The Bitter Side of Democracy

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Sometimes I am convinced that a politician only spends half of their time actually working for the people, the other half being spent on ways that they can get re-elected.  Consider this: We have three senators running for president.  What have you heard them doing most in the past year?  Every time I read the results of a vote I notice that they have not voted (granted most are minor issues).  In the past few weeks, there was one issue that persuaded me to choose Obama.  The “Gas Tax Holiday” which McCain and Clinton support.

Here’s how I see it.  We have a problem, of which everyone is aware – gas prices are skyrocketing with no end in sight.  This is not a surprise, especially for environmentalists who have been preaching about peak-oil for years.  So what do our leaders, in the the election cycle of their career, propose?  Reduce prices by giving the American people a “Gas Tax holiday”.  Anyone who has taken basic economics knows that this will not work, as the lower prices will cause higher demand and exacerbate the problem.  Even if demand remained equal, and IF the savings are passed along to the consumers (not Big Oil), the average American would save about $30, (probably more, but not much more, if all of the supply costs cause prices to deflate as well).  The government would lose about $300 million.  That’s a lot of teacher salaries, food for the poor, rail lines, hybrid buses, solar panels, windmills….

And now, the states want to shoot themselves in the foot as well by cutting their taxes, in many creative measures.

I’m trying to figure out how to make lemonade and bike the 6 miles to school, rather than sit in traffic for an hour.  Three days a week and I’ll probably save close to twenty five dollars a week.  A whole summer?  I could probably save hundreds.  The math is simple.

Search the NY Times, Treehugger.com, and the Grist.org to get some more info (and the data for my figures).  Here is one link below:

States Get In on the Calls for a Gas Tax Holiday – New York Times

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