoline and use the proceeds to develop alternative energy sources


    B. Not tax gasoline and watch the demand (and the price) rise right back up to last summer's levels, giving the money to the Saudis, Venezuela, Nigeria et al.

    Americans are way too stupid to choose anything but the latter.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  251. David (Go Hoosiers)

    Use the tax revenue to subsidize US hybrid cars. Save the auto industry, save the environment, and get us off foreign oil.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  252. Mary Leavery

    Only if the proceeds from the tax go to bail out Wall Street !

    November 11, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  253. Barry Levy

    I believe a gas tax is in order as gas price has dropped so much so fast however this tax should have been put in place many years ago. I think a new tax must be held sacred and spent only on searching and implementing alternative energy programs. Taxing just to hold down consumption may not help the future.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  254. Patrick

    A gas tax would get Obama fired after his first term.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  255. Julio

    Jack the government should impose a gas tax at the same time local and state government should use that tax money on a mass transits system that would help people get around. The American people should learn that Life is not easy and that there are things that should be done to help our environment.But at the same token the government should go after the oil companies. Cause if anybody need to feel the pain is the oil companies. One thing i learn in my political science classes is that if you buy something that is bad that you are going to buy something that is not consider a need.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  256. Tas

    Yes, because high gas prices is the only thing that really motivates Americans to use less gas and drive less. It seems that no one really cares about the fact that our huge consumption of gas has greatly affected the environment. Unfortunately, money is what matters most to people. This obviously can't be the only solution though.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  257. Russ, Nashville, TN

    Most of our daily products are shipped or imported in ways that make their price very sensitive to fuel costs. Cost of living for our lower middle class and our working class citizens increase dramatically with rising fuel costs because we spend a larger percentage of our income is spent on daily basic needs. Austria imposed the same tax in the 60's and they found that their working class people needed subsidies to survive. The Austrians use individual transportation much less than Americans. A higher fuel price would have a large and adverse effect on American's ability to meet their basic needs.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  258. Bryant

    Honestly I am indifferent to whether or not a new gas tax is imposed. I figure that any tax that the government would impose would not have the type of effect on consumption that OPEC's manipulation of the market has had. The fact we are debating such an issue is just another indication that our addiction to oil is a serious problem and that what we need is much more than just a simple tax on gas.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  259. linda wade

    NO NO NO I thought that he said no to increasing taxes?????????He is not even in the White House and he wants to increase taxes. He needs to start drilling here in the U.S. so that we can get off the oil from his buddies in the Middle East

    November 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  260. Theodore E.

    If in the environment gets better in the long term and the money the government gets from the tax is used to finance the alternative energy campaign, then sure it would be appropriate.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  261. David

    Absolutley not. This will hurt everyone, including the middle class that Obama was campaigning so hard for. People will still need to drive to work, school, and run errands. It will just cost us more and further hurt our economy. John McCain was right: Obama will say anything to get elected. This is a just a glimse of what America will have to suffer through for the next 4 years

    November 11, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  262. Mary

    YES, there should be a tax on gasoline. But the taxes raised from this must be invested in clean, renewable fuels to break of dependency on foreign oil. I have been saying this for ten years, that the ONLY way you will EVER get the American people to CONSERVE is to hit them where it hurts the most, in the pocketbook.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  263. Tom

    Yes, I think imposing a gas tax would help benifit us in two ways, by keeping us from using more gas so the consumption would stay down so the demand for alternative research will continue to be a priority. Also money from the tax will help pay down the national debt.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  264. Gregory

    Yes. Increase it and change it to a percentage instead of a fixed amount. When the price of gasoline rises, so will the tax, which will both curb consumption and raise revenue. Use the increased revenue to improve our bridges, highways and other infrastructure. The increased revenue could also be used to offset tax breaks we should give to companies developing alternative sources of energy. Changing our energy usage, dependence and carbon emissions should be a top priority, and a change in the gasoline tax would be a great start.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  265. Robert Cerrato

    Government should not be able to tax gas with the purpose of forcing Americans to drive less. People depend on fossil fuels for every aspect of life. There is strong evidence that Americans are dependent on gas. I live in southeastern Louisiana in a rural town. To get to either Baton Rouge or New Orleans there are not any public transportation available. The only option to get to these cities is to drive. These cities are where people work, play, and shop. If I were living in the northeast for example I would be able to use public transportation to get around. So this gas tax will cripple those of use who live in these rural type areas. Lastly if this gas tax is enacted, all goods Americans buy will increase because of shipping costs. I think the fluctuation in the fuel cost due to importation is enough. The government should not get another chunk of the money unless they use it to lower another tax dramatically.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  266. John Broekhuizen

    An indiscrimenately applied added gas tax is about the worst idea I can think of. It would be totally unfair to people who live in rural areas and who have only their cars available for transportation. If I cannot use my car, I cannot go anywhere. If, however, a reasonable alternative were available to me, I would far prefer to leave my car in the garage and the driving to somebody else. At least I should be given a choice before being punished for driving my car. Under the current circumstances, this tax would be the approximate equivalent to taxation without representation.
    Thanks for asking, just the same.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  267. Dennis Ferguson

    As soon as gas goes to $3.00/gal, that is when things pickup, a Federal tax of 50 cents should kick in. The government can use the money more than our friends in the middle east and elsewhere. It would also make anyone buying a new vehicle think about the gas mileage

    November 11, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  268. Mickey Gensler Bronx, 10471,N.Y.

    I do not think so...Most people use the car for necessary work. Going to the doctor. to their jobs, etc. Actually, this becomes another tax on the middle class. Something they say they will not do. There are too many of these nickel and dime taxes on the middle class. Look at your telephone bill, your cable bill, your restaurant bill. The middle class,taxes keep the economy going, while the wealthy escape taxes with tax shelters.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  269. M.K.

