The pandering Hillary’s Gas Tax plan that will never become law

Much has been written and said criticizing the economic soundness of Hillary Clinton’s Gas Tax Holiday.  The conventional wisdom is that while it would have no real benefit it is good politics (i.e. good pandering).  Lost in all of this analysis is a simple fact.  She is promising something that she not only knows is bad economics, but is also not going to happen.  This is pandering of the worst sort.  It is one thing to promise something that will have no effect, if you actually plan on doing it – it is quite another to promise something that you have no intention (or in this case power) to do. 


Is Congress going to pass Clinton’s proposal?  Is it going to do so before the summer driving season begins?  If it does, is George W. Bush going to sign a windfall profits tax? The answer is NO to all of these questions.  Additionally, is Clinton going to leave the campaign trail and return to Congress to even push the proposal?  Once again the answer is no.


As a libertarian, I generally like plans to reduce taxes.  However, I would say that this tax amounts to a use fee.  People who drive benefit from highways.  The more you drive, the more you benefit from the roads.  Therefore, in the big scheme of things this is one of the least unfair taxes on the books.  If Clinton really wants to help average Americans, she should focus on what she will do, beginning in January 2009, not promise something she will not and cannot do now.




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