Rooney: Put Brakes On Gas Prices

<B>Andy Rooney</B> On Why We Should Spend Less Time On The Road

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.
Every time I hear someone on television do a story about how the price of gas is going up, it's never as much as I pay.

Here's what I pay in New York. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents a gallon. That's the same everywhere, of course.

New York has the highest state tax -- 31.9 cents a gallon. Now, why would they make it 31.9 cents? You'd think they were a gas station trying to make it sound less than 32 cents.

Georgia has the lowest tax – 7.5 cents a gallon. If you like Georgia, you could drive around Atlanta real cheap.

I hate how much gas costs. I grew up during the Great Depression, and I never got over being careful with money. I call it careful. My friends call it "cheap."

I often drive across the George Washington Bridge, out of New York, to get gas in New Jersey because the tax over there is only 14 cents a gallon. It's 20 miles round trip, so I'm not sure I'm saving anything.

I'd like to start a major campaign, though. And I'd need your help. The idea would be to get every driver to use 20 percent less gas this year than last year. That would be the way to keep from having to make a mess of Alaska, and we'd be sticking it to those countries with all the oil -- instead of sending troops there.

I know darn well I could use less gas. All I'd have to do is not go to so many places I don't have to get to. I'm always driving 100 miles to see a friend. I make a lot of unnecessary trips to the store on weekends.

I'll burn a gallon of gas that costs me $2.45 looking for a place I can save a dollar on a pair of socks.

And why do we all have to go somewhere on vacation? What's wrong with going home?

Newspapers are filled with ads trying to get us to travel. I'd buy ads for my campaign and write the headlines myself:

"There's no place like home -- and you don't have to go anyplace to get there."

"Before you plan a trip, remember what a terrible time you had on the last one!"

It's hard to understand why so many of us keep traveling so much when travel is so unpleasant and expensive. Airlines burned 50 billion gallons of gas last year, a lot of it just sitting on the runway. We could help them use less gas by not flying.

I'd like to see newspapers print "Don't Travel" sections with articles about how interesting it is not to go anywhere.
Written By Andy Rooney