Read time: 2 minutes

Much To Be Desired From McCainonomics

A couple of weeks ago, John McCain, in a high-profile speech, unveiled his response to the mortgage crisis. After it was universally panned as a bad j

A couple of weeks ago, John McCain, in a high-profile speech, unveiled his response to the mortgage crisis. After it was universally panned as a bad joke, McCain scrapped his own proposal and tried again. Considering the Republican candidate’s admission that he doesn’t understand economics, it was an inauspicious start to unveiling his economic policy agenda.

Yesterday, McCain took the next step, presenting his ideas on taxes. Yesterday’s presentation left much to be desired, but it’s that “gas-tax holiday” that has everyone scratching their heads.

As a matter of politics, it sounds like a possible winner: over the summer, when demand is at its peak and gas prices are on the rise, McCain wants to shave 18 cents off the price of a gallon of gas by temporarily waving federal taxes. It would cost $11 billion a year.

This is a remarkably bad idea.

The federal gasoline tax represents a flat fee of 18.4 cents a gallon nationwide. With gasoline currently averaging $3.39 a gallon, the tax represents a mere 5 percent of today’s pump price. While that’s not trivial, consider that gasoline prices have more than doubled since 2004.

The problem is that lowering gasoline prices at the pump would encourage more consumption. So in the long run, it would push prices up.

For that matter, federal gas taxes go towards rebuilding and maintaining roads and highways. Cutting the gas tax would mean less investment in infrastructure — a very dangerous approach right now — and fewer jobs.

So, the provocative centerpiece of McCain’s big, new tax idea stimulates gas consumption, raises the price of fuel, undermines his own environmental agenda, weakens U.S. infrastructure, and would cost thousands of jobs.

McCain recently acknowledged, “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” If only he didn’t seem so anxious to prove it, I might have a little more confidence in his competence.

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $21 for 2021? Please consider a one-time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team