The Hidden Gas Tax Cometh - EPautos - Libertarian Car Talk
Raising the gas tax –
overtly – is politcal TNT.
Chiefly because it’s a tax
everyone feels, every day – and it’s an extremely disproportionate tax already.
About 50 cents per gallon – which amounts to a roughly 20 percent tax added to
the cost of every gallon of fuel. The government makes (takes) more money off each
gallon than the Evil Oil Companies earn from
the sale of each gallon. Yes, really.
The gas tax is also extremely
regressive, in the language of the politically correct. It hits those least
able to afford the cost the hardest.
This is being urged by the car
companies, who would like to be able to design all their engines to be
high-compression engines, which are more fuel-efficient engines – but require
high-octane fuel to achieve the efficiency gains.
And because it’s a cheaper way
for them to achieve compliance with Uncle’s fuel
efficiency fatwas. A
roughly 3-4 percent uptick in MPGs can be obtained via high-compression (and
turbo-supercharging) engines without resorting to more expensive engineering
extremes, such as transmissions with 10 speeds, three of them overdrive. Or
direct injection, with a port fuel injection system in addition and added
solely to deal with the carbon fouling problems caused by the direct injection.
Or light weight but easily damaged, more expensive and harder to repair alloy
The ethanol lobby wants it, too
– because it’s a clever way to obfuscate the currently-too-obvious crony
capitalist corn con, which operates under the auspices of the Renewable Fuel
Standard. The RFS is a federal mandate that the nation’s fuel supply be
adulterated with “renewable” fuels, in the name of conservation. In fact, it is
a government mandate to feed our cars ethanol, which is made from corn. Which
costs more to turn into alcohol than oil into gas – and won’t take your car as
far on a gallon, either.
It’s a billion dollar business,
if you can use that word without feeling the bile rise in your throat.
Well, in addition to being
“renewable,” ethanol is also – wait for it! – an octane enhancer. Instead of
force-feeding it to us in the name of conservation or renewable-ness, it can be
funneled down our throats in the name of raising octane –
emptying our pockets in the process.
Well, times two – or even three.
Gasoline is already
ethanol-adulterated (10 percent of most of it is ethanol, hence “E10,” the
formal name for the stuff). And that adulteration costs us in the form of
reduced mileage – if your car doesn’t have a high-compression engine. Which is
probably the case, unless it’s a very new car or an older high-performance car.
Until about five years ago, most
cars had engines designed to burn regular, 87 octane gas. The reason being the
understandable desire of the average person to not have to pay 30-50 cents more per
gallon (the cost difference, regular vs. premium) to fuel their car.
These cars will be on the road
for quite some time to come. But if the machinations to make premium fuel
mandatory are successful, the owners of those cars will be paying 30-50 cents
more per gallon for fuel their cars do not need.
In effect, it will amount to a
doubling of the current motor fuels tax – and it will be viciously regressive,
since the majority of people affected are people who own ordinary economy and
family cars, minivans and so on that were designed to happily
burn regular gas, not expensivepremium
Unfortunately, the forces
arrayed in support of premium uber
alles (and for alles)
are powerful and stopping this ball, already rolling, is not going to be easy.
It will be very interesting to see whether so-called“progressives” erupt in outrage
over this act of extreme regressiveness.
at the pump as well as down the road. Keep in mind that not only does premium
fuel cost substantially more to buy than regular, if the car it’s put into
hasn’t got an engine designed to burn premium, your mileage will go down. You will pay more to
not go as far.
should be outraged, assuming you take their “progressivism” at face value; that
it really is all about tempering the hard effects of The System upon the
isn’t, of course.
There is a conflicting interest –
the “progressive” antipathy toward cars and driving. By making it more
expensive to drive,
the hope of the “progressives” is that fewer people will drive.
meanwhile, tend to defend the ethanol sop – because of the political power of
the corn states and a ludicrous veneration of family farms, which are in fact
enormous agri-business cartels.
car industry is just being practical. Trying to find some way to make Uncle
happy, or at least get Uncle off their backs.
motoring public is to be squeezed for their mutual benefit.
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and
send ’em in!
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