A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas Tax Attacks

Barack Obama is up with a 60-second ad pushing back against the notion that shutting down the federal gas tax for the summer would be a good move. Take a look:

While the rhetoric being pushed by the Clinton and McCain campaigns working together in tandem to attack Obama may sound sensible on the surface -- who doesn't want a little relief on the price they pay for gas (even if the savings won't completely go to the American driver because lowering the price of gasoline will lead to increased demand which will lead to increased prices; the actual price decrease might only come out to be half of 18.4 cent-per-gallon tax, at best, were the holiday put in place) -- the overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests that this is simply bad policy through and through. Here's Reuters:

A gas tax holiday proposed by U.S. presidential hopefuls John McCain and Hillary Clinton is viewed as a bad idea by many economists and has drawn unexpected support for Clinton rival Barack Obama, who also is opposed.

[...]

Economists said that since refineries cannot increase their supply of gasoline in the space of a few summer months, lower prices will just boost demand and the benefits will flow to oil companies, not consumers.

"You are just going to push up the price of gas by almost the size of the tax cut," said Eric Toder, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington.

The American people aren't dumb. They understand that this policy proposal is basically a stunt -- something that the Clinton campaign has all but admitted -- that won't do anything to solve the underlying problems facing America's energy supply in the long run and won't really do much even in the short run, either. As such, even though I think it would behoove Obama to stress not only that this McCain-Clinton proposal would not achieve what it sets out to achieve but it would also have direct and adverse effects on American infrastructure (the tax goes directly to funding projects to shore up and build roads) and the U.S. economy (the tax helps pays for thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs right here in America), I think it's a solid play that hits Obama's core message while responding strongly to the double team attack from Clinton and McCain.

Tags: Barack Obama, gas tax, Hillary Clinton, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

107 Comments

Loose weight by eating ice cream

As a comedian once said, "Of course Americans want lower taxes, they want to loose weight by eating ice cream too!"

by Obama Independent 2008-04-30 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

You would think the blogosphere would be smart enough to see through this Pander-Bear?!

The gas-tax holiday is great politics/bad policy, but MyDD should be better than that! We are here to promote progressive values . . . not political pandering.

by Veteran75 2008-04-30 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

oh no no no the Blogsphere IS to smart enough to see through, this, even HRC supporters see through it, some just have shown their colors they will defend Hillary not matter what she says.

she now has people going around saying hey pandering is a good thing!

just wow

by TruthMatters 2008-04-30 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas
Our country is suffocating from the weight of
"great politics/bad policy" :(
by Roberta 2008-04-30 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

1 candidate will tell use the truth no matter how hard it is to hear

1 candidate will say whatever to get votes.

hmmmm who do I want for president again...

by TruthMatters 2008-04-30 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

or sometimes the distortions come from us:

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/ dnc_vs_mccain.html

by minnehot1 2008-04-30 03:00PM | 0 recs
In tandem?

I fail to see that Clinton is supporting McCain here.  She surely sees the tax holiday as a significant symbolic gesture, hand in glove with a tax hike (the real motivation here) on the oil industry to cover the revenue shortfall to the government.  Good all around.  No logical person thinks that an 18-cent tax cut is going to do anything substantive.   Who knows, it may lead to a more progressive tax in the end.  Just because Clinton likes the tax holiday doesn't mean she is in bed with McCain.

by jarhead5536 2008-04-30 02:37PM | 0 recs
The point is....

...the gas tax holiday is a wicked stupid idea that won't work.  If you want a windfall profits tax on big oil companies then you don't tie it to a dumb plan that is easily dismissed.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-04-30 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The point is....

Do the words "windfall profits tax" mean anything tho the clueless masses who are too busy watching Dancing With the Stars to pay attention to esoteric public policy?  Really.

The price of gas is something noticable to even those deliberately not paying attention.  

by jarhead5536 2008-04-30 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The point is....

People are smarter than you think.  They also don't like being lied to.  

