Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Both John McCain and Hillary Clinton have suggested suspending the Federal tax on gasoline throughout the summer as a way of easing the sting of soaring gas prices on the budgets of consumers. Barack Obama has called this a gimmick and pandering to voters. It may be a gimmick and it may be pandering, but so what? I am sure an overwhelming majority of Americans would welcome some relief at the gas pumps, no matter how small or how short the duration. How can putting more money into the pockets of working people be a bad thing?

Politicians love to demigogue the oil issue and attack the oil companies, decrying what they love to call "obscene profits." But what about the obscene profits being made by all levels of government as a result of soaring gas prices? Whether its local, state or Federal, government has been raking in huge tax revenues during this run-up. Why is it perfectly permissible for government to make huge profits at the gas pump, but not the oil companies?

Suspending the Federal gas tax over the summer is the right thing to do. No, it won't solve the oil crisis or permanently bring down prices. Government has already dropped the ball in that regard by refusing to permit drilling in Alaska, the Gulf, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Politicians should at least do the moral thing and temorarily rescind all taxes on gasoline because taxation is theft, regardless of who or what is being taxed.

Americans desperately need gas relief, and they won't find it in their medicine cabinets. It's a prescription only Washington can provide.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Oil prices hit another new all-time high on the momentum ignited by two, very alarming words- “Super Spike.” Goldman Sachs predicted the possibility of oil reaching $150-$200 over the next 6-24 months. By taking prices to new record after record, speculators are playing a critical role in solving the energy crisis by speeding up the process of gaining greater energy efficiency. Higher oil prices incentivize higher capital spending on a wide range of energy projects while at the same time encouraging lower levels of demand by energy users. That is a needed reaction and attempts to alleviate the current crisis, such as the gas-tax holiday, would make things worse. I'm certainly in the group that is against the holiday and other measures to alleviate the energy crisis with band-aid solutions. While I would certainly appreciate lower gas prices this summer, a momentary break may only serve to mute that reaction. It is unfortunate, but the price of oil needs to become economically unviable for the current energy landscape to change.
Ryan Wegner