10.01.2008 0

Gas Tax Holiday Goes Viral

  • On: 10/07/2008 11:35:45
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • When Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) did a photo-op pumping gas last week, she had a brief glimpse of what Americans endure every day. To her credit (and the surprise of many), she knew where the fuel tank was and didn’t gas up the passenger compartment. But in reality, politicians have no clue how average Americans are forced to live.

    The reason is that, in no small part, each politician, once elected to Congress, is granted a fully-financed small business operation complete with a staff, a media wing, high-dollar office space, luxury vehicle leases, a work-out spa – the list goes on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. In short, they do not have to actually pay for any of the luxuries they use on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the very instruments of power they wield are often to the detriment of the taxpayers who fund them.

    And so it is with Federal and State gasoline and diesel excise taxes, which literally restrict the movement of Americans and are fast becoming a major detriment to the family budget.

    Let’s put this in perspective: Most politicians – making upwards of a million dollars a year in salary, operating expenses, and perks – probably don’t care if Americans can save as much as $12 per fill-up were all Federal and State gas and diesel taxes suspended. It doesn’t impact the politicians all that much – unless Jeeves happens to mention it in passing. They probably care more about padding transportation budgets, or restricting carbon emissions. After all, their job (in their eyes) is to fulfill lofty policy objectives, not to worry much about mundane matters as the family budget.

    However, it appears that some candidates are catching on to the fact that working for the American people can be a viable public policy – at least at election time. Presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton are proposing a Federal gas tax holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. And now several States are catching on as well. So reports the New York Times:

    “Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida has been fighting to cut 10 cents from the state’s gasoline tax for two weeks in July. Lawmakers in Missouri, New York and Texas have also proposed a summer break from state gas taxes, while candidates for governor in Indiana and North Carolina are sparring over relief ideas of their own.”

    A gas and diesel tax holiday is certainly a step in the right direction to reducing the prices of energy and, in particular, gasoline. A welcome step further would be their complete elimination, coupled with the complete elimination of government-imposed restrictions upon the aggressive exploration for domestic oil in the ANWR, offshore, and in the vast shale deposit beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

    Let’s face it: You know you’re in a mess when one of your “alternative energy sources” is actually drilling for your own oil!

    ALG News tips its hat to Senators McCain and Clinton and the many States for taking a stand on this issue. But it needs to be said that gas and diesel tax holiday proposals are not a solution. If politicians really care about what the people are going through, and want to address the price problem, they must address the supply problem – which government itself causes.

    Now, if we can just get Ms. Clinton to go out and work on one of the oil industry’s new environmentally-friendly drilling rigs (before Election Day, of course), we might even get to see a politician go so far as to actually put reality before rhetoric.

    ALG Editor’s Footnote: ALG News does not make it a habit to comment on how news stories are written, but the particular piece referenced in this commentary points to a problem the Times has had for quite a few years now: it really needs to erect a wall of separation between its hard news production and its editorial opinions. The piece finds select quotes from individuals to note the “emotional” appeal underlying the proposal, dismissing the proposals as “politics,” urging conservation by “overweight drivers,” and reminding the people that they do not “behave rationally” anyway, so they don’t really know what they want or need.

    To add insult to injury, the piece uses a special interest group as an authority source:

    “When Illinois and Indiana suspended about 7 cents of their state gas taxes in the summer of 2000, prices fell by an average of only 4 cents, according to a study by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, which opposed the plans. Drivers saved no more than $2.50 a month, while each state lost tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue.”

    Of course, asking the transportation companies responsible for building roads if there should be gas taxes (which fund their companies) is a lot like asking a fox if there should be an open-air henhouse. Enough said.

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