October 22, 2002
The Foreign Policy of S.U.V.'s
o the Editor:
Thomas L. Friedman ("Drilling for Freedom," column, Oct. 20) convincingly explains that Middle East tyrannies will end when their oil revenues decline. The United States can help this happen by consuming less fuel.
The only way the United States can reduce fuel use is to increase the fuel tax. Adding a nickel per gallon every month until the United States buys its last barrel of imported oil would cause no more than minor disruption of the economy. Yet fuel use would decline almost immediately.
Our political process refuses to discuss a tax increase,
the only measure that can work. We are like a 300-pound
patient asking a doctor how to lose weight but insisting that
the answer must not mention eating or exercise.