Rising Gas Price, Lower Average Speed, Tire Change, and Gas Tax Suspension

I find myself driving slower these days to get better gas mileage amidst erupting gas price. On top of that, I spent $450~ to replace the tires on my Scion tC with some BF Goodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S tires upon hitting 45,000 miles. So there goes my economic stimulus payment! (which I have not received yet)

Note: To test whether you need new tire, you can use the “penny trick”. Take a penny and see if the thread extends to touch or cover Lincoln’s head on the coin. If it doesn’t, it is about time to change tires. Of course, you can always feel the feedback while you are driving but this requires a certain level of driving skill in terms of sensitivity and perception. The truth is, when you need tire change depends on what tires you got, the conditions you will drive in, how well and in control you drive, and your driving style. So it really depends. Anyways

The new tires are worth it though. It feels great to have improved maneuver and quieter cabinet versus driving on balder tires. With better traction, I expect a slight boost in my gas mileage but that remains to be seen until my tank empties. And finally, I hope it will last me a decent mileage before next replacement.

At this point, it is a bit sad that I am influenced to slow down for economic reason because I am a fast driver. My motto is to be fast, safe, and efficient which means I know my car well and know what I am capable of and drive at speed appropriate to road and traffic condition, again — for the purpose to be fast, safe, and efficient. That means I drive fast only if it does not lead to lots of braking, swerving, and middle fingers. I prefer not to be found mutilated in some road ditch or a hole in my head due to road ragers.

Guess what else is rising gas price causing? A stronger desire to run people off the road when they make me slow down unreasonably. A specific but typical scenario is when someone blows by me at 100mph, cuts in front, then upon a curve brakes to 100 times slower, at which point I want them in the ditch with a hole in their head.

Now I don’t claim to have answer to the gas price/demand issue. I may give some good old-fashioned behavior change suggestions because it is no secret that the U.S. uses more than half of the gasoline supply in the entire world. Base on that fact, I think it means we need to somehow consume less gas than we had.

I do know one thing though. It makes me shudder when Clinton and McCain claim to “give Americans a break” by suspending the gas tax on oil companies. This shows non-thorough thinking and short sightedness because…

First, it is not guaranteed that the gas tax suspension on oil companies will trickle down to us commoners, in which case, it serves only to fill the if-not-already-full pockets of those companies. Second, even if it does translate to lower gas price, 20~ cents decrease per gallon means diddly squat because converted to a scale of monthly saving, it means no more than $10-20 monthly saving for most folks. Well, that gives us 20-40 packs of instant Ramen noodles each month… But they will need to prepare a solution for when everyone is high on sodium with failed kidneys, high blood pressure and other heart diseases.

Like many things else these days, it sounds like nothing more than a gimmick.

I am not a big political person, but something tells me that Clinton and McCain’s goal of using the gas tax argument is only for the sake of campaign and obtaing votes. If otherwise, that they truly believe this will help to save Americans choking from gas price, it demonstrate how they do not have clear thinking and long-term perspective. Either case sends shivers down my spine if they reach the White House.

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