Monday, May 05, 2008

Gas Tax Holiday Dislike: Republican Senator Bob Corker Is Probably Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

The Politico's Jon Martin has the Bob Corker comments.

Look, we don't think John McCain is a panderer. That idea is laughable.

To take two small examples that we witnessed firsthand: Last summer we watched McCain in New Hampshire face down the conservative wing of the GOP on immigration and the independents on the Iraq War. And this gas tax baloney has got nothing on those two white hot issues.

But, as the Corker comments show, the gas tax holiday proposal is problematic for Team McCain. Especially if Team Clinton introduces some jackass bill in the U.S. Senate on Friday.

If GMP1 was a Congressional incumbent up for a re-elect in 2008 - we're obviously not, but if we were - we would think long and hard before getting behind this gas tax holiday.

First, no legitimate economist/policy analyst thinks it will work (obviously not a big deal when it comes to the actions of Congress, or running for re-election but the #1 reason why we don't like it).

But second, it's our understanding that the federal gas tax pays for transportation infrastructure. And it's also our understanding that America's transportation infrastructure is in fairly rough shape (anyone else remember last summer's Minnesota bridge collapse?).

So what if we, as a incumbent lawmaker running for re-election against some tough opponent, vote to suspend a federal infrastructure revenue source and then return to our district this summer just in time to see one of our own bridges collapse? The attack ads write themselves.

Throw in the fact that Obama's Congressional Team will be working behind the scenes to try to embarrass Clinton and that we haven't heard of one member of the (real) Congressional leadership on either side support the (hypothetical) Clinton bill, and Friday could be tough for Clinton and McCain.

In any event, that's all water under the bridge now.

What we would like, more than just about anything, is for Team McCain to put forth a bold, progressive energy plan. In the interests of our national security, in the interests of our economic security and in the interests of our future generations.

A bold energy plan would help separate McCain from Bush, would turn-on the independents and, if packaged properly, would not alienate one single conservative voter.

It's a win - win - win.

And it would make everyone forget all about this silly gas tax holiday idea.