“Brawl” over a “gas tax?” Huh? …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on May 6, 2008

U.S. News & World Report’s Political Bulletin reports an intensifying “brawl” over the summer gas tax suspension proposal floating between the Presidential candidates:

Sen. Hillary Clinton, who along with Sen. John McCain has proposed suspending the federal gas tax this summer, hit back at critics of her proposal during an appearance on ABC’s This Week yesterday. The Wall Street Journal reports Clinton “shot back at economists who have dismissed the idea of a summer gasoline-tax holiday. ‘I’m not going to put my lot in with economists,’ she said on ABC’s ‘This Week.'” Asked by host George Stephanopoulos “to name ‘a credible economist who supports the suspension,'” Clinton “responded in the populist tone heard in many of her recent stump speeches.” Clinton said, “We’ve got to get out of this mind-set where somehow elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantage the vast majority of Americans.”

First: there is a perception out there that after nearly eight years of “thoughtless” policy, folks may be ready for something and someone with a bit of intellectual gravitas at the mantle.  It’s an important question: do we want a “smart” president or not?  Smart executives of the most powerful country in the world are going to have to weigh expert opinion and analysis to make an informed decision.  At least, that’s what we thought the job description conveyed.  If you’re considering economic policy, well then you might want to consult with an expert in economics – we’re not saying you should completely rely on the economist angle, but it doesn’t hurt to run stuff past the experts. 

So, now, based on Sen. Clinton’s remarks above, we’ve reached a point where being “smart” about an issue is having an “elite opinion.”  Sen. Obama is being painted as the “smart” Black kid who goes to the neighborhood school and gets bum rushed by his bullying class mates for simply “knowing the answer.” 

Anyway, interesting how the candidates are “brawling” over a seasonal gas tax suspension (which won’t save more than $30 over the course of a few months) and no one wants to talk about how oil companies still register record profits while our pockets/purses get pounded at the pump and grocery store lines.  It just seems a bit assenine, if you want our “elite opinion” on the subject. There’s a whole lot more to do and a lot more heads to crack than just rolling back a cent on a gallon. 


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