The Tuesday: At Some Point, You’ve Paid Enough Taxes

Welcome to the Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, wooden bricks, strong ales, and other items of interest. The Tuesday is available only to NRPlus members: If you would ...

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BY KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON August 02, 2022
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WITH KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON August 02, 2022
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At Some Point, You've Paid Enough Taxes

Welcome to the Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, wooden bricks, strong ales, and other items of interest. The Tuesday is available only to NRPlus members: If you would like to become one of those — and I hope you will — you can sign up here. I think you'll find it worth the modest expense.

Raising the Gas Tax after Trying to Cut the Gas Tax
Senator Joe Manchin, in his wisdom, has decided to join the Biden administration and his fellow Democrats in Congress to — wait! what?raise the gasoline tax.

In an underhanded way, of course.

You will recall that in the early summer, as gasoline prices were skyrocketing, President Joe Biden, the fearful little man in the White House, called for a three-month suspension of the federal sales tax on gasoline. A little somethin'-somethin' to help out all them pickup-driving Joe Sixpack types out there in the great expansive hydrocarbon-powered boonies — you know, voters. It was a dumb idea on its own, and it was a dumb idea because it was offered as a substitute for the smart idea, i.e., getting Uncle Stupid's big fat foot off the neck of the U.S. energy industry so that prosperity may emerge organically. It was a quintessentially political proposal, one that would create the impression of doing something and offer a synthetic sense of urgency — the sort of action that is to real policy as stevia is to sugar.

But there was a kind of reflexive economic truth to it: Policies that make gasoline more expensive make gasoline more expensive. And while Democrats do intend to make hydrocarbon energy not only more expensive but prohibitively expensive at some point in time, at that moment the rising price of fuel was politically inconvenient. Climate action can't wait — except when it can.

But now, under the Joe Manchin–Chuck Schumer climate-folly bill — in which the Democrats propose to decrease inflation ...   READ MORE

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