Friday, August 3, 2007

Smell Gas

A subject that makes congressmen stupid.
By Jacob Weisberg
Few topics seem to addle the collective brain of Washington like high gas prices. Politicians who raise this issue can generally be assumed to be partisan, cynical, demagogic, and dishonest. But one must not discount the possibility that something about the subject actually makes them stupid.
With gasoline prices now spiking around $3 a gallon—near their inflation-adjusted 1981 peak—we are witnessing stupidity on wheels.
What none can acknowledge is that higher gas prices in the United States are a good thing. To be sure, oil at $70 a barrel causes hardships for working people and delights some of the world's worst dictators. But cheap gasoline imposes its own costs on society: greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and its attendant health risks, traffic congestion, and accidents. The ideal way to cope with these externalities would be with higher gas taxes or a carbon tax.
http://www.slate.com/id/2140613/

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