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Old 04-04-2005, 10:00 AM   #61
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But his ideas ARE what I'm talking about, regardless of who said them I'd feel the same. We can't really separate the person and the ideas, for what we think is a part of what we are. But it is the idea I have a problem with!
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:21 AM   #62
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Please, of course I know roads come from taxes! But more big gov't is not the answer. Besides, by the time the gov't pays for all these new roads, new cars, new sidewalks, etc., they could have just subsidized gas prices and lowered them!

I still think the answer is releasing the emergency stores, just temporarily, and I believe if people are too complacent they'll think we don't care and continue to shit all over us. We have to let them know we won't take it.

Irvine, I am sorry to see you are still not sympathetic to the tens of millions of Americans for whom your plans are unrealistic, unattainable, and far fetched.

and you wouldn't be so glad to know you 'scare' me if you knew that you 'scare' me in the same way Bush and the religious right 'scare' you. It's not cool.

ugh. our gas is already subsidized. a whole lot.

no one is talking about more "big government" -- just waht do you mean by that? or is that just a buzz word that you're throwing out? you're being hugely vague and not offering anything other than a series of easy-to-say words and phrases that are utterly meaningles in this context. shit all over us? honey, that's what the car companies and gas companies do all the time, and they are the ones who get away with SO MUCH -- why don't you take your anger and focus it on them instead of the government?

i'll say it again: i think that gas prices are too low, even now. why? yes, a gas tax is a tax and no one likes that. but we can't have our cake and eat it too. we have soaring deficits (thanks to a Bush administration that can't say no to religiously oriented social prigrams) and a war(s) to pay for. whehter you like it or not, unless you want to hand over a bankrupt country to your children, taxes are a necessity.

the case for a gas tax is a straightforward one. gas prices are strikingly lower in America than anywhere else in the world (i can hear the brits and aussies laughing at your posts). if we can tax booze and cigarettes, then we should tax the wanton consumption of gasoline in this country, and i would argue that cars are a BIGGER health risk than alcohol or cigarettes.

and let's talk about the benefits of a gas tax beyond saving the union from bankruptcy. you'd encourage conservation, accelerate fuel efficiency because of the demand (and you taking your anger and aiming it at the car companies and DEMANDING better fuel efficiency), reduce pollution, cut traffic and help wean Americans off the oil that requires the U.S. to be so intimately involved in the Middle East.

what's not to like?
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:31 AM   #63
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Oil just hit $58/ barrel today and apparently there is some controversial report from Goldman Sachs suggesting oil prices could go as high as $105,

See below

Goldman sees oil spiking to $105
Says lower prices will only return when consumption is meaningfully reduced.
March 31, 2005: 4:15 PM EST

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices could touch $105 a barrel in the next few years, the influential investment bank Goldman Sachs said Thursday.

The bank's analysts said in a research report that the world energy market is in the early stages of a "super-spike" period that could see 1970s-style price surges. The bank called its forecast "conservative."

The report sent crude oil soaring Thursday, with U.S. light crude for May delivery adding $1.41 to close at $55.40 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. oil futures on NYMEX have averaged $50.03 a barrel so far in 2005 after hitting record highs in recent weeks.

But adjusted for inflation, oil would have to hit about $80 a barrel to top the levels seen during the oil crisis of the late 1970s.

Goldman's Global Investment Research note also raised the bank's 2005 and 2006 New York Mercantile Exchange crude price forecasts to $50 and $55 respectively, from $41 and $40.

"We believe oil markets may have entered the early stages of what we have referred to as a 'super spike' period -- a multi-year trading band of oil prices high enough to meaningfully reduce energy consumption and recreate a spare capacity cushion only after which will lower energy prices return," Goldman's analysts wrote.

Goldman is the biggest trader of energy derivatives, and its Goldman Sachs Commodities Index is a widely-watched barometer of energy and commodities prices.

Goldman said its predictions were supported by thin spare capacity in the energy supply chain and long response times for bringing on additional supply. The report also pointed to robust demand in the United States and in developing heavyweights China and India, despite the recent rapid increase in energy costs.
Back to the '70s

Goldman said the current oil market environment was much like that seen in the 1970s -- when oil prices spiked dramatically following the Arab oil embargoes on supply to the West and Iran's revolution.

