Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is your vote for sale?

In a suggestion about as smart as sending $600 checks to most of the tax payers in the country at the cost of $130 billion to the federal government or even the tax cuts that Bush has been trying to get made permanent, McCain has suggested a tax holiday for the summer on the Federal gas tax. Yeah, 18.4 cents per gallon isn't going to save the average driver very much money, and as has been pointed out many other places, it won't keep prices down, since the oil companies will either raise prices to match the tax loss, or increased demand because of minimally lower prices will increase demand, constrict supply and contribute to prices going up again.

Of course, its completely a maneuver to appeal to the mass of Americans. Its the, here look, I can help you out and keep money in your pocket. Effectively, its an attempt to buy votes. I only hope that no bill is ever brought to the floors of congress, since I doubt the current leadership has the stomach to keep it from passing.

For lots more analysis, check out Joe Romm's explanation of why the gas tax doesn't disproportionately tax poorer drivers (eg: isn't regressive). Another short analysis of side effects on GristMill, The Oil Drum Europe, and another analysis on The Oil Drum.