CNN’s O’Brien: ‘Maybe We
Could Have More’ Gas Taxes
‘American Morning’ host wants motorists
to pay Uncle Sam more at the pump.
By Ken Shepherd
Free Market Project
April 25, 2006
Â Â Â Â
Gas prices too high? That just means we aren’t paying enough taxes
on them. At least that’s what CNN’s Miles O’Brien suggested.
Â Â Â Â There “could be a good argument for a gas tax in all of
this to help pay for these alternative fuels,” the “American
Morning” co-host suggested on the April 25 program.
Â Â Â Â “We have enough gas taxes, don’t you think,” reporter
Carol Costello fired back.
Â Â Â Â “Well, maybe we could have more,” O’Brien blithely
Â Â Â Â Every American motorist already pays 18 cents on the
gallon to Uncle Sam and anywhere from 8 to 45 cents per gallon to
state governments, according to figures compiled by the
American Petroleum Institute. In fact, the
Energy Department estimates taxes account for 19 percent of the price of a gallon of
gasoline, nearly as much as the 22 percent of the price that goes to
Â Â Â Â O’Brien was reacting to a report showing purchases of
gasoline-inefficient vehicles are as popular as ever with consumers.
Â Â Â Â “According to the
Power Information Network,
in January, February, and March, Americans bought big, huge cars at
the same rate they did before. Eight-cylinder cars that take a lot
of gas to run,” Costello noted, adding that gas prices have had only
a short-term impact on how much people travel.
Â Â Â Â Costello suggested that blaming President Bush or oil
companies ignores the heavy consumer demand that drives up gas
prices. “While we may drive less in the short term, it’s always the
short term, because 1.5 percent were driving 1.5 percent more than
we did last year, so really consumers aren’t doing their part,” to
keep gas prices down, Costello argued, citing a recent survey.