Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering congestion pricing for New York City: that is, charging drivers $8 to enter the busiest parts of Manhattan during week days as a means of reducing traffic and air pollution. In justification, he has offered one of the most profound statements I have heard from a Republican in many years:
Using economics to influence public behavior is something this country is built on, it’s called capitalism. Tax policy influences you to drill here and mine there and grow this and live here and do that, and you know, that’s common. We have tried to make it more egalitarian with subsidies for people.
(Note: while this quotation was heavily circulated last week, the comments were made on April 22nd, and his announcement concerning a driving fee was scheduled for late April. Profundity aside, it seems he might have backed down.)