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NY Times Op-Ed piece: Kerry's proposed gasoline tax was an excellent idea

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:01 PM
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NY Times Op-Ed piece: Kerry's proposed gasoline tax was an excellent idea
"The 50-a-Gallon Solution
By GREGG EASTERBROOK



WASHINGTON Republican strategists have been making hay of Senator John Kerry's support a decade ago of a 50-cent-per-gallon increase in the federal gasoline tax. History let Mr. Kerry off the hook: the proposal never advanced in Congress, so he never cast a vote for it...

...But the country would indeed be better off if gasoline taxes had been raised by 50 cents a gallon when Mr. Kerry favored the idea. And the United States would still be wise today, if it increased gasoline taxes by the same amount now..."


http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/25/opinion/25EAST.html


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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:05 PM
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1. hehehehe Love it! eom
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:13 PM
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2. Or if the country nationalized the oil refining industry...
...kind of like a Manhattan Project for new energy development. That would boost revenue sources, eliminate the deficits and might help bring down the debt also. What does $.50 a gallon more in federal gasoline taxes produce anyway?

On average I use one to two gallons of gas per day to cover my driving. Some people would use way more while others a little less, so $100 million, $200 million per day based on 200+ million vehicles on the road? Oh yes, and there are all those trucks, plus airliners, and lets not forget trains and ships. While we are at it, lets put the income tax rate on the wealthiest 5% of wage and dividend as well as unearned income earners back up to where their fair share needs to be and restore the estate tax back on the wealthy $10 million plus NW. Hows that for a platform?
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Oh, but the U.S. is just far to good for socialism.
The world will end if we resort to socialism.

Socialism is the root of all evil.

Socialism is bad for our capitalist brainwashing.

You get the point, right?
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:32 PM
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4. Actually socialism is over-rated.
Some of the worst environmental crimes were committed under Socialist regimes. Indeed, the environmental record of the former Soviet Union was appalling: Chernobyl, the destruction of the Aral Sea for cotton farms, the unbridled use of coal with no pollution controls whatsoever, rapacious mining practices, etc, etc. The pollution of places like East Germany and Romania far outstrips anything seen anywhere in the West.

It wasn't a Capitalist society that built the Three Gorges dam, now the world's largest open sewer, or allowed agricultural practices in China that are leading to the desertification of large portions of Asia.

Well regulated Capitalism can do a very good job at protecting the environment. The problem is that the "well regulated" part has been stripped away by the Ayn Rand like ideologues in the Bush administration. In fact, I'll be damned if the modern day Republican Party with its elevation of fantasy over reality, doublespeak over truth, doesn't remind me most of the days of Leonid Breshnev.
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 05:39 PM
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5. Well health care obviously isn't well regulated
Plus the U.K. doesn't have a problem with socialist health care, do they?
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. disagree
To tar the concept of socialism with the flawed early experiments noted is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. To be sure, more work and fresh ideas are required. Capitalism's emphasis on growth will be the undoing of this planet. A steady state economy and population are what are required. We can accept some socialism now or have a lot more forced upon us later, if there is a later.
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Viking12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. You're making the common equivocation
Edited on Wed May-26-04 06:20 PM by Viking12
of a political system with an economic system. Socialist countries aren't by definition necessarily totalitarian. It is very plausible to have a socialistic democracy that makes collective decisions to protect the environment. Your critique, however, is only 1/2 off the mark; your comparison of the former Soviet Union & modern day Republicans and their desire to hand power over to corporate oligarchs does resonate.

on edit: spelling/grammar
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I really think you're mistaken on experimental grounds.
I suppose you're talking about Denmark and Sweden. These countries have very mixed economies, although even they have ameliorated the mix of socialism into their economies. One might argue that Scandinavian culture makes limited non-totalitarian socialism possible.

Beyond the I can think of no other example of a "socialist" country that has been socialist without also being totalitarian. My original examples here stand, as do many other. (Can you spell C-A-M-B-O-D-I-A?)

The fact is that the grand "socialist" experiment of the twentieth century was a huge failure, for the very reason that it imposed theory on a real system, rather than letting a real system suggest the theory. This of course is exactly what you pose: A theory, largely unproven by experiment.

In fact, the mid-twentieth century United States enjoyed an unprecedented growth in the economic well being of its citizens. Part of this owes itself to the fact that the United States was one of the few places on earth not decimated by the direct effects of war. Part of it also derived from a capitalist economy that was well regulated by law, specifically labor law. It happened precisely at the time of the New Deal, which introduced the role of government in elevating its poorest citizens while allowing for the free enterprise of it's relatively well off citizenry.

In that same period under the weight of Stalinism, briefly thawed by Kruschev, the main socialist country went into a tailspin. All of the rhetoric about the USSR being a "People's Republic" and a "Worker's State" had no bearing on the actual condition of its citizenry. I really question that the modern day proponents of socialism are any more realistic than the criminals who defined 95% of twentieth century socialism.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:34 PM
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