Once they figure out that this gas tax thing is bogus they will tie it to windfall profits tax.  That is bad.

by Blue Neponset 2008-04-30 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: In tandem?

McCain came out with the idea two weeks ago...hillary now follows, albeit states where she will get the coverage for the tax holiday.

by mariannie 2008-04-30 10:18PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

As such, even though I think it would behoove Obama to stress not only that this McCain-Clinton proposal would not achieve what it sets out to achieve but it would also have direct and adverse effects on American infrastructure (the tax goes directly to funding projects to shore up and build roads) and the U.S. economy (the tax helps pays for thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs right here in America)...

This is pretty goshdarned dishonest.  McCain's proposal would certainly do these things.  Clinton's proposal, unlike McCain's, would use a windfall profits tax to make up the revenue shortfall.  So please, no horror stories about bridges falling down.  And there's no need for point-scoring by calling it "the McCain-Clinton proposal" when there's a very significant difference between the two proposals in this respect.

I almost always agree with Krugman and I'll agree with him this time too: Clinton's proposal for a tax holiday is a bad idea.  But the reason isn't that it would create some massive shortfall in tax revenues; her plan addresses that.

And I think Jerome also had a good point about the politics of the situation.  You know, if one side is saying you'll pay less for gas, and the other side is saying that 9 out of 10 Brookings economists disagree, I'm not so sure the second person is the one who wins in a political context.  Deplore it all you like.

But one thing you may - or may not - have noticed is that the media demonstrated NO interest in pointing out that the tax holiday was a worthless pander back when McCain was the only one pushing it.  In fact, they actually helped McCain by making ridiculous claims that a tax holiday might reduce gas prices by 20%!  Now that Hillary is involved, the media displays a sudden interest in fact-checking and presenting the other side... which is actually kinda cute.  But bear in mind that they did nothing to put McCain through the same process, and think about what that implies.

by Steve M 2008-04-30 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

Clinton's proposal, unlike McCain's, would use a windfall profits tax

Is that tax likely to be put in place by this summer when the gas-tax "vacation" is supposed to go into effect?  Is that tax likely to be put in place at all?

It seems like Clinton's plan is -- at best -- borrowing against a future windfall tax that may or may not happen.  That doesn't strike me as particularly fiscally responsible.

by ChrisKaty 2008-04-30 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

I don't get your point.  Her proposal has two parts: a tax holiday and a windfall-profits tax to make up for the lost revenue.  Are you saying that you think she'd support a tax holiday even without the windfall-profits tax?  There doesn't seem to be any basis for that.

My point is quite simple: when Clinton's plan contains a clear proposal to replace the lost revenues by means of a windfall-profits tax, it's irresponsible to characterize her plan as no different from McCain's and start telling horror stories about crumbling bridges and lost jobs.

by Steve M 2008-04-30 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

The whole idea of a windfall-profits tax chills me. Are we really going to tax one industry more because they are profitable? Take away their special tax breaks certainly. Clearly they are not needed. But the idea of special taxes against the profits of certain industries is a very slippery slope.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-30 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

I happen to agree on the merits of a windfall-profits tax, although a great many Democrats have proposed it at one time or another.

The reality is that if we think the oil companies are making too much money, there are a great many subsidies we could be taking away.  We have a pretty dysfunctional energy policy that tends to subsidize exactly the wrong ideas.

by Steve M 2008-04-30 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

The tax holiday is something tangible, if ineffectual at this point, that can clearly be seen and understood by anyone too absorbed with Britney/Lindsay/Miley to pay attention.  A windfall profits tax on oil companies is blah blah blah to most people, since they are not paying attention.  Hillary's plan is good politics and good policy.  It gives both the appearance and the reality of positive action.

by jarhead5536 2008-04-30 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

Her proposal has two parts: a tax holiday and a windfall-profits tax to make up for the lost revenue.

