Sometimes even a bumbling idiot such as Thomas L. Friedman of the NYT can espouse a good idea. His latest? Put a $10 tax on every gallon of imported oil and put every penny to paying down the debt.
The exact amount is debatable. Probably should be much more. And provided that we make tax cuts elsewhere to offset the new tax (we are taxed enough already).
Americans are lazy. Why bother saving gas when it is so cheap? Why get a tune up, why skip trips? Why get a job close by when I can commute? We are addicted to cheap gasoline and big cars. I'm as bad as any. But jack up the cost of oil and gas, and American ingenuity will kick in and save gazillions. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need to do this--everybody would save every tiny oz. of gas and oil.
We would have to grant some exemptions, or tax credits for people such as truckers (and those who live out in the middle of Bumphuckistan and Podunk, and who have to drive a gazillion miles just to visit civilization). But we should be relying more on freight trains anyway. Whatever happened to trains?
This idea has the hackles on my anti-government, anti-tax neck standing up, so I realize I might be wrong. Help me! What do ya'll think?