McCain and the Gas TaxJohn McCain has decided that a gas tax holiday for the summer would be just the ticket to ease gas prices and lower Americans' overall tax burden-if only temporarily:
To help people weather the downturn immediately, McCain urged Congress to institute a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. By some estimates, the government would lose about $10 billion in revenue. He also renewed his call for the United States to stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and thus lessen to some extent the worldwide demand for oil.
McCain's proposal is a fine idea, and his staff is apparently drafting a bill to this effect which, as we all know, is not likely to pass. People in the party opposite, as well as some Republicans and State Governors clamoring for highway money will surely oppose the legislation. McCain has to know this as well, but as both a Senator and as a candidate for the presidency, he is certainly right to raise the critical issue of gasoline tax relief at a time of serious economic downturn when Americans need both basic tax relief and relief from the high cost of fuel (since the latter leads to nearly every shipped commodity costing more money).
Knowing that his proposal will not pass, but that it is an issue that needed to be raised for the good of the American people, we now must ask a fair question: The price of fuel is not likely to drop significantly between now and next January, so can we trust that a President McCain will move to relieve Americans of the federal gas tax until the dollar and the economy stabilize?