Most people think that falling gasoline prices are a good thing, but not the Washington Post. The Post actually argues that higher gasoline prices are a good thing for America. This is not a joke. They write:
If oil prices keep going down, what will happen to all the progress the United States has just made toward energy independence? Higher gas prices caused U.S. motorists to drive 12.2 billion fewer miles in June compared with a year earlier, according to the Transportation Department. This wiped out the previous five years’ worth of growth in gasoline demand, the American Petroleum Institute reports. As a result, we all enjoyed less traffic (and fewer traffic deaths), cleaner air and greater national security.
For people like the Washington Post‘s editorial board, who apparently make enough money so that filling up their tanks with $4 a gallon gasoline doesn’t faze them, expensive gasoline isn’t a problem. High gasoline price keep the rest of us off the road so that the Post‘s editorial board doesn’t have as much traffic to contend with.
Unlike the Post‘s editorial board, we know that inexpensive transportation is a good thing. It allows us greater work opportunities, it makes it easier to take care of our families, and it gives us more entertainment options. These are the positive benefits of inexpensive transportation. Too bad the Washington Post believes that we have it too easily.
The Post concludes:
Recent experience with higher gasoline prices and lower oil consumption confirms something we have long maintained: A serious national energy policy would include a higher federal per-gallon tax on gasoline. Just a 19-cent increase in the tax, which is currently 18.4 cents a gallon, would lock in the incentives to conserve that have been lost during the past month’s price decline.
In summary, the Washington Post believes that everyone has it too easy. Taxes aren’t high enough, but if they were, the people would make the “better” decisions. Who cares that it makes our lives more difficult? Obviously not the Washington Post. In fact, that is their explicit goal.