High energy prices threw the world into recession, and triggered several years of declining oil demand.

During 1980-1981, gasoline spending in the United States corresponded to an average 4.5 percent of GDP, 7.2 percent of consumer expenditures, and 6.2 percent of personal disposable income, Goldman said.

"Our new $50-$105 per (barrel) super spike range perhaps conservatively corresponds to gasoline spending in the United States that reaches 3.6 percent of forecasted GDP, 5.3 percent of consumer expenditures, and 5.0 percent of personal disposable income.

Goldman said that assuming gasoline spending needs to reach 1970s levels to destroy demand, its upside super-spike estimate would be $135 per barrel for New York crude.

"Perhaps the ultimate answer to how high oil prices need to go before demand destruction occurs is derived from knowing when American consumers will stop buying gas guzzling sport/utility vehicles and instead seek fuel efficient alternatives," the analysts wrote.

"Based on our analysis of gasoline spending and the economy noted above, we estimate that U.S. gasoline prices may need to exceed $4 per gallon," they said.
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:39 AM   #64
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Originally posted by Irvine511

what's not to like?
Because it hurts those who can least afford it.

Besides, I never believe a new or increased tax will solve anything because I am skeptical the funds would ever go to where they were supposed to. That's not how the gov't works. I don't trust it. Gas is already costing the poorest, hard working people too much. It needs to go down, not up.
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:43 AM   #65
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Gasoline is already heavily taxed, really. On average, 30 to 40 cents of every gallon you pay for is taxes. Eliminating the taxes aren't the answer to lowering gas prices, of course, because the oil industry will just quickly bounce the price back up 30-40 cents and will take on a hefty extra profit.

Since we're talking about public transportation, I would argue that, nationally, we don't really have anything of the sort. Trains are slow. Period. If you want to multiply the length of your trip by three, then take a train. There are airplanes, but they are currently not viable to be called "public transportation," because of their cost and, more importantly, the fact that you literally have to plan your trip well ahead of time.

If we're going to talk about national public transportation for a nation as large as the U.S., we're going to have to either invest in high-speed rail (and I mean rail that can go 300 mph or more, not the current "rail" we have that goes slower than automobiles on the interstate) or we're going to have to find a way to make air travel quick and affordable.

Raising gas taxes is only going to accomplish one thing: inflating the national government's treasury. As it stands, gasoline has fairly inelastic demand for one reason: the general public has little choice in a nation this large. Try buying a house in the city sometime. Forget "crime." We're talking about highly overpriced houses, where you can get one that is probably five times better for over half the cost in the suburbs. A crack house in Boston runs about $500,000 these days, and our wages certainly haven't kept up. As such, living in the suburbs means we, as a society, have no choice but to drive, and with an auto industry that has an incestuous relationship with the oil industry, they will constantly resist any voluntary conservation. As such, it is up to the government not to raise taxes, but to force fuel efficiency in vehicles and to actively work on viable, quick, and affordable national public transportation.

It is times like these where I wish I had some political power, because I don't see our politicians addressing anything of the sort that I have addressed.

Personally, I understand where you're coming from thinking that gas taxes will push conservation, etc. The problem, however, is that it won't.

Melon
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:52 AM   #66
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Because it hurts those who can least afford it.

Besides, I never believe a new or increased tax will solve anything because I am skeptical the funds would ever go to where they were supposed to. That's not how the gov't works. I don't trust it. Gas is already costing the poorest, hard working people too much. It needs to go down, not up.

nope. in reality, it tends to affect the middle class more than anyone else, especially those in the suburbs with more than one car. the truly needy tend to consume less gas than their middle-class compatriots. as for those in remote and rural areas -- as I've said, so what? few taxes are perfect, and the rural states are already over-represented in the Senate and as such are already pampered by the government. how about this: no gas tax, but let's get rid of all those pornographic agricultural subsidies.

now, Melon has offered something different, which i'm willing to think about, because it offers much more than "i don't want to pay more money for gas." which is all you've been able to offer so far.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:01 PM   #67
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I agree with melon. I believe higher gas prices or gas taxes will not promote conservation and as mentioned before consumption is still the same now with higher prices. I'm not just talking about gas prices from the perspective of someone just wanting to get to work or somone who wants to go on roadtrips. High gas prices effect the economy in terms of inflation. I see it when shipping and handling costs come in higher. That eats up profits. Retailers have to raise prices make job cuts. Manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, etc... all have to raise prices to cover the high fuel costs. Those kind of problems are of import as well.

