Comment 34939

By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted October 24, 2009 at 22:37:16

Ben, I don't think you really mean that it makes no difference. Because of waste from congestion and pollution, we would have a much more efficient economy, higher quality of life, and lower mortality, if there was a serious move to taxing carbon, specifically transportation fuel. It makes no sense to pay for roads like we do now through income and municipal taxes. Canadian fuel tax revenues don't quite pay for the presently inadequate maintenance of roads.

The majority of people benefit (short term cost wise) from having their road infrastructure costs subsidized by business, richer people with more expensive houses, and non-drivers, i.e. most drivers end up paying less than their fair share, especially those commuters using upwards of 30000 km per year. It's the old tragedy of the commons.

In addition to a serious gas tax, it would be even better if car insurance was paid for at the pump, then driving goes from mostly fixed costs to mostly usage costs, and that changes everything.

I believe there is no sustained recovery in our economic future until we get a serious carbon tax to change our currently inefficient road system which keeps getting more inefficient. People won't make the necessary adaptations without it as a stick, and without it as a carrot,we have no hope of budget surpluses ever again.

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