Wednesday, April 30, 2008

They hate it, they really hate it

Some of the big name columnists have taken notice of McCain and Clinton's "gas tax holiday" pander and they all hate it, each from their own perspective. The big kids' critiques fall in two main categories, it won't work and it's bad energy policy.

Thomas Friedman dedicates his New York Times opinion column to bashing the idea:
This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas tanks. What a way to build our country.

Paul Krugman, Friedman's smarter New York Times colleague doesn't even think the idea is worth a full column, but gives it a few paragraphs in his blog:
It’s Econ 101 tax incidence theory: if the supply of a good is more or less unresponsive to the price, the price to consumers will always rise until the quantity demanded falls to match the quantity supplied. Cut taxes, and all that happens is that the pretax price rises by the same amount. The McCain gas tax plan is a giveaway to oil companies, disguised as a gift to consumers.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich also takes a shot on his blog:
Talk about dumb ideas. This will only encourage Americans to drive more, thereby increasing demand and causing gas prices to rise even higher. Driving more will also put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which fuels global warming. And this will cost taxpayers some $10 billion. It's a cheap political gimmick that does nothing to stem the rising price of oil.

Huffington Post has a round up of opinions here. Interestingly, they were only able to line up one opinion in favor the idea, but they have eight against even without asking me.

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