Editorial By James J. Baxter

Let me start this by reaffirming my past pronouncements that Americans are being taxed into poverty and that paying 50% to 60% of our income in local, state, and federal taxes is obscene. I have yet to hear one convincing argument against reducing the size of government versus paying more taxes for more government.

With that out of the way, I must admit that when I first heard of the BTU tax I felt it at least contained an element of equity. Everyone would be ripped off equally rather than just sticking motorists with more fuel taxes.

Then I received a more detailed explanation.

As it turns out, not all BTU's are apparently created equal, nor will they be taxed the same. Gasoline and other petroleum BTU's will be taxed at twice the rate of other energy sources. Guess who's getting the shaft again.

The auto industry wants higher fuel taxes, thereby encouraging consumers to purchase more efficient models and thus improving corporate average fuel economy. They hope this will defuse Congressional pressure for higher C.A.F. E. mandates. Even the enthusiast magazines have taken up the call for higher fuel taxes. They're motivated partly by "if we give them more money, maybe they'll leave us alone" and "higher fuel costs will get the unwashed masses into public transit and out of our way".

History proves neither scenario will play true, but we'll all get the pleasure of giving the government more money.

Source: March/April 1993 NMA News

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