There are a variety of reasons why high gas prices suck. What really irks me about Bush on this issue (typical politician) is in his 2000 campaign, he criticized Gore for the high gas prices at that time and intimated that as President he would use his "experience" to get the Saudis to "open up their spigots." What a joke.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:58 PM   #68
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I think we as a nation, perhaps even as a world, need to work on developing alternate energy sources instead of whining about the cost of gasoline. As someone noted the supply of fossil fuels is finite, so it is certainly in all of our best interests to get a wiggle on and seriously look to the future.
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:16 AM   #69
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exactly, indra

Perhaps a hike in petrol tax should be used to research renewable energy sources
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Old 04-05-2005, 05:50 AM   #70
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I think melon is right in the last post. The government should create incentives for companies to make fuel efficient vehicles and push harder for an alternative source whatever that may be. However, I think it is next to impossible to create effective public transportation in many cities. Unfortunately for public transportation, many cities are too sprawling for the idea to work. If the government focus was on alternative fuels and more fuel efficient cars I think that would be a more viable solution.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:18 AM   #71
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I never said to get rid of the gas taxes, only don't add any more!

And those middle class people you're hurting are also hard working and struggling and don't need another burden!
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:25 AM   #72
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I think melon is right in the last post. The government should create incentives for companies to make fuel efficient vehicles and push harder for an alternative source whatever that may be.
IF that were going to happen, and IF it worked, it would take years. We need help NOW!

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However, I think it is next to impossible to create effective public transportation in many cities. Unfortunately for public transportation, many cities are too sprawling for the idea to work.
Not only are most cities too sprawling for it to work, many millions of people don't even live near a city with a high enough population for there to be ANY public transportation! The reason there isn't any in outlying areas is that it's not ecomonically feasible! Where is the sense in sending a bus 20 miles to get 2 guys, and 30 miles the other direction to get some lady, and they aren't even going to the same place? That's why there isn't any there now, that's why it will never work!

Quote:
If the government focus was on alternative fuels and more fuel efficient cars I think that would be a more viable solution.
One thing you all forget or don't consider is that not only does the gov't not care, they may even be in on this with the fuel companies. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I have heard stories that alternative fuels HAVE been invented, and the gov't and/or oil companies buy the patent and destroy it. Just the other day I heard of a guy who lived not far from my hometown who invented a system where cars could run off of fumes instead of actual gas, and that's what happened, they bought it off of him, destroyed it, and forbid him to sell it to anyone else! I actually know a guy who knows this guy personally. He swears the gov't, oil companies and auto companies are all in it together to keep gas high and cars less efficient. If this is true, it's very sad, not only for us, but for the enviornment and people in the future who may not have any fuel.
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:18 AM   #73
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IF that were going to happen, and IF it worked, it would take years. We need help NOW!
Too little, too late. We've had a Republican majority Congress since 1994, and in those 11 years, we've had Whitewater, Travelgate, "Monicagate," anti-flag burning amendment talk, anti-gay amendment talk, tax cuts, war spending, and emergency feeding tube legislation. What's missing from all that? Actual legislating.

The GOP has thrived on going from one "moral outrage" to the next, and it has worked. In 2000, Bush berated Gore for not doing anything to lower gas prices, and Bush said he'd appeal to Saudi Arabia et al. to produce more. Except, of course, OPEC claims that it is producing at 100% capacity now and cannot produce any more.

Enough is enough. Americans need to wake up out of their 25 year stupor. Major and necessary projects take time and money. The WPA in the 1930s built a lot of infrastructure in its day. The 1950s saw the creation of the massive interstate highway system that we utilize today.

Fuck "tax cuts." For those who haven't been paying attention, federal tax cuts, by design, disproportionately benefit the wealthy, because lower income people already get either everything or mostly everything back. The government won't be writing you a check for money you didn't earn. In the meantime, your taxes *are* going up in the form of state and local taxes, along with fees being raised.

