Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 8, 2008 / 3 Iyar 5768

Gas-Tax Holiday a Loser

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a desperate bid to exceed the expectation that she would lose big in North Carolina and win handily in Indiana, Hillary Rodham Clinton glommed onto John McCain's proposal for a summer holiday on the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gasoline tax. With her two-point squeak-by win in Indiana and double-digit loss in the Tar Heel State, it is clear that gambit failed.


Barack Obama stood tall in opposing the gas-tax holiday as "an election-year gimmick." And he emerged stronger than predicted.


Maybe in 2008, there is such a thing as over-pandering. In April, McCain proposed suspending the federal gasoline tax and the 24.4 cents per gallon diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page struck the right note in opining, "There are few tax cuts we don't like, but this one smacks of poll-driven gimmickry."


Hmmm. Poll-driven gimmickry. No wonder Clinton jumped on that bus. To make it more poll-driven and gimmicky, she proposed to make up for the $8 billion in lost tax revenue by imposing a windfall tax on Big Bad Oil companies. She then hit her opponent with ads that warned voters that Obama dismissed the savings to consumers as "just pennies. He'd make you keep paying that tax instead of big oil."


Pollster Scott Rasmussen reported Wednesday that he found that 46 percent of likely voters nationally favor a summer gas-tax holiday, 42 percent oppose it and 12 percent are not sure. So the idea is marginally popular. And it is hard not to be moved when McCain talks about the pain of working-class people being hosed during long commutes or when Clinton commiserates with families who have to choose between a gallon of gas and a gallon of milk.


Thus both McCain and Clinton have been able to use the proposal to establish their populist bona fides while they dismiss their "elite" critics, who can more easily absorb high prices at the gas pump.


Here's the problem: Economists don't believe that the gas-tax holiday will produce a commensurate drop in prices at the pump — not when global demand for oil is up and the dollar is weak. Even the New York Times editorialized on the simple supply-and-demand reality: "Gas prices rise during the summer season of heavy driving as rising demand pushes refiners to produce virtually at full capacity. If a suspension in the excise tax reduced the price at the pump, it would encourage even more driving. This would simply push prices back up."


The watchdog group factcheck.org wrote in response to a Clinton gas-tax ad, "We and other journalists have tried unsuccessfully to find any economists who think Clinton's holiday will actually give drivers relief." When ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Clinton to name an economist who supported her idea, Clinton replied that she was "not going to put my lot in with economists."


President Bush also opposes the gas-tax holiday. "If there was a magic wand to wave, I'd be waving it, of course," Bush told reporters last week. Reports have faulted Bush's suggested remedies — drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, expanding nuclear power — as old ideas.


True, expanding supply and reducing demand are old ideas. That work. Of course, the most irritating element of the McCain/Clinton pandering is that both candidates support a spate of laws designed to curb greenhouse gases. Ergo, they should love high gas prices, which prompt Americans to drive less and buy more fuel-efficient cars.


Except this is an election year. I should note that while an Obama ad hit Clinton's "political pandering," the same ad touted his pledge to "take on price gouging by oil companies," tax their windfall profits, and give "working families" a $1,000 tax cut.


On the one hand, Obama showed political courage in not jumping on the gas-tax holiday bandwagon. On the other hand, his version of not pandering is to promise to whack Big Oil in ways that aren't likely to change anything. And instead of saving "working families" pennies a day, he promised dollars a day.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2007, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles