Hey Hillary? Touch this! [grabs crotch]

Are you friggen kidding me?

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lined up with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, in endorsing a plan to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for the summer travel season. But Senator Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic rival, spoke out firmly against the proposal, saying it would save consumers little and do nothing to curtail oil consumption and imports.

While Mr. Obama’s view is shared by environmentalists and many independent energy analysts, his position allowed Mrs. Clinton to draw a contrast with her opponent in appealing to the hard-hit middle-class families and older Americans who have proven to be the bedrock of her support. She has accused Mr. Obama of being out of touch with ordinary Americans who are struggling to meet their mortgages and gas up their cars and trucks.

So let me get this straight: Obama is “out of touch” for backing a tax that funds needed infrastructure repairs in roads (in some cases, overdue repairs…  re: Minnesota bridge collapse), and all this tax break would do is reduce gasoline prices by 20 cents?  Whoopee!  Here in Massachusetts, gas is at $3.50 a gallon right now — Hillary wants me to pay $3.30.  Wow, don’t I feel special?!  Of course, two weeks ago the price was $3.17, so the tax break..  Err, excuse me, the Hillary/McCain bipartisan tax pander, can’t even keep up with two weeks worth of friggen inflation.  Yet Obama is out of touch?  Really?  Say what?

This presidential campaign gets more retarded by the day. 

5 Responses to “Hey Hillary? Touch this! [grabs crotch]”

  1. Mark says:

    Uhh….yeah…Obama’s position on this is one of only two rational positions, as Kip Esquire (and just about any libertarian with a brain) has noticed. Actually, this idiotic debate over the gas tax holiday has managed to make for some strange bedfellows.
    First you have Hillary siding with the Republicans…..actually, that’s pretty much par for the course the last few months (though the thought of her in bed with Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly continues to leave me vexed….until I realize that their obsession with power unites them all more than any individual policy could divide them).
    But then you have a situation where environmentalists, far-left socialists, and libertarians actually agree on a tax policy issue. As plenty of people have noted, the gas tax is – or at least ought to be – a Pigou tax; as far as we more, uhh, mainstream libertarians are concerned, Pigou taxes are about the most legitimate form of taxation that exists. Of course, many/most libertarians still deny that a Pigou tax on gasoline is necessary; still, if a Pigou tax is necessary, it doesn’t suddenly become unnecessary the moment the summer rolls around. It’s simple, really: either the use of gasoline causes negative externalities, or it doesn’t. If it does cause negative externalities, those externalities don’t go away just because politicians declare a “tax holiday.”
    Ugh…anyone have the number of a good employment agency in Switzerland?

  2. tas says:

    I’m not down with libertarian thought — they can think what they want, but I don’t have to care.

    What I’m concerned with here is how Hillary claims that Obama is “out of touch” yet her chosen tax break doesn’t ever keep up with two weeks worth of inflation for the product that the break effects. Think about that for a second. It would be like food prices rising rapidly (well, they are in the rest of the world…) and Hillary coming in and saying, “We’re going to give you this pittance of a tax break on food — we’re taking 1% off the price of food!” Well great, but if food prices are going up by more than 1% per week, then that tax break doesn’t look so spectacular.

    Then Hillary has the gall to use this position to say that her opponent is “out of touch”. She offers a tax break that doesn’t even cover the cost for two weeks — two weeks! — worth of inflation, yet anyone who disagrees with her is out of touch?

    This doesn’t even get into the sleazy tax pandering/who will this hurt? aspect of the story. When I first heard John McCain propose this tax break, I noted that the gas tax went towards infrastructure repairs and said the following:

    So McCain wants to cut a tax that goes directly to infrastructure repair. Perhaps he needs a reminder that a quarter of the bridges in this country are in need of repair? Maybe he just conveniently forgot about that bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed last year? Where’s the money going to go for that, Mr. McCain?

    Like I said, launching nasty attacks at your opponent is bad. But attempting placing the lives of American people at risk all for a cheap pandering move to get more votes… That’s truly shameful.

    Now Hillary is just as sleazy. Which doesn’t surprise me; nor does it surprise you, I’m sure, because you’re talking about libertarian tax theory. I just think that Hillary takes insulting our intelligence up a level when she says that Obama is “out of touch” for not supporting a tax break to supposedly help working people that doesn’t even keep up with two weeks worth of inflation.

  3. Mark says:

    Pigou taxes are not themselves “libertarian.” They are instead based on general economic theories advanced by economists of various stripes (ranging from Tyler Cowen to Greg. It’s just that we libertarians are more accepting of them than we are of other types of taxes.

    The libertarian perspective isn’t really my point, though, other than my side point that politics makes strange bedfellows. My main point is that this whole issue of a gas tax holiday is pandering of the most base sort, that actively chooses to ignore simple economics. Obama has repeatedly shown a willingness to at least attempt to reconcile his policy positions with economic realities; McCain and – especially – Hillary have not. A gas tax holiday, as you correctly point out, will have a negligible effect on most people’s pocketbooks even though it sounds great to the voters. But my argument is that not only will it clearly be worthless to most people, it will actually have a net negative effect if you assume that the gas tax is a valid Pigou tax (which I do).

    The only two rational, non-pandering positions on this are either: 1. There are no negative externalities caused by the use of gasoline such that the tax is without any value whatsoever and should be eliminated; or 2. The use of gasoline causes negative externalities and thus the Pigou tax should be maintained at some permanent level (the exact level being subject to debate, of course). Anything else can only be construed as a shameless attempt to get votes at the expense of decent public policy.

    BTW- tas, as time goes on you’ll see that I comment here pretty frequently with my libertarian perspective on things. I have recently come to the view that for the near future at least, cooperation between the political left and libertarians is the surest way to advance the cause of freedom and liberty in this country. It is largely my goal to find and demonstrate areas of common ground between liberals and libertarians. FWIW, there is an excellent site that now exists for precisely that purpose called “The Art of the Possible” blog.

  4. Gus Wono says:

    Saving 20 cents per gallon for me means 2.40 per week, in two weeks are 4.80 ; this won’t do even a dent in my pocket…..What we need is the releasing of the reserves of OIL , walk a little more, use less gas and forced the barrels to come down to 60 or 80 dollars again. Once they get their oil rotten we’ll have even for FREE, but big shots and the BUSHES can’t do this you known why ………………………..”START SAVING GAS TODAY !!!”. ….”” BOICOT CASOLINE””. Gs.

  5. Gus Wono says:

    Saving 20 cents per gallon for me means 2.40 per week, in two weeks are 4.80 ; this won’t do even a dent in my pocket…..What we need is the releasing of the reserves of OIL , walk a little more, use less gas and forced the barrels to come down to 60 or 80 dollars again. Once they get their oil rotten we’ll have even for FREE, but big shots and the BUSHES can’t do this you known why ………………………..”START SAVING GAS TODAY !!!”. ….”” BOICOT CASOLINE”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook