It’s the Incentives Stupid
Deval Patrick, the governor-elect for Masschussetts, demonstrates that he has little understanding of economics.
GAS TAX HIKE CLASHES WITH TRANSPORTATION, ENERGY GOALS, PATRICK SAYS
By Michael P. Norton and Jim O’Sullivan
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 20, 2006
Raising the gas tax, an idea contemplated by a state commission eyeing ways to address a huge backlog in transportation maintenance problems, runs counter to the push for energy efficiency and independence, according to Gov.-elect Deval Patrick, who nonetheless backed off a campaign pledge against such an increase.
“We need to be much, much more efficient in the use of hydrocarbons for energy reasons, for reasons of independence, for reasons of our dependence on foreign oil and gas, on hydrocarbons generally,” Patrick told the News Service during an interview at the waterfront law office he is using as a staging area for his administration, which moves into power on Beacon Hill in two weeks.
“If we’re trying to cultivate here in Massachusetts an energy-smart economy, then the notion of relying for additional revenues on something we’re trying to break our dependence on doesn’t seem to me to be a formula for long-term success.”
While being cognizant of the potential problem of coming to rely on tax revenues from a source that one sees as diminishing in use and thus tax revenues is smart, the idea of reducing consumption by not taxing something is quite bizarre.