Gas taxes and head games

McCain can't make up his mind about the merit of his own "gas-tax holiday" proposal.

By Steve Benen
Published April 18, 2008 9:03PM (UTC)
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John McCain, on Tuesday:

"I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people -- from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year. The effect will be an immediate economic stimulus.... [B]ecause the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging, and just about everything else, these immediate steps will help to spread relief across the American economy."

John McCain, on Thursday:

"I think psychologically, a lot of our problems today are psychological -- confidence, trust, uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home. [A gas-tax holiday] might give 'em a little psychological boost. Let's have some straight talk: it's not a huge amount of money.... A little psychological boost. That's what I think [a gas-tax holiday] would help."

So, which is it, a seasonal tax cut that will serve as "an immediate economic stimulus," or a gimmick to alleviate our "psychological" problems?

Steve Benen

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