Martin Gelin i New York

Martin Gelin

Martin Gelin

Finns det ett bättre sätt att fira Earth Day än att läsa några härliga analyser av John McCains skattepolitik?

Virgina Postrel om McCains förslag att slopa bensinskatten:

”The candidates treat CO2 emissions as a social issue like gay marriage, with no economic ramifications. In the real world, barring a massive buildup of nuclear plants, reducing carbon dioxide emissions means consuming less energy and that means raising prices a lot, either directly with a tax or indirectly with a cap-and-trade permitting system… The last thing you’d want to do is reduce gas taxes during the summer, as John McCain has proposed. That would just encourage people to burn more gas on extra vacation trips-as any straight talker would admit.”

Stephen J. Dubner och Steven Levitt om bilismens samhällskostnader:

”Americans drive too much. This isn’t a political or moral argument; it’s an economic one. How so?
Because there are all sorts of costs associated with driving that the actual driver doesn’t pay. Such a condition is known to economists as a negative externality.
With roughly three trillion miles driven each year producing more than $300 billion in externality costs, drivers should probably be taxed at least an extra 10 cents per mile if we want them to pay the full societal cost of their driving.

How can this be achieved? Higher tolls, especially variable tolls like congestion pricing, are one option. This seems to have worked well in London but was recently quashed in New York City, where the political hurdles proved too high.
A higher gas tax might also work. If a typical car gets 20 miles to the gallon, then the proper tax would be about $2 per gallon. But with the current high market price for gas and the political hysterics attached to it – well, good luck with that one.”

Frank Rich om politisk elitism och McCains skattepolitik:

Privileged though they are, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama do want to shape policy to help the less well-heeled. Mr. McCain, who had a far more elite upbringing than either of them and whose wife’s estimated fortune exceeds the Clintons’, is not just condescending to working Americans but trying to hoodwink them. Next week, in a replay of the 2000 Bush campaign’s “compassionate conservative” photo ops among black schoolchildren, he will show he’s a “different kind of Republican” by visiting what he calls the “forgotten” America of Alabama’s “black belt” and the old steel town of Youngstown, Ohio. What he wants voters to forget is the inequity of his new economic plan.

That plan’s incoherent smorgasbord of items includes a cut from 35 percent to 25 percent in the corporate tax rate. For noncorporate taxpayers, Mr. McCain offers such thin gruel as a battle against federal pork (the notorious Alaskan “bridge to nowhere,” earmarked for $223 million in federal highway money, costs less than a day of the war in Iraq) and a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax (a saving of some $2.75 per 15-gallon tank). Now there’s a reason for voters to be bitter – assuming bloviators start publicizing and parsing Mr. McCain’s words as relentlessly as they do the Democrats’