Mankiw boasts of more publicity for his pro gas-tax club. This publicity includes commentary by Economics correspondent Chris Farrell.
When asked by the interviewer:
"Now just saying the word "tax," if you're running for President or if you are President or I mean who's gonna buy this? "
"if you package a gas tax, not only as part of energy security but part of attacking global warming and leading toward a more sustainable environment, there are ways that you can manipulate this situation so that the word "tax" doesn't quite have the negative connotations which you have rightly raised. And it's more like environmentally-conscious, attacking global warming . . . "
Who really believes that? No matter how you package it as a sizeable environmentally beneficial thing (even if people think it really is which is questionable anyway), most people don't internalize envrionmental costs that much. Without the state of Washington, no one would care enough about the environment enough to pay more at the pump! Let's see one of you pigouers try and sell it based on the above quoted publicity - - -
'My fellow Americans, we are going to make you pay a dollar more in gas (albeit phased in) for every gallon of gas you buy. But don't worry, you're helping to save the environment. What's that? you don't care that much about the environment? What's that? If you cared all that much about the environment, you would have purchased less gas or drove less in the first place? Why is your face turning red? Are you chasing me!? What is that pie doing in your hand!!?'