Porous condoms, bustiered moobed construction workers, medieval royal exclamations with a dash of Dorothy skipping rubies down the golden road all at the expense of some poor statist once-a-plebe trying to ply more cash from the pockets of his neighbors to meet his illusory expectation of what should be done and pretending to solve a problem? Yes, I’m referring to the guest post by C.dog. He hit some poignant points in his illuminating, entertaining, and informative post. I’d lavish more praise on the piece save for time because as any good piece I read does, it creates a mental itch that I need to scratch, so on with the nailed relief.
The audacity of C.dog’s subject, one lord Todd I. Selig, playing fast and loose with economics in hopes to bind the emerald curtain tightly taught so that no one is able to lift the drapes is invidious. It’s especially so when one thinks that people might buy this bureaucratic sinecure’s incongruous tripe and agree with the deplorable gas tax increase. However, the curtains are diaphanous and gauzy so one can easily see the image of his scarecrowed chicanery when backlit.
Let’s flame the candles and take a look at a few of the wobbly pillars that support his feeble argument.
In his blog post, he risibly purports to answer the question as to why the cost of gas is cheaper in Maine than in NH, and in doing so demonstrates either his callow understanding of economics or betrays his perfidy by implying that we must follow Maine’s lead. But he’s just clutching at straw men.
If the citizens of New Hampshire want decent roads, someone will have to pay for them, and it is only appropriate that the cost be borne by the users. Those who drive less would pay less; those who drive more would pay more.
Drive into Maine with a higher gas tax than NH and you can find lower gas prices there. This is because supply and demand is the primary driver of gas prices, not the road toll.
So his logic is: people in Maine don’t drive much therefore they reduce the demand. Thus, even though Maine taxes more than NH, the gas prices in Maine are less. Okay fair enough. Reduce demand and cost falls accordingly — I don’t need to be Smith, Mises or Hazlitt to follow that. But he shouldn’t pretend that the “those who drive less would pay less” and that the “those who drive more would pay more” is all that there is to it. That’s the immediate understanding, but like with all liberals, they think their make believe world is nice and neat and can be wrapped up in a little pretty planned package and all will be Barbie-riffic. It’s not. When their policies become a reality it’s more like a ball of yarn wrapped around bubble gum and dipped in tar and we need to untangle the steamy gooey mess.
The cost is not constrained to the drivers alone. It will undulate throughout the economy, effectively taxing every household. Pretending that commercial transportation companies will not pass the increased cost to the consumer of their goods is naive and demonstrates profound ignorance. Sure, some may fill up outside of the state. Let’s say most do, then what’s the point of the tax in the first place? If we tax high enough to drive the drivers to fill their tanks outside of the state, that will remove the revenue that we are currently collecting under the existing tax structure. Thus, harming the intended goal of Todd I. Selig.
His position relies on the axiom that if you want more of something, you subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it. So evidently Selig wants less driving. Cut down on driving, reducing the demand, then have the state backfill the gas price lost from the demand decrease with higher taxes and repeat, which is the reason he cited Maine.
Maine doesn’t drive as much apparently, so to make up for the lost revenue, Maine taxed more to make up some of the difference, thus disincentivizing more driving. You can see how this can have a death spiral effect with regards to unnecessary driving.
Drivers can only drive less, if the driving is optional. You know like taking the family to the beach or to the White Mountains or to the Lakes Region or to Durham and the sea coast etc. I wonder if the boutiques, hotels, towns, tourist areas are all keen on losing optional tourism dollars. I wonder if this has even dawned on on the heavily credential wunderkind Todd I. Selig? He serves the town of Durham. Does Durham rely on or even desire tourism revenue? If they do, and you live in Durham, saunter on over to Todd I. Selig and ask him about this.
My point is that the economic impact doesn’t stop at the driver. It translates into loss of commercial activity, loss of tax dollars, and decrease in standard of living. Distant destinations will remain so — distant. The optional driver will be encourage to rethink and redirect his or her destination to somewhere more local or out of state where the fill up on the way home is cheaper. Which excludes the areas I mentioned.
This is left out of Todd I. Selig’s bleating. One thing that isn’t left out is an execrable specious argument meant to beguile the casual reader.
Even assuming that every penny is passed onto the driver at the pump, the cost of $79.65 is less than what the average NH driver is currently spending on vehicle maintenance and repairs due to poor NH road conditions ($323/year)…
In this misleading paragraph, he’s suggesting that vehicle maintenance costs will go down once the tax increase is in place. It’s kind of like an infomercial, “Call now and pay just $79.65 plus shipping and handling and you’ll save $323/year!”. He can’t outright state that is the case because he has no evidence of how, nor when, nor if your vehicle maintenance payments will drop if the gas tax is passed and he knows that they will not drop to anywhere near $79.65 if the numbers he’s using are correct. It’s deceptive skullduggery meant to confuse.
Oh, and another thing Todd I. Selig didn’t leave out was a seemingly heavily plagiarized paragraph. Compare his second to the last paragraph of his post to the introductory paragraph of this report and come to your own conclusion. I wouldn’t put it past him. What his is his and what’s your is his whether it’s money for taxes or written word.