Now this is twice this week John McCain has ticked me off with one of his fund-raising e-mails:
This week, I laid out an economic plan aimed at providing immediate and long-term relief for all American families. One of the key components of this plan is a suspension of the federal gas tax on gasoline from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year.
The effect of this "gas tax holiday" will be an immediate economic stimulus – taking a few dollars off the price of a tank of gas every time you fill up. And because the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging and just about everything else, this immediate step will spread economic relief to every family in America.
My friends, this election will be shaped by the big issues we face as a nation, not the small ones. To effectively communicate our solutions to these issues, I will need a united base of support and financial resources to communicate my message to the American people. That’s why I ask you to join my campaign by making a financial contribution by following this link right away.
Sure, any politician can pander over gasoline prices, and many do. What gets me is when a candidate who should know better does it.
So it was that I was highly offended when Al "Earth in the Balance" Gore asked Bill Clinton to open the tap on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve right before the 2000 election. Al knew better.
For elaboration on my point, I refer you to the Energy Party platform. The main problem with $4-a-gallon gas — aside from the overall inflationary pressure it exerts — is that too much of it goes to petrodictators. If more of it were in the form of tax, as smart folks from Tom Friedman to Charles Krauthammer to Jim Hoagland to Robert Samuelson have been saying for years, it might actually do the country some good. It would drive down demand, thereby driving down the price that the exporters can demand, undermine the bad guys from Iran to Sudan, and we could use the dough for research on hydrogen and other alternatives…