Pay at the Pump: How $11 Per Gallon Gasoline Can Solve the United States’ Most Pressing Challenges
Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 40, p. 3, 2009
83 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2010 Last revised: 25 Jan 2010
Date Written: 2009
The United States of America currently faces unprecedented challenges. If our nation fails to effectively answer these challenges - such as fragile national security, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and potentially catastrophic climate change - we will lose our position as a world power. One problem underlies all of the United States’ challenges: Dependence on foreign oil. If the United States can dramatically reduce its oil dependence, the direct effect would be less exposure to Middle Eastern turmoil, dampened competitive pressures in Asia, significantly reduced funds flowing to terrorist activities, and a revived economy.
This article proposes a detailed plan that would efficiently and effectively eliminate the United States’ foreign oil dependence. The foundation of this novel proposal is a significantly increased gasoline tax that would eliminate gasoline consumption and consequently solve our nation’s most pressing challenges.
This article begins by analyzing the root problem of the United States’ most pressing challenges: Staggering foreign oil consumption. This article examines the wide-ranging effects of our immense oil consumption on virtually all aspects of life - including national security, climate change, the world economy, the environment, and public health. This article then proposes a simple solution: A federal gasoline tax large enough to reduce consumer demand to practically zero. A significantly increased gasoline tax is the ideal solution; nothing else so simple can have such an immense impact on all our nation’s most pressing challenges. The discussion begins with the general economic principles underlying a gasoline tax, and then moves to a detailed plan to effectively implement such a gasoline tax. Although virtually all economists support an increased gasoline tax, this article is the first to thoroughly propose such a substantial tax combined with the elimination of fuel economy standards. This article also analyzes the Obama administration’s most recent efforts to stimulate the economy and fight climate change. This article then discusses the results of the proposed gasoline tax and its accompanying precipitous drop in fossil-fuel demand. The article concludes with a detailed look at the alternative-energy solutions that would quickly proliferate in a society devoid of gasoline demand.
This article presents a novel and timely proposal that would efficiently and effectively eliminate the United States’ foreign oil dependence, and at the same time immediately stimulate the economy and build a foundation for long-term economic growth. Hopefully this article will begin the discussion that prompts the United States to lead an international shift toward sustainable growth and prosperity.
Keywords: tax, gas, gas tax, gasoline, fuel, diesel, transportation, vmt, climate, change, national, security, terror, cafe, fuel economy, economy, appleby, health, traffic, congestion, mileage, emission, carbon, cap, trade, clunker, hybrid, vehicle, grid, electric, sustainable, environment, pollution, public
JEL Classification: H23, K00, Q4, R4, R41, R48, K32, K34, H2, N4, A1, E21, F01, N7, O13, O3, Q2, Q42, Q43, Q48, R52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation