Obama Says No to Gas Tax Suspension

Clinton has joined McCain in calling for a summer-long suspension of the federal excise tax on gasoline. Obama says he won’t support this – good for him. It was a stupid idea when McCain proposed it weeks ago, and its still a stupid idea.

Suspending the gas tax would lower the cost of gasoline less than 20¢ a gallon – about 7% at current prices. Sounds good, huh? But do the math, and you figure out that it would save the average consumer $30.00 over the course of the whole summer. So the savings to the consumer is minimal, and would only encourage increased fuel consumption. On the flip side, a summer tax holiday is estimated to cost the federal government $9 billion. Since most of that money gets passed on to the states for highway construction projects, the cost would really be borne by the states. Estimates are that the holiday could result in the loss of up to 300,000 highway construction jobs, and cause the cancellation of much-needed infrastructure upgrades.

All that to save half a tank of gas?

Does anyone else remember when Bill Clinton was the voice of fiscal responsibility? His tax hikes (“the largest in history, oh my!) resulted in a balanced budget and 8 years of prosperity. How strange that Obama seems to be the only one willing to take up that mantle.