Well according to her the tax holiday is about to start in a month.  How does she get the windfall-profits tax passed in that amount of time?

by hootie4170 2008-04-30 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

Uh, the same way the tax holiday would be passed, one assumes.

by Steve M 2008-04-30 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

None of this is going to happen.  The plans are symbolic gestures, in the face of a short-term need, to show how the candidates would deal with such a need if President.

by Trickster 2008-04-30 03:03PM | 0 recs
The Point

Jonathan was addressing how Obama could message agaisnt both plans.  I think calling the sentence you cited "dishonest" is unduly harsh, although it could have been more arfully worded to separate out the differentiating feature of her "plan."  

Which, I would add, is still little more than a cynical pander.  Obama, along with plenty of other Democrats, have previously proposed windfall taxes on Oil companies.  It aint gonna pass this Congress, and Clinton knows that, although sadly McCain's regressive "more free money for everyone" plan might have a chance.

Even if we did pass a windfall tax, however, the idea that this is what the resulting funds should be used for is laughable.  Pelosi has the right idea with her plan to use increased infrastructure improvements -- which we badly need -- as an economic stimulus.  

by HSTruman 2008-04-30 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The Point

I'm sorry, calling this the "McCain-Clinton Plan" and claiming that bridges will fall down because of the lost revenues is sheer demagoguery.  Clinton's plan, bad idea though it may be, wouldn't sacrifice any revenues whatsoever.

If a windfall-profits tax has no chance of ever passing, then proposing it as a quid pro quo for a tax holiday is actually pretty smart politics, if you think about it.  Jerome made some solid points.

by Steve M 2008-04-30 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Point

I'm actually pretty damn tired of politicans promising everything without any cost, but maybe it is "smart politics."  It just doesn't appeal to me.  And the idea that Obama is demagoging this issue -- when Clinton has run ads blasting him for not caring about working people based on his opposition to this ridiculous proposal -- is pretty funny.  Especially when you've already admitted you disagree with both prongs of her proposal.    

by HSTruman 2008-04-30 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The Point

I didn't say Obama was demagoguing the issue.  I said this post by Jonathan was demagoguing the issue.

I have no idea what Obama may have said, although if he called it the "McCain-Clinton plan" like Jonathan did, then he's being dishonest as well.  It reminds me of the people who claim that, since Hillary is more hawkish than Obama on some foreign policy issue, she's exactly like George Bush.

She has a different plan, it's not a plan that would deprive the government of money to pay for infrastructure, and it's simply a lie to claim that bridges would fall down if Hillary's plan were enacted.  A lie.  Can you acknowledge that?

by Steve M 2008-04-30 04:40PM | 0 recs
Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

When Jonathan writes:

...rhetoric being pushed by the Clinton and McCain campaigns working together in tandem to attack Obama..

It is perfectly clear he is trying to link the Clinton and McCain campaigns. He knows full well they have not been "working together in tandem," yet he still feels the need to write intentionally misleading statements like this.

I understand he is part of the Obama Fan Base, and many of them seem to feel anything is justified when attacking Hillary. But certainly some people here believe there should be limits. Don't you? Don't you have the least little bit of respect for yourselves that you will allow him to write lies like that, asking you to accept it?

I for one think he owes an apology to the readers of MyDD. No blog should allow authors to write false statements, knowingly. That is what Jonathan did here. Plain and simple.

by joc 2008-04-30 03:48PM | 0 recs
hmmm......

maybe they have not formed an alliance, but they would each cast their vote to remove obama from the island........no one should doubt this.

i'm still wondering what clinton might use against mccain in a general.

by citizendave 2008-04-30 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: hmmm......

So you are saying that because Hillary wants to win the nomination and then the general and McCain wants to win the general it is okay for Jonathan to write misleading statements?

