Monday, May 05, 2008

Gas Tax Holiday

So let me see if I understand this. Right now in the US, while tax rebate checks are going out in the mail, there's yet another tax cut debate raging. John McCain wants to suspend the federal gas tax for the summer. So does Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama is an elitist and can't feel the poor man's pain.

The federal gasoline tax is currently about eighteen cents per gallon and is used to partly finance transportation improvements like highway construction, road resurfacing, bridge maintenance, and public transit projects around the nation. Since the federal gas tax doesn't generate enough revenue for all of that, state and local taxes are tapped to help.

Eliminating the federal tax would exacerbate current roadway maintenance budget shortfalls, a fact that our intrepid presidential candidates are painfully aware of. But the facts cannot get in the way of a good pander. The money will come from "somewhere else," not out of the pockets of the good people who buy the gas and use the roads and bridges.

McCain proposes to replace the lost tax revenue by borrowing more money from European and Asian investors. Oh good, an even bigger deficit. That particular fiscal strategy has been working so well for G.W. Bush. It's not like we'll have to pay any of it back anyway.

Clinton, on the other hand, is sensitive to increasing the federal debt and proposes to make the oil companies pay for the tax cut. Bwahahahahaha! It would never occur to the oil companies to, like, pass that cost on to consumers. Can you say "gas tax surcharge?"

Obama just wants to buy another bag of arugula.

And let's not forget what happened when Bush and his posse in Congress passed those "temporary tax cuts" a number of years ago. Isn't there a HUGE fight going on right now about making them permanent? Because letting the "temporary" tax cuts expire is just like raising taxes. Oh, the logic hurts.

So in September, when that gas tax holiday is over, who's going to have the courage to "raise taxes" just as the kiddies are getting ready to go back to school and mom and dad are hit with those huge school supply lists because schools are underfunded (see previous paragraph)?

I guess we will just cross that bridge when we come to it. Provided it's still standing.

(source of image unknown)


  1. Oh, I think you understand it just fine. Would you consider running for office?

  2. Oh my goodness, this is so surreal. US temporary tax breaks become permanent and French temporary tax hikes become immortal.

    What is this world coming to?

  3. Meanwhile, the oil companies are crying poor with a loaf of bread under each arm, claiming their historic profits are *not* coming from the sale of gasoline. One of them even went to far as to assert that they were losing money at the pump.

    Here's another image you might enjoy.


  4. Dear Callie...If I could go to Sarlat, I would buy un Petit Cadeau to celebrate. Shake her paw for me, please.

  5. chris, are you nuts? ;)

    lif, you got me!

    susan, that's a good one, too. And I hear you about the pooooor oil companies. Sheesh.

    claudia, done!

  6. Have you been dusting off your transportation planning books? A lot has changed since you've been in France. You just don't understand.


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