From her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq, to her vote for “Kyle-LIEberman” (setting the plate for an attack on Iran), to her fear-mongering ads about 3am phone calls and ads featuring images of 9-11 and Osama bin Laden, Hillary Clinton has drawn a clear link between her campaign and John McSame’s on the basis of their qualifications to be the next “War President.” Now comes the economic tie-in:
When John McSame first came forward with his call for a “Summer Gas Tax Holiday” I thought, well this just reinforces his claims of ignorance on economic issues; this should be a good issue for the Democratic nominee. Little did I know that Sen. Clinton would not be able to resist an opportunity to pander.
From Reuters UK:
”Republican McCain and Democrat Clinton, who is battling (Sen. Barack) Obama for their party's nomination, both want to suspend the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax during the peak summer driving months to ease the pain of soaring gas prices. The tax is used to fund the Highway Trust Fund that builds and maintains roads and bridges." (Emphasis TLS)
"Economists said that since refineries cannot increase their supply of gasoline in the space of a few summer months, lower prices will just boost demand and the benefits will flow to oil companies, not consumers.
"You are just going to push up the price of gas by almost the size of the tax cut," said Eric Toder, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington.”
OK, so here’s the thing: while John McSame can be forgiven for simply being another Republican with little or no regard for the national infrastructure (or the average working person whose job will be at risk when the funds involved in maintaining that infrastructure are lost due to the suspension of the tax), Clinton should receive no such “pass.” It is absolutely deplorable that she would risk some 300,000 jobs for a scheme that might provide the average consumer less than a tank of gas spread over three months. To be fair, Clinton says of the loss in revenue :
”"We will pay for it by imposing a windfall profits tax on the big oil companies," she said on Tuesday. "They sure can afford it…”
Yeah and Bill didn’t have sex with that woman; Miss Lewinsky! Let’s be real here. While it won’t take a day to muster the pandering votes needed to pass this tax scheme, I believe we all know how much support there will be to pass any kind of a “windfall profits” tax onto “Big Oil.”
And, as if the risk to the infrastructure and the related jobs wasn’t bad enough, there is also the message that will be sent to the supporters of more fuel efficient and environmentally sensitive transportation.
”Many economists implicitly agreed with Obama and said the McCain-Clinton gas tax plan sent the wrong signal on energy efficiency and was at odds with their pledges to combat climate change by encouraging lower U.S. carbon emissions.
"I think it is a very bad idea," said Gilbert Metclaf, a economics professor at Tufts University currently working with the National Bureau of Economic Research.
"If we want people to invest in energy-saving cars, we need some assurance that the higher price paid for these cars is going to pay off through fuel savings," he said. "It is a very short-sighted, counterproductive proposal."”
Senator Clinton, it’s time to come down off the McSame band wagon. I think he has already got a running mate in mind and it won’t be you.
Chad (The Left) Shue