Are you that lacking in self-respect that you're not bothered Jonathan is lying to you?

by joc 2008-04-30 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: hmmm......

i consider your comment on self respect to be out of line.

i am intelligent enough to know what jonathan is saying without whiners like you trying to "inform" me that i should be insulted.

by citizendave 2008-05-01 02:32AM | 0 recs
Re: hmmm......

It's sad that you feel the need to lash out at name call.

I wasn't saying you weren't intelligent enough to know what Jonathan was saying, You clearly stated you knew Clinton and McCain were not "working together in tandem." The only question was why you were okay with Jonathan writing that, given you knew it was untrue. I guess I touched a nerve with the way I phrased it. I'm sorry about that because I would have liked to hear your answer.

by joc 2008-05-01 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: hmmm......

didn't mean to snap....but.....self respect???

my original comment (i think was clear enough)to imply that that both C and M are riding the same wave, and are happy enough not to be in the mix against each other. does that mean they are working together? technically.......no. but i think their common goal (at the moment) has them following parallel tracks.

"working together" is just semantics.

i am too cynical to get pissed off over that, especially given the gross liberties taken by many diarists on this site (and others)

by citizendave 2008-05-01 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

This is not a Hillary attack ad.  He is going after a [bad] proposal.  Trying to paint this as an attack ad really undermines the credibility of Clinton supporters who say that Obama is running a negative campaign.  In this context, that is clearly not the case.

by nwgates 2008-04-30 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

Go back and reread the post you replied to. I am not talking about Obama's ad. I am talking about Jonathan's false claim that Hillary and McCain are "working together in tandem."

Does it bother you that Jonathan lied to you? Or does everything in your world have to be a question of Obama vs. Clinton?

by joc 2008-04-30 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

I apologize for misreading your comment.  It seems as though you took it very personally, personally enough to launch a personal attack on me.  

BTW, I would not call what Jonothan said a lie, it is a conjecture that may or may not be true.  See the "voting off the island" analogy above, I think it is the right idea.

by nwgates 2008-04-30 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

I'm neither taking it personally, nor did I personally attack you.

But you really can't be serious that you think Hillary Clinton and John McCain are "working together in tandem" to attack Obama, and that is what Jonathan wrote. The use of together and tandem in the same phrase is striking, since it emphasizes the idea of collusion between the two campaigns. Jonathan made a clearly false statement. I just wonder why the Obama supporters are fine with him lying to them.

Democrats used to make fun of right-wing bloggers like Powerline and Glenn Reynolds when they lied to their readers. Are the Obama supporters heading down that road as long as the lies are about Clinton?

by joc 2008-04-30 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

"working together in tandem" does not neccesarily imply intentional collusion.  It merely states that they are both opportunistically working towards the same end.

Jonothan may be wrong (I don't think so), but there is not really evdence that he is lying.

by nwgates 2008-04-30 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

"working together in tandem" does not neccesarily imply intentional collusion.

Really?

So you would find the following statements perfectly acceptable if they were headlines in tomorrow's newspapers?

-Obama and McCain are working together in tandem to defeat Hillary Clinton.

-Obama and Ahmadinejad are working together in tandem to discredit the policies of the Bush Administration.

-Obama and Hamas are working together in tandem to get Obama elected President.

If no implication is present, then newspapers wouldn't be lying with any of these, would they?

by joc 2008-04-30 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

Clinton benefits from using the same tactics as McCain.  I don't think she called the McCain camp and said- hey, let's coordinate this.  But the RNC is attacking Obama, not Clinton.  Whe has run with the "elitist" b.s., as has McCain.  They are, in that wayboth using a line of attack IN TANDEM, that undermines Obama.  The gas tax is an extension of this- they are both targeting the same group, which is percieved to be an Obama weakness.

As for your examples- Obama is not adopting similar talking points to the McCain campaign, or vise-versa.  It would not benefit Obama in any way to use a message similar to that of hamas or Ahmadenijad.  Your rhetoric is overly simplistic.  Motives and opportunism are a part of the package, not just a similar superficial goal.  

by nwgates 2008-05-01 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

I see, when Obama and McCain say similar things to beat Hillary they aren't "working together in tandem", but if Hillary and McCain say similar things to defeat Obama that is "working together in tandem."

