The National Security Case for Raising the Gasoline Tax Right Now

Here is a link to my 54th column on Quartz, “The national security case for raising the gasoline tax right now.”

In light of the title, I should point out that, from an efficiency standpoint (without regard to politics), there may no justification for phasing in a gasoline tax increase slowly. If a national security externality were like an environmental externality, that externality should ideally be reflected in the tax rate right now. But the national security externality is actually a pecuniary externality, so it would take some nontrivial reasoning to figure out whether or not there is any justification for phasing a gasoline tax in. It is an optimal taxation problem in which money in the hands of certain parties counts negatively.