I was watching Meet the Press and there was a roundtable discussion about what to do with the high gas prices. There was the usual comments:
- Windfall tax
- Build refineries
- Alternative fuels
- $100 tax rebate
- Drill for oil
- Leave oil companies alone
All of these are great for starters or long-term objectives. Eventually, no matter if oil is finite or not, the US economy does need to find an alternative fuel source that gives it independence. For the short-term, let's drill and all that good stuff. However, how about I offer an alternative that I have not heard yet.
Let's call it the Grimacer Gas Relief Plan of 2006 for short and ego. Basically, it has the feel of a plan similar to what was bandied about here. The difference is that it will not be a rebate per se. It is more like a tax exemption from federal taxes overall. For simplicity, let's use some round numbers.
Let us assume that a person spends $1,000 a year on gasoline and has kept all of their receipts. Let us also assume that the person makes a yearly income of $100,000. If the federal tax code were to be tweaked, it should deduct 50% of what that person had to spend on gasoline throughout the year. So, the person would write-off $500 from their income and would officially earn $99,500. Now, of course, this isn't much, but it is a start. And most of all, it has a built-in means test. Those who drive the most save the most. Those who don't, well... they're saving the planet, right?
It should be noted that I'm neither anti-oil companies or pro-oil companies (Can one be the latter?). I think there possibly is some gouging going on, which is dispicable considering it is a necessity for America. It is especially scandalous during war-time. I was not particularly offended paying such a high price for my Xbox 360. I did not need to buy one, but could. I know Gates and his Leviathan gouged and gouged and gouged for every last penny. That is the price of such a free political community. The oil companies, however, are should not get this kind of a free pass.
This plan is not much, and I'm sure someone can point out flaws with little ease (I recognize a few, such as lessening federal tax revenues.). We do need to find a way to save some money for the consumer and taxpayer. Nothing is worse than deciding between gas and a Xbox.