Readers React: John Cox’s bogus math: No, California drivers aren’t paying $700 more per year in gas taxes


To the editor: Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox needs to check some simple math in his campaign statements.

He is quoted as saying that the increased state tax on gasoline causes people to pay $700 more per year. This statement is at best misleading.

Since the referenced tax amounts to 12 cents per gallon, reaching Cox’s amount would require the purchase of 5,833 gallons of gas annually. If a person is driving a vehicle that averages 20 miles per gallon, that would mean driving over 116,000 miles during the year, or an average of over 9,700 miles per month. This is not normal driving behavior.


A more typical 1,000 miles of monthly driving in a car that averages 20 miles per gallon would require 50 gallons of gasoline. The additional cost to such a driver is $6 per month, or $72 per year.

Cox and his supporters are entitled to oppose whatever they want to oppose. But nobody is entitled to do a mathematical calculation and then arbitrarily move the decimal point away from where the calculation placed it.

Garry Herron, Seal Beach


To the editor: I have to disagree with you on the stark differences between Cox and Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. On the biggest issue in all human history, climate change, they are in agreement on its importance. Recently, columnist George Skelton reported that Cox wrote to him in an email, “We need to continue to lead on fighting climate change.”

Recent polling shows that most Americans acknowledge human-caused climate change. Not enough of us are talking about solutions, though, and that is something our current and aspiring leaders need to do.

Republicans like Cox may need to be reminded that there are proposals supported by well-known conservatives, such as the one from the group Americans for Carbon Dividends. The plan supported by this group relies on widely supported free-market principles that are the best chance we have for uniting in the fight against climate change.

E.J. Parker, Long Beach

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