Yeah, my "overly simplistic" rhetoric sure isn't going to be able to explain that response.

by joc 2008-05-01 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

Please give examples of similarities between McCain's and Obama's "collusion".

by nwgates 2008-05-01 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

Interesting, when Hillary has a plan that is superficially similar a McCain plan they are "working together in tandem." But you say that should not be counted as collusion. When I point out that Obama and McCain both want to beat Hillary, I am asked to provide just that, proof of collusion.

I'm sorry but I don't play "heads I win tails you lose" kind of games. I believe that one standard should fit all. Your desire to set a double standard here is now perfectly clear. I think I see why what Jonathan wrote didn't bother you. You seem to be okay with the two sides being treated unequally. I just wish that wasn't so.

Double standards make for bad outcomes, in whatever area they are applied.

by joc 2008-05-01 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

You ducked my question.

Clinton and McCain have made similar lines of attack on Wright, bitter-gate, and the gas tax, which is not an attack so much as a blatant pander to a certain demographic.  Not to mention the "McCain has crossed the c-in-c threshhold".

Again, more than coincidental sharing of the same goal, how have McCain and Obama used similar tactics against Clinton.  It is a simple question.  Answer it, and we'll talk, name-calling gets us nowhere.

Your obfuscation is transparent.  Saying "heads I win, tails you lose" and accusing me of a double standard does not prove your argument.

by nwgates 2008-05-01 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

You already proved my argument. You said quite clearly it was okay to say people were "working together in tandem" if it was Clinton and McCain, but it wasn't oaky to say it if it was Obama and McCain. That is what passes for fairness in some people's minds, but not mine. I don't go for double standards. You made it even more obvious when you demanded that any Obama and McCain connection had to be collusion. When before you said as long as the two campaigns "were working toward the same end" was all that mattered. Now you demand, when it is Obama, that it be the exact same tactics.  

But to beat the dead horse into the ground, here is one example. Both McCain and Obama have brought out some of the most odious of the right-wing smears of the Clintons in the 1990s. Specifically, that she is untrustworthy and secretive. I can't wait to here why it is justifiable for both of them to do this and not be considered to be "working together in tandem." Actually, I can wait, because no real justification exists, because there are no set standards in your arguing.

I wish that Democrats could be better than Republicans in terms of the honesty and integrity of the points that they bring up. This is why I started this in the beginning. Jonathan clearly lied about the two campaigns "working together in tandem," and to defend his statement, you first demanded that only that two people work toward the same goal. That is until other examples are pointed out. Then the goalposts shift, and other standards are brought out. We mock the right-wing blogosphere when they do this. I'm saddened that people on the left side of the blogosphere are now practicing it.

by joc 2008-05-01 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

Don't take these words so literally!

by mariannie 2008-04-30 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

Actually, from a sociological view, 'tandem' play (or work, in this case) connotes playing (or working) side by side at similar tasks without regard for what the other is doing.

In this case, there are clearly similarities.  Clinton stating that she and McCain are fit to be CIC when Obama is not.

Added to that, their similar proposals on the gas tax paint a picture which is suggestive of collusion, but not conclusively so.

Frankly, the 'gas tax vacation' is pandering at it's worst.  It will clearly offer no substantive relief to a majority of Americans.

by lojasmo 2008-05-01 02:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Dishonest is not harsh enough a word

A few things:

Actually, from a sociological view, 'tandem' play (or work, in this case) connotes playing (or working) side by side at similar tasks without regard for what the other is doing.

See my above comment about the newspaper headlines. Your view then would be that they are all okay?

Clinton stating that she and McCain are fit to be CIC when Obama is not.

She said that she and McCain had surely passed the threshold in the minds of the public. She did not state that Obama had not passed it, nor did she state that he was not fit to be CIC. Please stick to the facts, misleading words is what started this.

