One of the ways that gas taxes will be increased is by not calling them that. It goes down easier – like the “shared responsibility payment” you’re forced to pay for not paying the health insurance mafia for an Obamacare policy you don’t want to buy.
Instead, the new gas taxes will be called carbon taxes – which makes it easier to shame-silence objections to them. This is an important tactical consideration for the Left especially because gas taxes are already the most regressive taxes on a necessity extant. Only a handful of things – like cigarettes – are taxed more punitively and disproportionately.
But most people don’t smoke – and no one has to.
Driving is different – even if you don’t. Because someone else has to. Like the guy who drives the truck that brings your food to the store and practically everything else you need to live.
The delivery cost of which is reflected in the cost to you.
Plus the cost of making what’s delivered – almost all of which involves energy and almost all of that involves gasoline.
An increase in gas taxes – technically, motor fuels taxes, encompassing diesel fuel as well as gasoline – is therefore a hard sell, politically, when you’re a politician posturing as a “progressive.” Like Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for instance – who is now fief underlord of the president selected by the Left to lord it over the entire country.
He wants a gas tax – but got his chain yanked recently for saying so. So it is necessary to say something else.
Both men want to make it more expensive to drive; in particular, to drive anything with a gasoline or diesel engine – in order to make driving something with a motor (i.e., an electric car) seem more “affordable” and also to just punish those who “cling” to their non-electric cars, which are “bad for the climate” but actually bad for them in that they are harder to exert control over.
But adding 50 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas that already has about 50 cents of federal/state/local taxes folded into its per gallon cost of about $2.20 – amounting to a tax of about 25 percent, a rate comparable to the usury some credit card companies apply to the people least able to afford credit – creates bad visuals for the party that likes to pretend it is the party of the Average Guy.
Which of course it isn’t – and hasn’t been for at least 20 years. It is now the party of the Urban Hip and Woke, most of whom live in apartments and don’t care about the cost of fuel because their government jobs or – government checks – enable them to not have to care about it.
That is why the coming gas tax will probably be marketed as a carbon tax. It will be easier to sell it this way because it will be harder for gaslit, virtue-signalers on the Left and the Right to object to their own impoverishment.
After all, the climate crisis demands it.