Why The Politically Motivated Gas Tax Holiday Is A Sham.

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If there was ever a time to feel like you are being pandered too, this here is the time. Both McCain and Clinton are touting a “gas tax holiday” in their stump speeches, which would supposedly remove the gas tax for the summer driving season, saving you some money at the pump. Obama thinks it is quite silly and just a political ploy, and he is absolutely correct – the federal tax on a gallon of gasoline is $.184, so if you are using 10 gallons of gas a week, you would save about $1.80 a week. Is that really going to make or break anyone? I don’t think so. And what happens when that $.184 tax gets put back in place at the end of the summer? What a fun day that will be, when the price of gas shoots up almost $.20 a gallon in one day! But before talking about what they should be doing, let’s keep one thing in mind – these are people running for President…they are not actually the President. All the speeches in the world will not make anything they say happen until they are actually President. So when you hear any of them saying “I will remove the gas tax for the summer driving season”…they can only be talking about the summer of 2009, when and if they are President. It reminds me a lot of being in high school, when the student running for student body president proclaims something like “I will put a soda machine in every classroom”…when everyone knows that will never happen.

Instead of political moves like this put into play in order to garner votes, the candidates should be touting real energy reform bills and subsidies for research into alternative energy instead of subsidies for oil companies making record profits…not tax cuts that will only save us a few pennies while taking money away from road repair and maintenance that the states desperately need. I am not saying that Obama has the best plan for the future of energy use and generation in this country (I don’t think any of them do enough in their proposals, quite honestly), but at least he does seem to understand that this proposal by Clinton and McCain is just political pandering. I would like to hear about real energy reform from these candidates, not idle talk about removing a few cents on each gallon of gas in order to try to secure a vote.

They really do think we are that stupid, don’t they…

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  1. I couldn’t agree more about this, especially the effect on gas price when the holiday “expires”. I heard Obama’s speech the other day where he called it a “gimmick” (which he’s right about). He went on to say that the oil companies would just “jack the price up to fill the gap”. He may be right about that too, but what struck me was his line of reasoning:

    If that is true (and he says he believes that it is true) then why wouldn’t the oil companies also jack up the price to compensate for the “windfall profits tax” that both Obama and Hillary support?!

    He torpedoed his own proposed tax on oil companies in his attach on McCain and Hillary, as far as I’m concerned.

  2. I agree Joe, he did…and I am hoping he admits it. But still, at least one of the candidates had the, ahem, guts, to call it like it was – political pandering. Thanks for your thoughts on this issue!

  3. Sorry to have to say this, but they don’t think we’re stupid, the KNOW without a doubt that we’re stupid. They know how much stupider we are in some states than in others, and they hire people to research what we are most stupid about.

    When I say “we”, I am of course generalizing, but we wouldn’t need environmental blogs like this one (which I really like, BTW) to try and help us save ourselves from ourselves, if we hadn’t, by and large, as a species, been pretty stupid, for a pretty long time.

    You can’t fool All of the People, All of the Time, but if you can just fool enough of them, in Indiana and North Carolina, for just long enough…

  4. I can’t figure out why none of the candidates is really taking climate change or energy very seriously. Is it because they don’t believe it’s a problem? Or because the American public is not ready to embrace a candidate running on environmental issues because the public believes it will cost them economically? Is there a candidate who will stand up and take the lead on environmental issues after elected, but is politically motivated not to do so until they are elected? No clear answers for sure. I think the best we can do is focus on who we think has the best VISION for the future regarding the environment, then hope they act on that once elected.

  5. Yes. Until we address the issue of politicians representing corporations instead of representing the people, it’s hard to see how we will have true leadership on the environment.

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