Frankly, the 'gas tax vacation' is pandering at it's worst.  It will clearly offer no substantive relief to a majority of Americans.

Wow! So is LIHEAP (the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program) pandering at its worst? It only helps people making less than 60% of the median income, which means no relief for the majority of Americans. And there are plenty of other such programs out there targeting the poor. There is no easy way to target them when working with the gas tax, so everyone would get it even though not everyone would really need it.

Also, if it is such bad pandering, why do you think Obama voted for it three times will in the Illinois Senate? He even said that he would have liked for stickers to be put on gas pumps stating: "Senator Obama reduced your gasoline prices."

by joc 2008-05-01 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The Point

It's a good thing Obama changed his stance from the three times he (loudly and proudly) voted for gas tax suspensions in the past.

Otherwise he'd just be another unprincipled, pandering politician, instead of pretending to be something else.

by dark1p 2008-05-01 04:35AM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

There are two avenues of response.

1. The gas tax holiday itself doesn't seem to make a huge difference in the price of gas. Okay, between Krugman and this ad, I'm willing to concede that point. But on some bad days, even $20 feels like it can make a difference.

2. Obama's ad, however, doesn't put across the message that he has a proposal (or even cares to put thought into coming up with one) that will ease the pain for ordinary Americans facing huge gas price increases in the immediate short-term.

I don't think the ad is effective in reaching the voters that don't already back Obama. He fails to reach working and middle-class Americans and fails on the perception that his real appeal is to elites.

I'd really like to see Obama reach beyond his base to the working class voters that are so important to a Democratic victory in the fall.

The problem is in tone and argument and focus.

Since it's hard to see any path to the nomination left for Clinton, I'd really like to see Obama shift his approach and develop a more politically attuned message.

by Coral 2008-04-30 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

It's called "instant gratification" and that is the problem.  People want quick solutions to major problems (ie, gas tax hoilday for 6 months which doesn't address the long term problem, that gas prices will remain high.) It will take many steps to eliminate high gas prices and that is what Obama is trying to explain, he's being truthful.  Unfortunately many Americans want something now, not understanding how the it does nothing to diminish our addiction to oil.

by hootie4170 2008-04-30 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

Agreed. But my point is that the ad is not effective way to court economically stressed voters, especially those hit hard by rising gas prices.

Why doesn't he run an ad about what he's going to do to help the economic condition of working and middle-class Americans?

by Coral 2008-05-01 10:27AM | 0 recs
Gas

This the complicated argument versus the simple argument. It will be interesting to see who wins.

The one thing that helps Obama here is that the gas prices have climbed so quickly that 18.4 cents looks like absolutely nothing. Gas was 3.25 here a couple weeks ago and now is 3.75. 50 cents in half a month. And it keeps going up.

The long-haul truckers need help now though. I'd like to see some policy proposal put forward to help out the guys(and girls) that are buying hundreds of gallons at a time of 4.25 diesel.

by wengler 2008-04-30 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Gas

You can do a targeted policy for truckers, some sort of subsidy.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-30 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response

First the rebate check, now a gas tax holiday. Do we all get free cars next? The US Government is not Oprah!

by LandStander 2008-04-30 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response

There's close to universal agreement that short-term giveaways--"fiscal stimulus"--are appropriate when a recession is looming.  And there may well be a very major recession looming.  It's better to fight it off up-front with fiscal stimulus than to try to heal it once it has set in.

The question is not whether to give stuff away, it's how much, when, and what.

by Trickster 2008-04-30 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response

Yeah borrow it off China, do think Bush really cares how much the deficit is?  He's leaving in 7 months and his approval ratings are as low as they can go, another quick fix solution to a major problem to appease the average American...It's like pissing on somebody and telling them that it is raining...

by hootie4170 2008-04-30 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response

Your description of short-term fiscal stimulus suggests to me that you don't know anything about macroeconomics.  If that's true, perhaps you might think twice about expressing yourself so strongly on the subject.

by Trickster 2008-04-30 11:05PM | 0 recs
One Hellva Candidate

This Barack Obama is one hellva Candidate.

