CNN's Wastler Backs $1 Gas Tax Hike
Gas prices are high, but CNN wants them higher. Lots higher. CNNâ€™s Allen Wastler told viewers April 28 that the government should increase the price with a huge new tax. â€śPut in a tax to make it $4 a gallon right now,â€ť he urged.
As of April 30, that would equal a tax hike of $1.047. According to the American Petroleum Institute, the average taxes on a gallon of gas already equal $0.458. Combined, the government would make $1.50 on every gallon of gasoline.
Wastler, Managing Editor of CNNMoney.com, said the high prices have encouraged alternatives. â€śBecause when you saw us flirting with $3, all the sudden we got a burst in hybrid production, we got a burst in ethanol production,â€ť he explained to the â€śIn the Moneyâ€ť audience.
Interestingly, Wastler urged government intervention at the same time he was saying the current system functions well. â€śOh my goodness, the market works!â€ť he exclaimed about the increased production of alternative fuels.
The â€śIn the Moneyâ€ť team wasnâ€™t just satisfied with urging higher-priced gas. Host Ali Velshi did his part hyping $4-a-gallon gasoline â€“ when the national average hasnâ€™t even hit $3. â€śThere are forces that could make $3 gas something that we're not worrying about because we're worrying about $4 gas. Three-dollar gas could end up looking like a bargain for you,â€ť said Velshi.
At least Wastler undermined that prediction a bit. He pointed out that inventory and refinery problems had contributed to the gas increase, adding that has â€śsome experts â€“ some, not all â€“ saying you'll see $4 a gallon gas this summer. Particularly if you live on the West Coast,
He added that more expensive gasoline would encourage â€śa ramp-up in production.â€ť
â€śLet me make this clear: There will be $4.00 and $5.00 and $6.00 gal prices across the country this summer, but theyâ€™ll be primarily in two small segments: the rental car return counter â€¦ and, perhaps in tony little areas like Greenwich, Connecticut and Beverly Hills, California,â€ť wrote Kloza.
This wasnâ€™t even the first time CNN has urged higher gas taxes. There â€ścould be a good argument for a gas tax in all of this to help pay for these alternative fuels,â€ť then â€śAmerican Morningâ€ť co-host Miles Oâ€™Brien suggested on the April 25, 2006, program.