    I still get excited when I see gas below $3.00, but I am afraid this will lead to less progress towards energy independence.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  270. Jerrod Houston TX

    America has suffered with the high cost of food, energy, and other needs to our everyday existence. With wages not going up, people will suffer to afford gas again eventually causing unemployment to rise to the worst levels our lifetime.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  271. Phil

    Yes! I would call it a user fee. Those who use the roads should pay for the roads and their up keep. Weight effects road wear and mileage. More weight, more user fee. A $0.50 per gallon increase will not increase the pump price that much, because consumption decrease, which lowers the price. Check the price in MN ($1.87). MN has increased the gas taxes to fund road improvements.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  272. Bryan, OC CA

    YES, but with exemptions for the trucking industry. Also, Tax rebates for those with cars that get over 40 MPG. This will encourage people buy higher fuel economy vehicles, that should be built here in the U.S.. This tax should be as much as $0.40 a gallon.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  273. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    If a tax is enacted the profits should be used to fund mass transit project constructions that are too expensive for individual cities or states to fund.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  274. Tim, Manahawkin, NJ

    No – impose the tax on companies that were bailed out with tax payer dollars. Force AIG and others to pay the quarterly bonuses slated for executives into a fund for alternative energy. It’s time for corporate America to take some responsibility for the economic woes they’ve caused.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  275. Norm K

    Yes, it's time to get rid of the gas gusslers, we are going to run out of oil sooner or later and its time to think of alternative fuels and mass transit , we are a third word country when it comes to mass transit, its time to make some changes, Most of us servived with $4 gas. I live on a fixed income and found I could drive smarter.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  276. don in naples florida

    alternative sources of energy would curb consumption

    November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  277. Jon

    The behavior of American consumers with regard to gas consumption was good, old-fashioned supply and demand in action. The fact that demand is going back up as the price drops reflects Americans' desire to drive. If the American people really want to cut consumption and greenhouse gas emissions as much as Obama does, they can choose to drive less and drive vehicles that help them achieve those goals. It is NOT the government's place to dictate the driving habits of Americans. Americans should be wary of Obama already proposing new taxes. The "tax cut for 95% of Americans" is going to amount to giving back on one side just to take it back on the other.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  278. Ray DiTomasso

    the govt should not impose an additional tax on gas which is an inelastic product as this will only ensure the current recession will not end any time soon. Do not believe that the price of gas is going down because demand is down. It's going down because oil producers and oil companies are afraid that govts will start taking action to rectify the damage being done to the economy as a result of unwarranted high oil priices.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  279. Michael D

    100 times yes. This will hold people acountable for thier consumption as well as force food production to further localize. There will no doubt be a harsh period of adjustment for many, but how can we expect to get change without sacrifice?

    November 11, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  280. KCLaw

    Anyone thinks the oil producers are going to sit back and do nothing while oil drops below $60 a barrel is nuts.
    I regard the low prices we are seeing now as short term only. I see $5 per gallon gas in the relatively near future.
    Enjoy the "cheap" gas while it lasts, which will not be too much longer.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  281. Chris


    No. The Big Three will take care of that. The latest offerings have all been either crossovers or SUVs. When gas prices go up, these suburban lead-sleds with lousy gas mileage will hit people's pocketbooks sufficiently to slow consumption. The question is, will the Big Three still be around to keep offering these gas guzzlers?

    Lathrup Village, MI

    November 11, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  282. Bill

    well as a canadian i know all about taxes on our gas.We are tax big time probably half the price of the gas is tax,but it does not bother me because i know without the taxes we could not afford the services we have ie..from health care to education.Now i believe this is not the a good time for this but in the future yes whats 1 penny per gallon added to the price, you would not even know the difference in your tank but the money it would bring in could go to fixing the road bridges for to health care and in time may drop your personal tax as well.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  283. Patricia Weiss

    Absolutely NOT. Because of the price of gas, the price of shipping went up and therefore everything else increased in price. When a family has to put a large portion of their income into their gas tanks to get to work and get their children to school, there is little left to pay utilities, house payments and buy overpriced groceries. I favor larger fines for the people who have turned the highways back into racetracks, thereby burning more gas.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  284. annie smith

    Higher gas tax would not just cut back on emissions, but think how much more costly gas would fuel inflation. Remember how much the country depends on trucking to deliver all goods. This is very bad idea among many that the GREAT Obama has expounded. God help America to survive the next four years.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  285. Rebecca

    Have u lost your mind. Just when we get to take a break from high gas, u want raise it!! Bad idea. High gas makes everything go up. Please think of another way to get revenue

    November 11, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  286. Jane Mitchell

    NO, the govt should not impose a higher gas tax. They should impose a windfall profit tax on oil companys and with that money they should invest – aggressively – in alternative energy.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  287. Jamie W.

    Not everyone in the U.S. lives in area's where public transportation are available. What are we to do, those who live in rural America. Pack up and move to the city. Urban sprawl is not the answer. The answer is to support initiatives that lead to alternative fuel sources. Put legistlative effort there!!!

    November 11, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  288. jim martin florida

    heres the answer!!! allow all americans who own cars more than ten years old to purchase autos from the industry looking forn a bailout because they can't sell their inventories with the government subsidizing the balance. this will rid our roads of millions of gas guzzling, pollutiion emitting safety hazards. while give the industry the cash they need to make the cars we will need in the future. everyone wins this way. no more bailouts where i got to wait 10 yrs from now to kno what happened

    November 11, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  289. Walt-Ohio

    By all means Jack, Tax the American people more and give that money to big business too, AIG would love another luxury holiday at taxpayer expense.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:37 pm |