“I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people — from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year. The effect will be an immediate economic stimulus — taking a few dollars off the price of a tank of gas every time a family, a farmer, or trucker stops to fill up. Over the same period, our government should suspend the purchase of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which has also contributed to the rising price of oil. This measure, combined with the summer-long “gas-tax holiday,” will bring a timely reduction in the price of gasoline. And because the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging, and just about everything else, these immediate steps will help to spread relief across the American economy,” McCain said.
For the moment let’s ignore the obvious problem that McCain won’t be president summer, so it doesn’t matter what he proposes, and focus on the fact that McCain’s tax holiday wouldn’t really deal with the problem. Since 2006, Congressional Democrats have been trying to eliminate the federal gas tax, but they have been blocked at every turn by McCain’s fellow Republicans.
The GOP is against the Democratic proposal because it would be paid for by eliminating the yearly billions spent on subsidies to the oil companies. (In his defense, Sen. McCain is against the federal subsidies to the oil companies).
McCain’s proposal would encourage Americans to drive more and increase consumption. This is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Oil prices will not fall until we decrease demand. However, McCain is also against spending any federal money to promote the development of alternative energy sources, so what McCain is proposing is the equivalent of a drunken summer bender that we will have to pay for later through even higher prices at the pump.
If McCain wasn’t such a pandering fraud, he would call for not a holiday, but the elimination of the federal gas tax. If he had any guts he would call for an end to subsidies for big oil, and that the savings be used to develop alternative energy.
McCain can’t afford to anger corporate America, so he is going to offer the citizens of this country a temporary sedative to dull the pain at the pump. This is straight out of the George W. Bush playbook, and another example of John McCain’s lack of vision and political courage.