McCain Calls Gas Tax Vacation
John McCain has called for temporary tax cuts in order to relieve the burden of higher gas prices.
Republican Sen. John McCain on Tuesday called for a summer-long suspension of the federal gasoline tax and several tax cuts as the likely presidential nominee sought to stem the public’s pain from a troubled economy.
Timed for the day millions of Americans filed their tax returns, McCain offered some immediate steps as well as long-term proposals in a broad economic speech. The nation’s financial woes have replaced the Iraq war as the top concern for voters, and McCain, who has said economics is not his strongest suit, felt compelled to address the problems as he looks ahead to the November general election.
A suspension of the gas tax is good politics and an interesting, if not particularly novel, bit of symbolism.
Economically, though, it’s unlikely to do much good. For one thing, 18.4 cents a gallon on gas or 24.4 cents on diesel isn’t going to matter all that much unless you’re a long haul trucker or otherwise drive a ridiculous number of miles. Nor are consumers likely to get even that much relief; it’s just more room for producers and sellers to raise prices and profit from the high demand for gas.
UPDATE: Dave Schuler has written a whole series of “The Candidates on the Economy” posts with, I suspect, more to come.