Friday, May 2, 2008

Of Gas Taxes and Transit

gas pumpWith gas prices at record highs and Americans feeling pain at the pump, Senators Clinton and McCain have responded with a proposal to lift the federal gas tax for the summer. As many economists and energy experts have pointed out, Big Oil would likely keep the lion's share of this tax cut, and Americans would see little if any savings at the pump.

However, lifting the gas tax isn't just bad economic policy -- it's bad environmental policy too. Eliminating the gas tax will encourage people to drive more, increasing greenhouse gases at a critical time in the fight against global warming. And depending on how it's done, eliminating the gas tax could hamstring our ability to invest in energy-efficient, climate-friendly transportation alternatives. Fortunately, one presidential candidate -- Senator Obama -- is holding firm against this political stunt, promising to raise fuel economy standards and invest in mass transit instead.

Jabberwonk's Gas Tax Holiday "Savings" Calculator

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As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.