Gas Tax Milkshakes Bring No One To Yard
As you may have heard, McCain and Clinton have both suggested we all stop paying the 18.4 cent-per-gallon excise tax on gas over the summer. They think this is a good idea (or, more likely, hoped the public would think so) because at first glance a gas tax holiday sounds like a sale on gas. Who wouldn't want a sale on gas?People who study how money works, that's who. Economists across the political spectrum agree this is a bad idea.Putting this in terms we can understand-frozen desserts-the Christian Science Monitorpoints out that "If a driver uses 10 gallons a week, he or she would save about $26 during the three months – enough to buy seven or eight milkshakes." So for only a handful of milkshakes per person, we'd suffer a huge administrative hassle, add to the deficit, and take a big step back in weaning ourselves off oil.Pandering isn't new. The fact that the media and the pundits aren't biting is what surprises us. News shows can't find economists to support the plan on air, and Matt Yglesias even found a case of reporting on television. Is the media going to start dabbling in objectivity and insight again or is this a special case?