Monday, June 09, 2008

Gas tax, the sequel

For McCain, raising the gas tax issue again may verge on being a forced move.  With gas prices up and the stock market down, and with Obama pounding him on the economy and his lack of non-Bush ideas, I don't see where else McCain can go.

This time, the pushback against the gas tax holiday should emphasize more the point that it is unlikely to lower gas prices at the pump, hence it is actually a disguised giveaway to the oil companies rather than a sop to consumers.  Thus, it is just another trademark Republican special interest scam merely dressed up as populism.  The type of thing you'd expect Cheney or Tom DeLay to do.

This pushback has the advantage not only of being true, but of reversing the populist narrative, whereas just calling it irresponsible (although that's true too) would concede the point.


Anonymous said...

Dan, do you have any criticism of Obama's tax plans? It seems like his proposal to repeal the FICA wage base cap is too extreme--I'd even say crazy! Would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Daniel Shaviro said...

I'm out of the country now and not fully up on the proposal. But I've read a little bit at In general, the MTR seems a bit high even with the donut hole. (Although then again consider how bad the fiscal situation is.) Insofar as earmarking it as Social Security Trust Fund revenues matters, at least that may discourage Congress from viewing the $$ as extra general revenues - though then again, they've been using the unified budget deficit lately - but putting it just in Social Security (again, insofar as earmarking matters because people act as if it does) might not be the best allocation either.