A terrific letter-to-the-editor in the Mar. 20 Wall Street Journal:
In response to Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s call for higher gas taxes (which you report in “Tax My Products, Please,” Review & Outlook, March 17), I would like to say that Americans don’t want smaller vehicles. We have great distances to travel, mountains and plains to cross in all seasons of the year. We tow our boats and other contrivances. We haul our children around and travel with them over the continent. Our businessmen drive long distances since they can no longer own corporate jets. What we want is a more efficient internal combustion engine, not a smaller car.
And do not tell us it cannot be done. It can be done, because efficient engines can be created today with off-the-shelf parts bought from General Motors, Ford or Chrysler.
A friend of mine has converted a GMC Vortec V8 gasoline engine for his 2.5 ton pickup truck and the engine delivers more than 30 mpg. Why can’t we buy this type of vehicle at the dealer? Why does individual ingenuity have to point the way to corporations that have the money, skill and engineering brainpower to deliver a more efficient engine? Why do we have to pay more at the pump?
The suggestion that consumers should pay more in gasoline taxes is a cop-out on the part of the auto makers, politicians and everyone else who supports it. This is not Europe. This is the United States of America, a vast country with amazing distances and varieties of geography and climate.
We do not want higher gas prices. We want more efficient engines to power our vehicles. We want the Big Three to use their brains to create something new, not deliver a rehash of junk from a bunch of whiners.
Bernard P. Giroux
Fall River, Mass.
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