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Gas-Tax Holiday from Hell | Oil Watchdog

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Gas-Tax Holiday from Hell

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Tue, May 13, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Gas-Tax Holiday from Hell

    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: 

    Not
    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
    ways:

    • 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
    money.

    • 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,
    jobs, 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? 

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