Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: How Dumb Do They Think We Are? .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Friday, April 25, 2008

How Dumb Do They Think We Are?

Senators McCain and Clinton are proposing a gas tax holiday this summer. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea. Suspend the 18.4 cents per gallon to make the summer travel season a little more palatable to the average Americans who like to vacation during the summer but don’t like the humongous bill when they fill up the tank. Look into the mechanics of these proposals and they make less sense. These proposals are prime examples of the type of pandering to the uninformed that the Bush administration is famous for. In essence, paint a rosy picture of legislation that will not really help the average American. On the contrary, legislation of this type will eventually hurt consumers.

I’m sure that, by taking this position, I will be labeled a “tax and spend” liberal. If so, so be it. Because the money this tax provides does not buy “welfare cadillacs”, or supply emergency healthcare to illegal immigrants. It goes directly into the funds that build and maintain the roads and bridges that Americans rely on to take their vacations and get to work and home each day. By suspending this tax, economists estimate we will lose $6.8 billion in funds designed to repair and improve our highways and bridges.

McCain suggests we transfer money from the General Fund into the Highway Trust Fund to make up the shortfall. Clinton proposes that we levy a windfall tax on the oil companies to make up the difference. Taking money from the General Fund will result in less funding for other programs, and an oil company windfall tax will backfire on consumers. Face it, if we try to slap an extra tax on oil companies for their record profits, they’ll just pass this cost along to consumers. This will have the effect of raising gas prices before the suspension lapses. When the tax returns, the price of gas will go up even more, leaving us worse off than we were before the holiday.

The only presidential candidate that appears to be leveling with us is Barack Obama, who basically says that the gas tax holiday is a bad idea. Economists agree with him, to which Clinton retorts, “I’m not going to put my lot in with economists”. Her response is highly reminiscent of the Bush administration – never mind what the experts say, I know better.

Clinton’s blatant dismissal of expert opinion, along with McCain’s admitted lack of understanding of economic principles, lead me to believe that Obama is the only presidential candidate with our best interest in mind, and stands by his position regardless of any immediate political gain.

I say we pass on this gas tax holiday, and focus instead on legislature that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and promote alternate sources of energy. It may be more painful today, but in the long will lead to a stronger America that is less reliant on other countries, some of who may not like us very much.


  • You are supporting obama. How dumb is that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:59 PM  

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