I can see why Hillary is losing.

by Al Rodgers 2008-04-30 02:42PM | 0 recs
A Forceful Response ?

Interesting to see Barack going back to his classic themes:

(1) Change cannot occur without me (trust me)

(2) I'm now going to re-state Hillary's position on the issue, and pretend its unique to me

Remember, Hillary has not suggested for an instant that some tax relief is the only solution.  After Barack Obama voted for the Bush-Cheny energy bill that gave away billions to Big Oil, Hillary decided its time for a windfall profits tax - she's going to reinvest that money into the Highway Trust Fund, and also give some of it back to you in the form of tax relief.  But her plans certainly don't begin or end there.

She offers us a more expansive plan to ignite the green collar revolution.  Don't take my word for it!  Read each candidate's plan from their website and become more educated.  It can't hurt. ;)

Hillary had already stated her intention to launch a fullscale DoJ investigation, looking into possible price manipulation, before Barack decided to follow her lead.

They say that immitation is the highest form of flaterry.  If so, Barack must love Hillary as much as we do. :)

by bobbank 2008-04-30 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

Yowza! That's what I'm talking about. I want to see more of that Obama.

by Becky G 2008-04-30 03:02PM | 0 recs
ridiculous

The so-called "holiday" is a minor point in a comprehensive plan.

from her site, which I assume Obama staffers can locate for themselves.

OREGON: Hillary Clinton's Plan to Address Soaring Prices at the Pump

Americans are being squeezed at the pump like never before. The price of oil is approaching $120 a barrel, and Europe's two biggest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, reported record first-quarter profits today. Gas prices are at record highs in Oregon, where a gallon today costs $3.66, up from $3.42 a month ago and $3.26 a year ago - that's a 12 percent increase in just one year. And while the average family's energy costs have gone up $2,000 a year since President Bush took office, average Oregon family incomes have been flat. Record oil prices are contributing to higher energy prices, food prices and a squeeze that is making many middle-class families feel like they are falling further behind.

American families are hurting now. They need a President who will focus every day on ensuring that they can make ends meet. That is why today, Hillary is discussing her aggressive plan to address the problem of skyrocketing gas prices. Hillary's plan includes:

   * Imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies and using the money to suspend the gas tax for the peak summer months;
    * Closing $7.5 billion in oil and gas loopholes and using the funds to provide assistance for lower-income families to pay their energy and grocery bills;
    * Cracking down on speculation by energy traders and market manipulation in oil and gas markets that are driving up the price of oil by at least $20 a barrel;
    * Pressuring OPEC to increase oil production, including by filing a WTO complaint against OPEC countries
    * Stopping new additions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and standing ready to release oil to counter market spikes and reduce volatility.

This plan builds on Hillary's long-term plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and address global warming. She has committed moving America towards energy independence by cutting foreign oil imports by two-thirds from 2030 projected levels, more than 10 million barrels per day.

Details of Hillary's Plan

Enact a Windfall Profits Tax on Oil Companies to Pay for Temporarily Suspending the Gas Tax - Hillary will impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the money to temporarily suspend the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax and the 24.4 cent per gallon diesel tax during the upcoming peak summer driving months. Hillary will ensure that this relief is passed along to consumers by charging the Federal Trade Commission with conducting aggressive oversight. Unlike Senator McCain's plan, Hillary's plan will be fully paid for by taking away oil company profits through a windfall profits tax. This will ensure that the Highway Trust Fund is not affected at all by the gas tax suspension, and can continue to support critical repairs and maintenance for our infrastructure and highways.

