I don't usually post blogs like this, but the new web question has me in a dilemma. I had to hit "I don't know" to the question "Would you support or oppose suspending the federal gasoline tax of 18 cents per gallon this summer?"
"I don't know" is a pretty feeble answer to an important question, and I think I need to explore this issue and get myself informed. As usual, I've been fiddling around on the goat farm and haven't paid attention to some of the important issues of the day.
I googled the topic (usual solution when I don't know something), and I found that the issue is a political hot button, which makes it even more out of my field, but I shall forge ahead in the hopes that my blog buddies will make up for my shortcomings. I've never known them to be at a loss for words - especially on something as earth-shattering as our pathetic gas situation.
I'll start with this introduction from the Washington Post:
"Both John McCain and Hillary Clinton have called for a 'gas tax holiday' this summer to offer commuters and vacationers some release from spiraling gas prices. They have urged Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a step that could cost the government about $10 billion in revenues. The only major candidate to oppose the idea is Barack Obama, who voted for a similar measure in Illinois eight years ago. Obama now says that consumers will derive little benefit from the tax moratorium. So who is right?"
Illinois passed a tax moratorium in 2000 with the following results (once again quoting from the Washington Post):
"The gas tax moratorium proved politically popular in Illinois, but economically questionable. The Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission estimated that the state lost $175 million in revenues during the six-month period. A subsequent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that gas prices fell by 3 percent, meaning that only three fifths of the savings from reduced taxes was passed on to consumers."
A poll taken by the Chicago Tribune found that only 28% of the motorists in the survey actually thought they were paying less for gas, while the effect of the reduced taxes was devastating on the state.
So, what do we think here in Southeast Missouri, folks? Daily Statesman results so far:
Would you support or oppose suspending the federal gasoline tax of 18 cents per gallon this summer?
Support: 67.1% (55 votes)
Oppose: 22.0% (18 votes)
I don't know: 11.0% (9 votes)
82 votes cast