Why There Won't Be Too Much Pain At The Pumps

Although the coming 4.3 federal gasoline tax hike has raised hackles among the driving public, it still appears mighty small to America's industrial trading partners. Not only are gasoline taxes and prices far higher in Europe and Japan (chart), but they are being raised aggressively as governments tackle growing budget deficits. Britain, whose taxes account for 70% of the retail gasoline price, hiked them by 10% last March, for example, while Germany raised them by 36% in 1991.

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