"State and local taxes," however, do not fund national projects. Period. And it may take time and we may suffer through a few years of expensive gas prices. That's the price that *we* pay for *letting* our elected officials get away with doing nothing. It's our fault for electing these morons. It's our fault for not making them accountable. It's our fault for letting them create one "moral outrage" after another, when all it really is is a diversion from actual legislating. We're not electing the fucking Pope to run the U.S. We're electing, essentially, the CEO (President) and the Board of Directors (Congress). And if the CEO and the Board of Directors sleep with hookers, have consentual sex with their aides, or worship Baal, I really don't give a flying fuck, as long as the company (U.S.) is running well.

This CEO (Bush) and his Board of Directors (GOP-led Congress) are a resounding failure. It was time to hold them accountable in 2004, but we let the "moral outrage" win again. In 2006, we cannot have the same mistake.

My priorities are this:

1) Nuclear plants. There's no exception to this. It's the only mass form of electricity generation that doesn't require destroying the environment. Nuclear plant technology has come a long long way from the days of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl to the point that "meltdown" is virtually impossible. Plus, those large cooling towers aren't even necessary anymore. There has also been immense progress in waste disposal, along with promising technology in dramatically hastening the half-lives of nuclear waste, not to mention that technology exists to recycle spent uranium. Europe does this quite often; America does not.

2) Desalination facilities. Our water supply is limited, but 3/4 of the Earth is covered in salt water. This comes in handy for...

3) Hydrogen fuel. And created solely from the desalinated water. Maybe in time, but from any water nonetheless. The nuclear plants built in #1 will produce the energy necessary to create hydrogen fuel. The profit off of the hydrogen fuel sales should help make nuclear plants be profitable.

4) Mandatory hybrid/fuel cell automobiles. We've shown how hybrid technology can work to increase fuel efficiency in existing automobiles, but we shouldn't go about wasting hydrogen fuel. Who knows what the environmental impact will be of blowing all that water vapor in the atmosphere, so efficiency is important even in "zero-emission" vehicles.

5) High-speed national rail. I'm not talking about the embarrassment that is currently Amtrak. Amtrak is slow, because it doesn't actually own any of its own rails; it must rely on freight rails owned by private railroad companies. It is faster to drive than to take Amtrak, unfortunately. What we need to do is build a high-speed national rail system that can go at least 300 mph and connects, at least, to every major city in the U.S. Which leads to...

6) Subway systems. London is a great model for this. An expansive subway network that not only covers downtown, but also nearby suburbs. Some cities may lend themselves to the traditional "underground" method. Others may lend themselves to an above-ground "trolley" system.

All six above then lead to...

7) Tax restructuring. No, not the Bush model, which will accomplish one thing: shifting the burden to the poor. They already get their federal income taxes back, and a 25% sales tax will hurt these people the most, while giving Donald Trump a chance to buy a million ivory back scratchers.

We need, what I'd like to call, a "progressive flat tax." That is, set a percentage and no write offs. Maybe those who make less than $20,000 a year can pay 0%. Those who make more than $200,000 can pay, maybe, 25%. Those who make more than $1,000,000: 35%. I'm just throwing numbers out there. It makes sense that those who make the money should be footing most of the bill.

That, of course, leads to "big business." They make billions and billions of dollars at our expense every year. When some of the largest of the Fortune 500 companies get away with paying no taxes at all, we have a problem.

Overall, we have to do something, and it isn't going to be easy. We can't expect a "quick fix." We can't expect a "cheap fix." Our abysmally low attention span, as a culture, is probably the most to blame; if a project looks like it will take 10 years or more, then we just don't do it at all. Well, cathedrals used to take 300 years to build, and people still built them anyway.

It is time to finally hold our politicians accountable.

Melon
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:19 AM   #74
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Melon, that was fucking brilliant.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:20 AM   #75
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as long as this war will go on there can be only fucking high prices. i bought a new car in june of last year, a turbodiesel 1.7.
the cost of diesel in italy was 0.93 eurocents/liter, today, neither a year after i bought my new car the diesel price is 1.08 euro/liter, how fucking nervous makes me this?!?!?!?!
it's all because of the iraq war
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