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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

May 5, 2008


A Bad Idea - A Bad Scheme

Why are Hillary Clinton and John McCain wrong, and Barack Obama right on the plan to remove the federal gas tax for the Summer rush? I'm glad I asked myself that question. It's simple really: Because it just won't help.

At present, the federal gas tax stands at 18.4 cents per gallon, or roughly five percent of the national average of $3.62 per gallon. The best case scenario that removing the federal gas tax would do would be to lower the already overwhelming price we pay at the pump to a just slightly less staggering $3.44.

But we all know how the real world works, don't we?

In the real world, the second after the gas tax is temporarily repealed the price of crude oil will, somehow, magically go up. That price increase will also cause the price at the pump to rise. It won't however, rise to make up for the 18 cent drop in the price, so at our next fill-up there will be a savings and it will probably somewhere around nine cents in total.

After the Summer, and a series of other gas price escalations, the tax will come back. The federal government will add that 18.4 cents per gallon back, just as they promised, to make the prices rise faster than anything less than a hurricane on the Gulf Coast could make it rise. But at this time, the price of gas at the pump will have already risen to just below the $3.62 per gallon we were paying prior to the tax removal and the rise will head the new tax towards the new milestone of $4.00 per gallon.

Here's how I see it:
-The federal tax is removed
-Prices drop by 18 cents per gallon and increase by nine cents all in the same day
-Prices rise to almost $3.62 by Labor Day weekend
-The gas tax is applied

And here's where it gets even more fun for Big Oil: Although the price has now risen to about #3.80 per gallon, thanks to the re-application of the gas tax, Big Oil increase the price at the pump by an additional seven cents (or so - remember, these are predicted estimates). So now we're up to #3.87 per gallon and well on our way to $4.00.

Removing the gas tax does nothing to address the real problem of greed which Big Oil has put on us all. The problems which we face, in relation to gas prices, emanate from their greed, our falling dollar and an administration who simply doesn't side with the people.

In the end, the gas tax removal is simply an "elect me" scheme. And in the end, it's a scheme that will hurt rather than benefit us.

-Noah Greenberg

And so it appears that I can't really end the Clinton-Obama (or Obama-Clinton) debate here on Note From a Madman. However, the thoughts below, by Ann Dougherty, echo my thoughts almost to a "T" ( I support Clinton over Obama, but will work for either equally as hard come this Fall). Her sentiments should be adopted by us all. -NG

Obama Vs. Clinton

I was an Edwards supporter. Then he dropped out of the race and I was in a quandary. I didn't make a decision until I walked into the voting booth on Feb 5th. I voted for Obama. Since that time, I have fully embraced his candidacy. My feeling was (and is) there are both positives and negatives associated with both Obama and Clinton: their positions and views on the direction this country should take. I had to choose which one suited me and my views the best. That was Obama. But, bottom line, I am a Democrat. I would write in Mickey Mouse before I would vote for McCain. And staying home and not voting is NOT an option for me. If Clinton ultimately wins the nomination, I will campaign for her just as hard as I would if Obama (or Edwards, my first choice) won. The alternative is just too horrid to imagine.

To those of you who may be considering either not voting or voting for McCain, remember this: If his views on the war, the economy, health care, etc. don't turn you off, then think of a Supreme Court full of Scalia clones. If that doesn't scare you, nothing will. The future of this country and how the rest of the world views us are directly related to what happens on a Tuesday in November.

-Ann Dougherty

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-Noah Greenberg