Pandering: Gas Tax Holiday is Ridiculous

by Editor on May 7, 2008

The gas tax holiday proposed by Hillary Clinton and John McCain is nothing but a pathetic pander. The tax has no realistic value to anyone — in fact it will hurt us.

We won’t get the full 18 cents
First, it’s unlikely that the pitiful 18 cents a gallon will all be passed on to consumers. Who knows how much of it we’ll see, but I’d bet (and most experts agree) it won’t be 18 cents by the time the gas gets to the pump. But guess what, I bet it will go up exactly 18 cents on the day the “holiday” ends. After it’s all done, we’ll be paying more than we would have without the tax!

It won’t help anyway
And it won’t really help anyone anyway. Assuming we get the entire 18 cents, that’s only 5% of a $3.60 gallon of gas. Let’s assume we get the full 18 cents and do some math. Say you fill your 18 gallon tank once per week. That will save you $3.24 per week. Over the 12 week summer, that’s a whopping $38.88. Is $3.24 a week for 12 weeks really gonna make a difference for someone?

Create jobs instead
Instead of putting a hold on the tax, keep that money going to road and highway maintenance and projects. That creates jobs which are worth much more to people than $3.24 a week.

Tax the oil companies anyway
You want to tax the oil companies to pay for the holiday? We can debate (another time) whether or not that’s a good idea. Personally, I think it’s fine — the most profitable companies in the history of the planet certainly don’t need any tax breaks. And despite what former oilman George Bush says, we don’t need to give anyone incentives to find more oil — high prices and world record profits are incentive enough. So keep the gas tax where it is, tax the oil companies anyway and put the money to good use.

Create carbon free green jobs!
Why not keep the gas tax money to pay for creating jobs in highway construction, and use new oil company taxes to pay for incentives to push companies to focus on renewable, carbon free energy sources. Sure, high oil prices will give the green companies plenty of incentive. But why not spur them on? This will create even more jobs — jobs worth much more than $3.34 a week that will help decrease our dependence on oil, help the environment, and help us climb our of recession all at the same time!

And as a bonus, wouldn’t it be pretty nice for the US to be a world leader in green energy? Being the world leader and top exporter of green technology seems to bode a brighter future than being the home of the most profitable oil company in the world.

Previous post:

Next post: