RWS280 - Esssay 2

RWS280 - Esssay 2 - Tennyson 1 Bradford Tennyson Professor...

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Tennyson 1 Bradford Tennyson Professor Dawn Brown RWS281 17 March 2010 The Two Arguments of Rising Gas Taxes The issue of raising gas taxes is a significant topic to discuss, particularly in today's economic state. In their articles, Thomas Friedman's "Win, Win, Win, Win, Win …” and James Manzi's "And Global Warming Too!" present both sides of the argument. Based on a systematic assessment of their arguments/personal ethos, I must agree with James Manzi. Thomas L. Friedman addresses his country-wide moderate to liberal audience with his support for higher gas taxes. Specifically, Friedman makes the claim that “[he believes] the second biggest decision Barack Obama has to make – the first is deciding the size of the stimulus – is whether to increase the federal gasoline tax or impose an economy-wide carbon tax” (Friedman). With this statement, he is essentially arguing for some sort of increase in taxes to offset other economic/global problems. There are several reasons he makes this claim. First, President Bush had the opportunity to raise the tax, but he was not strong enough to do so. Friedman gives statistics on how gas prices are almost identical now as they were the morning of September 11, 2001. He makes a personal attack on the Bush Administration by stating, “In the wake of 9/11, President Bush had the political space to impose a gasoline tax, a “Patriot Tax,” to weaken the very people who had funded 9/11…But Bush wimped out and would not impose a tax when prices were low or a floor price when they got high” (Friedman). Another reason Friedman has for making this argument are his rules on energy innovation. His first rule essentially states that if prices go up, people will react by changing their habits. The second rule
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Tennyson 2 dictates that a systematic approach is a necessity. If the legislation realized these rules, Friedman believes that the auto industry would be saved and there would be greater improvements in alternative energy. His third reason for the claim is the opinion that “A gas tax reduces gasoline demand and keeps dollars in America, dries up funding for terrorists and reduces the clout of Iran and Russia at a time when Obama will be looking for greater leverage against petro- dictatorships” (Friedman). Through these identified reasons, Thomas Friedman argues that with
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RWS280 - Esssay 2 - Tennyson 1 Bradford Tennyson Professor...

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