Moe, Larry and Curly’s “solutions” are still a joke

Posted: April 30, 2008 in Politics

Candidates’ Plan Could Indirectly Raise Gas Prices

Senators Back Steps That Portend Higher Pump Costs

By NICK TIMIRAOS in Winston-Salem, N.C., and ELIZABETH HOLMES in Washington

wsj.com

Although the major presidential candidates are making record gasoline prices a campaign issue, they are avoiding mention of measures they each support that would indirectly raise prices at the pump.

Regular unleaded gas averaged $3.60 a gallon last week, according to the Energy Information Association, up from around $3 at the beginning of the year. Some analysts say summer demand could drive the price past $4 a gallon.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican John McCain support some type of corporate cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gases, which likely would increase fuel prices. In addition, the Democratic contenders have called for a “windfall profits” tax on oil companies, which ultimately could be passed on to consumers.

Sen. McCain started the debate earlier in the month by proposing a federal “gas-tax holiday” that would suspend the 18.5-cent federal gas tax, as well as the 24.4-cent diesel tax, from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

“If we give you a little relief at the gas pump this summer,” Sen. McCain said last week in Selma, Ala., “you can go a little further, so you can have a little more enjoyable vacation.”

Sen. Clinton quickly supported Sen. McCain’s proposal. She suggested paying for the holiday with money from a windfall-profits tax on oil companies.

Sen. Obama has been outspoken in his opposition. He argues that a tax holiday would do nothing to lower gas prices in the long term and could raise gas prices by encouraging more people to drive.

Sen. Obama, who supported a state-gas-tax repeal as a state senator in Illinois, said Tuesday that the new proposal would save the average American about $28. “This isn’t an idea designed to get you through the summer. It’s designed to get them through an election,” he said.

Sens. Clinton and McCain have characterized the Illinois senator as out of touch. Sen. Clinton is running an advertisement in Indiana touting her quick action. “Hillary Clinton knows it’s time to act — take some of the windfall profits of big oil to pay to suspend the gas tax this summer,” a narrator says in the ad. Polls show a dead heat for the Democratic primary in Indiana on May 6.

“Sen. Obama won’t provide relief, while Sen. McCain won’t pay for it. I’m the only candidate with a plan,” Sen. Clinton said while campaigning in Indiana Tuesday. (more…)

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