Apr 242013

This Freakonomics Radio on Marketplace podcast: The gist: the Federal gas tax is a primary source of infrastructure funding but, politically, it has proven a hard tax to increase. Furthermore, because the tax is a fixed amount (18.4 cents per gallon) rather than a percentage, gas-tax revenues don’t rise even when gas prices do — as has been happening lately.

Even worse, as modern cars travel further on a gallon of gas (good news, right?), they contribute even less money for the roads they travel. And cars are going to get even more fuel-efficient.

So what’s to be done? Some politicians want to get rid of gas taxes in favor of an increased sales tax — which, Eric Morris argues, is a bad idea, since it shifts the burden to non-drivers.


Kai RYSSDAL: Time now for a little bit of Freakonomics Radio — that moment in the broadcast every couple of weeks where we talk to Stephen Dubner, the coauthor of the books and the blog of the same name. It is “the hidden side of everything.” Dubner, how you been man?

Stephen J. DUBNER: Great Kai, thank you. Been thinking about you. You drive a lot out there in California, right?

RYSSDAL: It’s L.A. baby. Of course we do!

DUBNER: What are you paying for gas these days.

RYSSDAL: Oh, a lot! It’s over four bucks a gallon.


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Source: Freakonomics

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