The free market has struck again! According to a press release from the US Department of Transportation, "Americans Drove 1.4 Billion Fewer Highway Miles in April of 2008 than in April 2007 While Fuel Prices and Transit Ridership Are Both on the Rise."
While one may view this news as good or bad, here is what the US government is really concerned about, taxes!
“We’re burning less fuel as energy costs change driving patterns, steer people toward more fuel efficient vehicles and encourage more to use transit. Which is exactly why we need a more effective funding source than the gas tax,” Secretary Peters said."
So, which is it, drive more fuel efficient cars and take the bus, or drive Hummers and pay more in gas tax?? While I think reducing taxation is great and should be done more often, I am not fool enough to think crumbling roads and bridges are a good thing.
As the title mentions, the free market will decide these things. Folks will drive less and change other gas-influenced behaviors as the costs increase, and more than likely, find ways to pay less in taxes, if given the choice. I guess we will have to wait and see.