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GM makes a business case out of the hybrid and loses. Here's Toyota's viewpoint:

To Japanese-based carmakers, the choice is clear from an
environmental standpoint. Hybrids are "the solution for
today," said James E. Press, executive vice president of
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

"What's the cost of fuel?" he said. "It's not $1.80 a
gallon. It's how much does a war in Iraq cost? How much
does the fact you've got 75 years of this stuff left on the
planet cost? And then what's the cost of pollution? At some
point, the industry has to recognize it."
 

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the guy makes a very good point. but we as americans dont listen because pennies are insignificant to us. when we start talking $10-$20 a day for basic transportation needs, only then will we realize that he knows what he is talking about.

i can only pray that gas hits $4 and stays there.
 

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Cars already have a direct cost to their owners of $10-$20 per day including maintenance and insurance. This ignores the costs of pollution, securing foreign oil supplies, terrorism subsidies, etc.
 

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sorry, let me clarify.

when it costs 10-20 cash out of pocket expense nearly every day... this would obviously exclude insurance which i pay once every 6 months, or maintenance which i do every 5,000 miles or so.
 

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Let's face it, we Americans are spoiled. SUV purchases are down, but not that drastically. For the most part, we'll spend money for the convenience of traveling anywhere and anytime. The last time gas prices went up (not nearly this high) there was an outcry. Not now. At least Prius owners have an awareness of where we're heading.
 

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i have to agree. the panic just doesnt seem as severe although the prices are by far the worst ever here. i think most feel that this is temporary and the prices will go back down as they have in the past. well, gas just jumped 10 cents today marking the first time its done so in the past 3 weeks.

in the past 3 weeks, the price has gone up 2-4 cents every other day. we are now at 2.399 and rising fast.
 

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A substantial per cent of the price in Europe is tax. The total price accomplishes the same "self rationing" effect that a comparable high price in U.S. would.

BUT, the tax money stays in the Eu country, to be used for public transit, conservation programs, alternative energy sources R&D, etc

If we do not add substantial tax to gas/pertrol/diesel in U.S., we stand the risk that gas prices will rise to match Eu (likely). But we will not "keep" any of the money for similar energy efforts.

In the current American culture, it would take an exceptionally courageous politician/pres/governor/congressperson to stand up & say...

...we are adding $2./gal tax to a gal of gas, in order to develop transit, alternative sources, & conservation programs.
 

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You don't mind if I correct you, do you? :wink:
An04Prius said:
A substantial per cent of the price in Europe is tax. The total price accomplishes the same "self rationing" effect that a comparable high price in U.S. would.
On fuel, the tax is not a percentage, but additionals. That is, tax is added as a fixed figure, that does not change with the price per gas. (apart from VAT) This does give some cushioning when the price of oil fluctuates:

Example:

Price of oil: $25 Price of US gas: $1 Price of IT petrol €0.9
Price of oil: $50 Price of US gas: $2 Price of IT petrol €1.2

BUT, the tax money stays in the Eu country, to be used for public transit, conservation programs, alternative energy sources R&D, etc
May I bore you with the REAL Italian "excuses" for adding additionals? :)
1935 - War in Abissinia - 0.001 €
1956 - Suez Crisis - 0.007 €
1963 - Vajont disaster - 0.005 €
1966 - Florence Flodding - 0.005 €
1968 - Earthquake in Belice - 0.01 €
1976 - Earthquake in Friuli - 0.05 €
1980 - Earthquake in Irpinia - 0.04 €
1982 - mission in Lebanon - 0.16 €
1996 - Mission in Bosnia - 0.11 €
2003 - Train driver's contracts - 0,02 €
2005 - Buses renewal - 0,05 €

As you can see, only the last two are directly involved with public transport, the previous two were to finance the wars (now over), the previous three where to finance natural disasters (well finished and reconstructed) and so on.... But, these additionals still remain and we do not really know where the money goes... it just goes! :cry:

The sum is 0.45 € per litre which is $2.18 per gallon, which, added to the price of gas, the 20% VAT is added to make the price we pay at the pump. (Yes we are taxed on taxes).
 

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The old saying: "DEATH AND TAXES" If we put war taxes on our fuel for "skirmishes or police actions" in the past fifty years our price would be well over ten dollars a gallon. And you know, with the American voter, thats one tax that could keep us out of these things. We still pay for it but if it was coming from gas tax it might stop.
Maybe thats why the European community "passed" on this last one!
Thanks again Tramp, for the "insight"
 

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The.Tramp;

very imformative post. iow, the money goes to the same place there as it does here, towards the interests of people who could care less what we want
 

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DaveinOlyWA said:
The.Tramp;

very imformative post. iow, the money goes to the same place there as it does here, towards the interests of people who could care less what we want
To finance the fat in our politician's belly? :lol:
 

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The.Tramp said:
You don't mind if I correct you, do you? :wink:
Not at all. I appreciate any additional info.

I did not mean to imply the tax was put on as a per cent of the sale price. I just meant that a large per centage of the money spent on petrol is tax money that stays in the country. I understand it is a fixed amount.

I believe other Eu countries may have different profiles for the use of petrol tax money, but I am not sure. I would appreciate hearing from other Eu countries as to use of the tax money.

At least even in Italy the money stays in the country. It is not paid out to oil supplier nations.

The same slight-of-hand happens in U.S. CA had a substantial tax approved, supposedly dedicated to roads & transit.

However, due to budget problems, an "emergency" provision of the law approving the tax allowed the govt to transfer the revenue to the general fund.
 

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hyperion said:
sort of like the social security fund.
Probably even worse. At least SS has a bookkeeping entry that says the general fund owes the money back.

I am not sure at all that the CA law approved by the voters for roads & transit, has a provision that if money goes to the general fund in an "emergency" it has to eventually be repaid. :(
 

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But back to the gist of the discussion. Taxes on "something" are not always used to offset their intended cost of that "something." It's not a stretch to say that they rarely are used to offset their cost.

This is one of the dirty little secrets of the whole idea of taxation of trusting individuals by a faceless bureaucracy, and it doesn't matter what country you are in.

Yes, it's wasteful. It may even be fraudulent. I think it's because by their very nature governments are wasteful. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, but the net result is waste...and sometimes, fraud, too.

In my opinion, higher taxes are usually not the best answer to any specific problem. Particularly a problem that could be reduced by better upbringing. :)

This is recognized by many, and I think that's why there is a movement for lower taxes here in the US. I'd even go so far as to say that Minnesotan coffee drinkers and even constitutionally-protected polar bears are better at deciding what to do with their own money than a supposedly benevolent government!

:D

After all that, I must also say that $4.00 gasoline will eventually come. But I don't hope for it. Regardless of "who" gets the "extra" money (ie, the taxes), such an increase in fuel costs will so drastically slow our economy, that it could impact employment. Yes, even the employment of Washingtonians and Prius-driving polar bears! :shock:

So let's be very careful about wishing for bad things, shall we?
 

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Not to take social security accounting even further off-topic, except that's what I'm doing ... When Colorado wanted to start a state-run lottery years ago, it was sold to the voters as a way to fund the popular but chronically poor Parks & Rec department.

The lottery initiative was passed - and of course, while money from the lottery went to Parks & Rec, the department's budget remained the same. Its non-lottery budget allocation was simply decreased by the amount of the lottery money.
 
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