When You Push the Right Button…

…on a presidential candidate you’re likely to get a boilerplate answer to a completely different question. Bryan Caplan has a rundown on the Democratic presidential aspirants’ answer to the question “What would you do to reduce gas prices?”

My answer would probably be close to Robert J. Samuelson’s—I favor a steep gas tax for national security reasons and I don’t think that low gas prices are a good thing. As I’ve said before, I think the real solutions to the problems caused by high gasoline prices are systemic ones.

2 comments… add one
  • Dave, how are high energy prices, especially high energy prices that will disproportionately impact the working class, advisable for nationl security reasons? It’s not like damping US consumption of oil is going to decrease world consumption. China will drink up all of the oil we don’t, and regimes such as Chavez’s, Iran’s, and Saudi Arabia’s will still be fully funded. Self-imposed poverty seems like a really REALLY bad idea.

  • It won’t reduce the world consumption of oil nor prices (since there’s a world market for oil) but energy self-sufficiency i.e. producing more of what we use will inevitably alter our notions of national interest with respect to foreign policy and defuse the argument that we’re consuming more than our fair share, a complaint that’s all but certain to become more bitter as oil prices rise. I think it will tend to make us more resilient to exogenous shocks.

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