"I can remember the good old days when gas was 30 cent a gallon, and even Americans complained when gas went to a dollar per gallon. but since gas is now reaching $4.00 per gallon, I'm wondering how many Americans could afford their SUV's. luxury cars, and high performance sportscars, when our American gasoline reaches $10 per gallon"
$4.00 per gallon doesn't cover the military expenses, bribing governments, governmental gifts to oil companies to encourage drilling that each and every one of us pays out of our income taxes, plus the infrastructure expenses that SHOULD be paid out of gas taxes that ALSO come out of our income taxes.
Dick Cheney estimated that the total cost of a gallon of gas in the USA at about $15.00. Other experts estimated that a gallon of gas actually costs over $20.00 a gallon with 10% coming at the pump and the remaining out of your income taxes. These numbers were batted around when Cheney held his closed door sessions with Oil Execs to chart the Bushco energy policy in 2001 when gas was retailing at under $2.00 per gallon.
What does this mean? What it means is that people like me, who are very concerned about wasting a lot of oil because of the the environment and because of the use of oil damaging our national security are screwed. It means that my girlfriend who bought a Prius so that she could reduce her fuel expenditures are screwed because we are paying income taxes to support lunatics who waste gasoline. Our income taxes are paying for the guy who owns the SUV to drive to and from work at 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, tail gating the whole way.
To answer your question ... NO ONE would be driving an SUV if you weren't subsidizing their waste with your income taxes.
But the other issue is that high performance sports cars pay a gas guzzler tax which pays a tiny percentage of their waste. But that gas guzzler tax is exempted on wasteful vehicles such as the huge pickups and even some SUVs even though their mileage is far worse than sports cars.
You posted: "The news tells us that prices are rising because of shortages and what not, but I have noticed for most of my driving history that every spring, when people are more apt to do a lot of traveling, that gas prices always go on the increase and as soon as summer has wind down, they take a fall in prices. I am 53 and started driving when I was 17 and I've noticed this for 30 years. These rises are nothing more than gluttonous greed on the oil producers. "
Each barrel of oil is split into various grades, I think there are something like 15 or 20 different grades. In the spring, the driving has increased, but a high percentage of the supply is still being converted into heating oil. That causes a price increase at the pump. In the fall, the demand hasn't started for heating oil and the demand for gasoline has fallen. So it has to do more to the way the supply is being refined, not the profit margins of the oil companies.
I think you are actually understating the issue. The subsidy levels are specific, and growing. They are even more sinister.
We are rewarding the people that we are fighting (Iraq) while simultaneously penalizing one of our few friends in South America (Brazil) by buying oil and putting a tax on imported sugar ethanol (over $.50 per gallon) simultaneously! The corn lobby (who cannot provide enough product to replace oil), wants to have us continue to buy ONLY corn ethanol when we could be cutting oil purchases and prices by buying sugar ethanol which can be produced at a lower cost per gallon. Instead of focusing on making as much corn as they can for either food or fuel, and supporting bringing in sugar to help fill the gap, they want an exclusive.
If someone wanted to design the worst possible energy policy possible, they would pick ours......It maximizes costs, and funds the war for our enemies, while turning our friends to alternatives to working with us. When combined with a refusal to change the CAFE standards on mileage, and to import diesels (which get 35% better mileage), we are maximizing the costs and maximizing the usage at the same time. We are minimizing the standard of living for our citizens in the process, and eliminating the possibility of allowing American's to save, instead of spend on excessive transportation expense.
This is coming about because of excessive greed on the part of the corn community (who could not replace our oil demand with ethanol from corn anyway). They need to think beyond cutting out competition of any type and put America first. We need to find ways to reduce the amount of money flowing into oil's hands, and think beyond trying to get exclusives for corn that actually add to the problem and cost each American.
They also need to think of the damage, becuase of this policy, that they are doing to the worlds food supply.
Sure we will. Most of us have no choice. We live in a country that didn't bother to invest in good national transportation. We live in a country where people can't afford to live in the cities that pay best so they commute in and we live in a country where everyone works such crazy hours that sharing a ride is next to impossible! What choice do we have?
I am from NYC area and they are talking about an $8 one way tax to try to get people to stop driving in. Well, great. But, what if you start early or end late (not all subway stations feel safe). What about when the subways flood every time it rains? What about when the water taxis break down or can't make it across the Hudson in the ice? What if you have errands to run on the way home? I did the running from subway to water taxi commute for 3 years...in wind and rain and cold and in the dark...it sucked and still took me over an hour to get home! Give me my warm car and a radio any day. How about those 96 degree days when you are crammed into the Q train with everyone else going up town and the subway just stops! No thanks! Rather pay.
The issue not whether we will pay the higher prices instead the a question should be asked - will we as a nation allow greed to send us into a real recession. Last year when there were some bases for high crude prices (refinery mishaps /reduction in supply / Middle East problems, etc) the rise in prices was, while not welcome, at least understandable. We could at least see some rational reason for the escalating prices.That is not the case now. There is no shortage of gasoline, no shortage of crude, no market condition for these higher prices. Greedy speculators are driving up the price and thereby pushing us closer and closer to an economic disaster. One more major push can send us over the deep end. We must ask ourselves – do we step in and legally force controls to save the economy or do we stand back and allow the market to disintegrate.
My thoughts are clear – every now and then the people of a nation must put aside its differences to fight a common enemy. This is one of those times.