More fighting over gas tax proposal

The presidential candidates continued battling over a proposal for a "holiday" from the federal gas tax even as more experts weighed in to dismiss the utility of the idea.

By Alex Koppelman
May 1, 2008 3:47AM (UTC)
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The debate about proposals to declare a summer "holiday" from the federal gas tax continued Wednesday, spurred on by input from columnists Thomas Friedman and Jonathan Alter.

The fight is over similar ideas supported by Hillary Clinton and John McCain, who've both proposed to suspend the tax during peak driving months. On Wednesday, more experts weighed in to support what's rapidly becoming the conventional wisdom: The proposals seem mostly like political pandering that may end up doing Americans more harm than good. In this case, the conventional wisdom has the benefit of actually being true.


In a statement put out by Barack Obama's campaign, Federico Peña, who served as both secretary of transportation and secretary of energy in the Clinton administration and is now a national campaign co-chair for Obama, said:

Today we're seeing another example of Washington politics at its worst. Senator Clinton is running TV ads and launching repeated attacks on Barack Obama for not supporting the gas tax holiday she's supporting, but today her own aides told the Washington Post that they know that this is a questionable plan and that they are using it to make it appear they’re against big oil. The Clinton gas tax gimmick does little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and will actually increase oil prices. It is the kind of pandering that insults people's intelligence. With energy prices skyrocketing, we're looking for real solutions -- not political posturing to get elected.

The Obama camp has also put out an ad responding to one the Clinton campaign released yesterday that hit Obama on the gas tax issue, among others. The ad, entitled "Truth," can be viewed below.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton John Mccain R-ariz.