5-13-08 by dugan
OilWatchdog has offered plenty of reasons that suspending the federal gasoline tax would end up as a bad joke on consumers and the economy. Here are some fresh ones, from Jonathan Alter at Newsweek–including carnage on potholed roads. Main points of his column:
one respectable economist supports the idea, unless they are official
members of the Clinton or McCain campaigns. For relief at the pump, try
tax credits—but not this. Why is the gas pander so bad? Let’s count the
• It’s a direct transfer of money from motorists
to oil companies. If the federal excise tax were lifted, oil companies
would simply raise prices and pocket most of the difference. Clinton’s
proposal to recover the $8.5 million with a windfall profits tax on oil
companies sounds nice but won’t happen. Besides, she already committed
that money to developing renewable energy.
• It offers
taxpayers only peanuts. The American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials says the average savings to motorists would be
$30. That measly number was somehow not included in Clinton’s
explanation of her support.
It sends more hard-earned money to the Middle East, which is terrible
for our national security. Remember, 15 of the 19 terrorists on 9/11
came from Saudi Arabia. How did they get the terrorist training? Oil
• It makes it more likely you’ll have a car
accident or waste even more time in traffic. The proceeds from the gas
tax go for highway construction and upgrades. Because the tax was last
raised 15 years ago, our infrastructure is a mess, with potholes and
dangerous crossings practically everywhere. Thousands of repair
projects will be further delayed.
• It will cost
300,000 construction jobs, according to Transportation. Which makes it
kind of ironic when Clinton starts her rallies saying she wants "jobs,
To which I’ll add: Once the gasoline tax is lifted, it’ll be restored only over the dead bodies of the White House allies in the Senate. Falling bridges, anyone?