The FHWA's "Traffic Volume Trends" report, produced monthly since 1942, shows
that estimated vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on all U.S. public roads for March
2008 fell 4.3 percent as compared with March 2007 travel. This is the first time
estimated March travel on public roads fell since 1979. At 11 billion miles less
in March 2008 than in the previous March, this is the sharpest yearly drop for
any month in FHWA history.
Someone really should research this phenomenon. It is almost if gasoline prices, which we all know exist solely for the benefit of oil company profits and to support oil company CEO pay, have this heretofore unsuspected utility to modify demand for scarce resources.
Not to be deterred by this spurious data point, the US Congress is moving ahead with this:
The current high price of gas has led to a lot of crazy proposals from
gas tax holidays to creating a tax deduction based upon energy
consumption. But Rep. Paul Kanjorski's (D-PA) may top them all in terms
of its stupidity. From the Times Leader, Kanjorski's plan would do the
"¢ H.R. 5800 would tax industries' windfall profits.
"¢ The bill would set up a Reasonable Profits Board to determine when
these companies' profits are in excess, and then tax them on those
"¢ As oil and gas companies' windfall profits increase, so would the tax rate for those companies.
"¢ Kanjorski said his legislation will encourage oil companies to lower
prices to prevent them from receiving higher tax rates.