Saturday, May 03, 2008

Gas Tax holiday

Both Hillary Clinton and John Sidney McCain III have endorsed the proposed "Gas Tax Holiday" for the summer months.

Only Barack Obama has the courage to object to this transparent stunt aimed at getting votes while not helping the real issues that face us.

Let's look at what the gas tax holiday means:

The federal gas tax raises money which is disbursed to the states for highway and bridge construction. This much needed income will disappear for three months.

The tax itself is 18 cents per gallon. Over the course of the summer, an average American driver might save about $30.

BTW, this number isn't based on "voodoo math"; I ran the numbers myself, based on someone who drives 12,000 miles per year, with their car getting 18 miles per gallon. Multiply the number of gallons by 18 cents, and it comes out to EXACTLY $30.

And that's only if the oil companies, which have nearly zero regulation, don't raise the price of gas at all. For comparison, gas prices have risen more than 20 cents per gallon during the first three weeks of April!

Not much of a break there. I'd rather see Clinton and McCain support a windfall profits tax on the oil corporations, so they still get to make their billions, yet the nation that made them wealthy might also benefit.

We definitely need relief from the spiraling cost of fuel. But sacrificing our highway infrastructure or our safety isn't the best way to go about it.

6 comments:

oldswede said...

Isn't this whole discussion missing an important point? Summer driving begins in about a month and will end Labor Day, in September. The election is in NOVEMBER!
How can they promise a tax cut to take effect more than six months before they are even elected?
oldswede

Anonymous said...

You're just as ignorant as Hillary on the issue. Who owns oil companies and is "reaping the benefits of these profits?" Shareholders in those companies like pension funds, mutual funds, and investors.

It's easy for you and others to say "make oil companies pay for it" but you should tell them the whole truth: make the shareholders of oil companies pay for it.

CT Bob said...

oldswede - both candidates are appealing to Congress to enact the tax cut. As senators they can introduce and/or call for the "holiday".

Anonymous - Any corporation, especially those who benefit from ridiculously huge tax breaks (thanks to the Cheney Energy Bill) should be subject to extra taxes on the profits that are above and beyond normal expectations. They'll still make plenty of money, don't worry! Either you own 10,000 shares of Exxon/Mobil, or you're under the impression that somehow these massive profits will "trickle down" to you.

At the very least they can pay back the tax breaks that the Republicans (and Joe Lieberman) voted to give them.

DR said...

Here are the "savings" based on 12K per year + a 2K vacation trip.

MPG "Savings"
14 $64.29
16 $56.25
18 $50.00
20 $45.00
22 $40.91
24 $37.50
26 $34.62
28 $32.14
30 $30.00
32 $28.13
34 $26.47
36 $25.00
38 $23.68
40 $22.50
42 $21.43
44 $20.45
46 $19.57
48 $18.75
50 $18.00

We don't need a gas tax holiday. We need a new energy policy that gets us to renewable energy.

Anonymous said...

"The federal gas tax raises money which is disbursed to the states for highway and bridge construction." So what has changed. They (state and Feds) have been been collecting and the bridges still fell apart and the traffic is no better. I'd rather have the $$ in my pocket.

How would you like a windfall tax on your pay, you make more than $80K the Fed wants some of it because you make too much. Is that OK? The oil companies are making $$$ because of demand and the lack of keeping up with the demand and guess who's fault that is. $120 a barrel is not set by oil companies, it's set by speculators.

Anonymous said...

OPEC should not, and can not have this much influence on Americans lives. USA needs an alternate energy plan, and the party that pursue this will hopefully win in 2008, otherwise we are all doomed!