In large measure, current gas taxes are designed to directly deal with the consequences of the use of roads, highways and transportation in general. It's recently been proposed by some in the media that these proceeds should be earmarked for uses other than transportation, and to preserve access to the oil reserves themselves.
After all, the war in Iraq and the quest for stability in the Middle East, along with so many other geopolitical situations, are in part inextricably linked to preserving our access to oil. And with nations such as China and India increasing their demand for petroleum, we may soon face far greater competition for this access.
Perhaps the cost of preserving stability in the world's oil-producing regions -- including efforts at dealing with terrorism and despots such as Saddam Hussein threatening oil-rich regions such as Kuwait -- could be supported by an additional dedicated tax on consumption here at home.
Far-fetched? Maybe. Admittedly, it's a stretch from these polling results; they simply indicate that gas prices likely won't directly affect the race for president. Regardless, the media will hype the issue in the coming weeks and months.
Still, many conservatives have for years touted the need for America's system of taxation to shift from one that penalizes productivity and personal economic growth to one that taxes consumption instead. If a consumption tax of great consequence ever seemed doable, gasoline may be the perfect fit.
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