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Without a doubt we need to consider biomass-based fuels as a source of energy. But not everyone agrees on how to do it.
In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard has just rejected the concept of mandatory ethanol placement in fuels, maintaining that the people need to have a choice about their fuels.
I am inclined to agree as the appropriate move should be toward a more positive encouragement in ethanol and biofuel production.
The best way that I can think of is by extending a tax break for the development of such, and even extend a tax break beyond the 100 percent mark for monies spent developing ethanol and other biofuel technologies, both for oil and fuel companies and for automotive manufacturers alike. A 200 percent tax break would not only offset the costs of development of alternative fuels but also help sustain the development of traditional fuels thus reducing the rates of taxation and pricing on fuel. Currently the price of ethanol is also rising but if we establish tax breaks for the development of such we could provide an effective answer to some more reasons for higher fuel prices.
And with the reduction in fuel costs come the reduction of the costs of goods and services across the board. Higher fuel prices leave less money for other essentials in life as well as other commerce.
And let us not stop with the fuel companies and the auto companies either: Let's extend this tax break to farmers, who will more readily be able to afford to maintain their properties and implements and may even be more self-sufficient. Growing maize, hemp, soybeans, and other sources of biofuels would help their bottom line, especially with a tax break for doing so, a 200 to 250 percent tax break on the production costs, no doubt.
Even President John F Kennedy knew the value of tax reform: Though not implemented till after his death it proved to be a major tax cut in its time; Kennedy was a strong proponent of tax reform, a major reason the top marginal tax rate was lowered from 91 percent to 70 percent. His methodology inspired more recent tax policies from Ronald Reagan and George W Bush.
Roll your eyes if you like but right now America are set to run revenues of $274bn higher than expected this year and $243bn higher next year, this even with surging fuel costs, most of you are paying US$3 a gallon or higher. Right now I'm pretty close, with fuel prices running $2,89 a gallon.
Kennedy's tax cut proposal, once implemented, saw federal income tax revenue jump significantly, with the growth accelerating more than 8 percent annually from 1965 to 1969, about quadruple the rate from 1961 to 1964. As a result wealthier households wound up picking up a larger share of the tax burden as their lower income neighbours wound up paying less in taxes.
And then there was the first tax cut from President Reagan. Say what you will about the man but his cuts resulted in more than US$1trillion in increased tax revenues flowing into the US Treasury in a 10 year period. It helped a number of Americans more readily afford new VCRs and computers and even cars, and it helped further the development of advanced cassette and compact disc technologies.
What worked for Presidents Kennedy and Reagan with regard to general tax policy would easily work toward ecologically correct fuel source development.
Now if only we could corral some of the federal spending that has risen to some $22000 per household...But the primary point remains clear: Reduce the tax burden on producers who make biofuels, even eliminate it if needed---the 200 to 250 percent tax break would even fuel greater job development, greater crop production, greater quantities of fuel development, more environmentally friendly fuels with lower prices on all types of fuel, and a cleaner environment...a true win-win situation for all parties involved from the farmer raising maize soybeans and hemp to the distillers and refiners creating ethanol and similar fuels from biomass, even from waste food products, to the oil and fuel companies selling the fuel, to the consumers who fill their Holdens and Peugeots and Buicks and Hondas and Kias and Marutis and Nissans and Fords and Volkswagens and Bedfords with this fuel. Nascar have announced a successful test with unleaded fuels in their cars. Maybe biofuels could be next...if they are not already there.
And what could be so bad about that?


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