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Full Tanks, Empty Wallets

by on May 6, 2011

Sure, the government taxes you relentlessly for the privilege of driving. But you always have options. For one, you could stay home; don’t you have cable?

You could also buy a GM Breeze and travel the highways via windmill power. Just watch your clearance. And don’t forget bicycles, which are great as long as you’re not in a hurry, carrying cargo, or particularly interested in your safety.

Everyone else is screwed. And New Yorkers suffer even more. A chart in Tabitha Hale’s blog about the Obama administration’s attempt to tax people for every freaking mile they drive should be of particularly frustrating interest to Buffalonians, Albananians, Syracusites, and everyone else in the state. Thanks to levy-loving New York, they face an even worse burden every time they patronize a pump.

Including New York’s take, filler-uppers give 69.1 cents to governments for every gallon they purchase in the Empire State. Unsurprisingly, that places it near the top in another category in which we shouldn’t strive to be number one. The charge is the second-highest in the union behind the 70.3 cents those poor motorists who use Connecticut’s Gas-N-Drives must pay.

There’s no getting around our need for getting around in cars. The internal combustion engine’s benefits far outweigh all costs, financial or otherwise. For one, those desperately clinging to the fading notion that a century of human progress will render the planet inhospitable may as well claim that the stimulus created or saved jobs.

Even without global warming, nobody likes burning fossil fuels. But the only thing worse would be not burning them. We generate mechanical energy in such a manner because it works.

Meanwhile, the oil on our property may as well be teasing us. Drilling underfoot would at least put a dent in prices, which would be particularly satisfying considering that it would mean less money sent for fuel overseas. But we’ll sadly have to wait for an administration change.

As for hybrids, they’ll be practical about as soon as the Bills sniff the playoffs. Emissions are a byproduct of existing. The trade-off for exhaust is a civilization that doesn’t rely on mud as its chief industrial commodity.

And it’s hard to drive less. Many people have a fixed minimum need for fuel. Reducing gasoline consumption isn’t easy if you have, say, a family or job. As for the latter, it seems that the one thing that makes environmentalists happy is a lousy economy. Mother Gaia hates commutes.

Like it often does in New York, the debate revolves around whether the state’s role is to preserve conditions which permit prosperity or to milk those who attempt to prosper. Presently, the revenue-generators get an awful return on the investment.

The state could survive without collecting an exorbitant tax per tank. Somehow, other members of the union keep roads from turning to dust with less.

The best ally taxpayers have might be a Democratic governor. What the hell? Andrew Cuomo continues to surprise everyone everywhere by engaging in some financial restraint.

He may as well keep getting bolder. Taking a stand against the current ridiculous fuel excise would benefit checkbooks under the best circumstances. Such help could be amplified immensely during an era where nine percent unemployment has become the standard.

New Yorkers would get to spend money on things other than getting around. Conversely, our lawmakers would have less to spend on what they think is important. So, everyone wins. That would call for a celebration. Road trip!

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