Originally Posted by Imyourzero
Wow, I didn't know about that one. Sickening, really. An OBGYN at my hospital drives a maroon H2 and his license plate says "WORK4GAS". Yeah, right.
As if he didn't make more than enough money already, he could always use that $38k tax break to pay for his gas...
He also has an S2000; I guess he bought that to balance his fuel usage out a bit.
I looked over the article, and it's based on a pretty unlikely series of circumstances...seems calculated for maximum value for use by angry populists.
This OBGYN of yours isn't going to be writing off the cost of his vehicle, unless he uses it (this is the key) 50% or more for legitimate business purposes. The law wasn't just intended to benefit farmers...any business that has a legitimate use for heavier trucks (e.g. construction, etc..) ought to be able to benefit from it.
Now, as for the so-called loophole - I've got no problem with business (especially small business) using existing tax laws to lower his tax bill. Every dollar of taxes paid by business (especially small business) ultimately ends up being paid by individual consumers. There is an old saying: corporations don't pay taxes, they merely collect them. The day that we eliminate all the fraud, waste, and inefficiency in government, I might sing a different tune. Until then, I trust the small businessman more than the tax man with custody of my marginal tax dollars.
The larger question of rising gasoline prices is a lot more complicated than mere use of SUV's by soccer moms:
It's an issue of refining capacity. Right now, the oil producing nations could double their output of crude oil...and it wouldn't do a bit of good. Until we build more refining capacity, we won't have any more gas. Try to build one, however, and most of those same soccer moms will scream N.I.M.B.Y.!!
It's an issue of how we produce electricy in this country. The use of fossil fuels of all kinds in the production of electrical power is an issue for our ecology AND our economy. One answer that is occasionally suggested is that we build more nuclear power plants. Again, try and build one...
I don't think that hybrid cars are the answer at this point. They're still pretty pricey, not incredibly practical for long distances (though the newer ones are better), and a potentially serious problem when involved in an accident (think leaking lead acid batteries coupled with the potential release of lethal current). Hydrogen powered cars hold some promise, but as noted the release of commercially viable ones is perhaps a decade away at best.
If we want to get back to tax policy, we could easily make tax policy that rewarded families that chose to purchase smaller cars. However, there's a related problem with the health of the auto industry...small cars have very small profit margins.
One step in the right direction would be to increase refining capacity. As someone who drives 120+ miles a day on his commute, that would be a good start. That's not happening overnight either...assuming we broke ground tomorrow, how long would it be until it was up and running?? I'm guessing it's 3-4 years at best...
It's not an easy problem...and there is not an easy solution.