So I was all set to write a nice journal entry on the NFL draft which I promise I will do in the next day or two but over the last few days I became so disgusted with two of our three possible presidential candidates that I had to write something quick on the subject.
Now just so you know a little about me, I'm a peculiar political animal. I have never joined a political party. I have voted for Republicans and Democrats over the years for various offices. I even voted for Bernie Sanders once when I lived in Vermont (he's a commun... errr I mean Socialist). I am fiscally conservative. I am socially liberal (as long as you don't bother me). In fact to borrow a little from our current president, I would call myself a "Compassionate Libertarian". In other words, stay out of my private life and I'll pay my taxes and you take care of the things that need to be done by a central government and we'll all get along just fine.
I tell you this because it helps you understand why I am still on the fence about which of the three candidates still standing might get my vote. Well my position got a big shove when over the past week Hillary and McCain went and trashed Obama for not supporting a "Gas Tax Suspension".
I applaud Obama. He's ABSOLUTELY 100% RIGHT to not support this. Hillary and John McCain are engaged in the worst sort of political pandering with their attacks on him. This "gas tax holiday" is similar to the ridiculous tax rebate that Bush and Congress just passed out as if $600 is really going to help anyone in an economy that hits the wall (only at least that might really help people on the lowest end of the economic spectrum). The gas tax thing won't help anyone. Let's do some math:
I'm going to estimate high on the following things:
Average gas tank for an American car - 16 Gallons
Average fill-ups per month - 3 (that's once every 10 days)
The tax that they are actually suspending is the Federal portion which is a whopping 18 cents per gallon! You would save $2.88 per tank. You save $8.64 per month. If it's suspended from May to September, 5 months, that's a whopping $43 in your pocket! Woo Hoo! Does that have any impact on your budget over 5 months? Of course not. Even if commercial vehicles fill up three times as much does and extra $150 add anything to the cost of a truck load of bread being delivered to the supermarket? Is it even penny a loaf?
But look at the real cost on the other side. There's an estimated 230 million passenger cars in America. Multiply that by $43 dollars. That's 9.89 billion dollars, that's BILLION, that the Federal Government doesn't get in tax revenue. Guess where the gas tax goes? Fixing roads. I don't know about you but 40 bucks a Summer to make sure we don't have another Minnesota bridge collapse doesn't sound bad to me.
When Hillary and McCain come up with an answer for how they'll manage that, I'm all ears. Until then, don't buy it. Gas prices are crazy. This idea is crazier.