Suspending the gas tax will provide real, immediate assistance to American families and for our economy. Recent testimony before the House of Representatives by the American Trucking Association indicates that even small changes in price can have big impacts. Just a one-penny decrease in the price of diesel annualized over an entire year would save the trucking industry $391 million a year.

Take Immediate Action to Crack Down on Speculation and Market Manipulation in Oil and Gasoline Markets - Oil and gasoline markets contain loopholes for traders, and the markets are inadequately policed by regulators under current law. As a result, there is considerable concern that current market prices reflect the influence of speculators and other forces beyond supply and demand. In early April, an Exxon Mobil executive testified under oath before a House committee that the price of oil should be $50 to $55 per barrel based on supply and demand fundamentals. Marathon Oil's CEO stated last October that: "$100 oil isn't justified by the physical demand in the market...it has to be speculation on the futures market that is fueling this." Hillary would take action to reduce the influence of speculators, crack down on market manipulation in oil markets, and outlaw price gouging by:

   * Closing the Enron Loophole - Hillary supports closing the "Enron loophole," which exempts electronic trading of energy commodities by large traders from U.S. government regulation. The loophole has helped lead to the dramatic growth of trading on unregulated electronic energy exchanges, and has made the U.S. energy markets vulnerable to price manipulation and excessive speculation. Even Alan Greenspan has cited "investors and speculators who took on larger net long positions in crude oil futures" as one cause of oil prices. In June 2006, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued: "The Role of Market Speculation in Rising Oil and Gas Prices: A Need to Put the Cop Back on the Beat." This report analyzed the degree to which financial speculation in energy markets had contributed to the dramatic increase in energy prices in recent years. The report concluded that "[s]peculation has contributed to rising U.S. energy prices," and endorsed the estimate of various analysts that the influx of speculative investments into crude oil futures accounted for approximately $20 of the then-prevailing crude oil price of approximately $70 per barrel.
    * Protect the consumer market from price gouging for petroleum products - Hillary will make it unlawful for any supplier - wholesaler or retailer - to sell crude oil or gasoline at an unconscionably excessive price. Price gougers would face new fines and criminal penalties of up to $1 million and five years in prison and civil penalties could be assessed from $500,000 up to $5 million. Today, there are no federal laws prohibiting price gouging in the oil and gas industry, leaving some states to prohibit these actions. In 2006, the Federal Trade Commission conducted a study of post-Katrina gas price, and while it did not find widespread gouging, it did find 15 examples of pricing at the refining, wholesale, or retail level that fit a definition of price gouging under legislation that Senator Clinton has backed and is proposing to enact now.
    * Call on the Federal Trade Commission to Take Action Against Market Manipulation in Wholesale Oil Prices - The energy bill passed last year included new provisions to provide greater transparency and prevent manipulation in wholesale oil markets, and to empower the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and pursue violations. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has chosen not to use this new authority. To ensure that oil companies and traders are not ripping off consumers, Hillary is calling on the FTC to begin investigations using these new powers. In addition, Hillary is calling on the FTC to propose regulations under the new law within 60 days to prevent market manipulation in oil markets. Recent cases show that market manipulation is a concern in oil markets. In 2007, Marathon Oil paid a $1 million fine to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to settle charges that a subsidiary had tried to manipulate crude oil prices in 2003. Action by the FTC to investigate the current oil market and to develop and enforce new prohibitions on market manipulation would help to minimize foul play in oil and gasoline markets.

Take more aggressive action to pressure OPEC to increase production - OPEC recently reiterated that it will not even consider increasing crude output until September 2008, even though limited supplies are contributing to record oil prices. Hillary believes we should be taking more aggressive action to address OPEC's control over global production levels and hold OPEC accountable for its decisions. President Bush's efforts to pressure OPEC over the past seven years have been inconsistent and unsuccessful. Hillary supports sending a strong signal to OPEC that the era of complacency has ended. Hillary will:

   * Use the WTO to Challenge OPEC's Production Quotas - With nine of the thirteen OPEC member countries also being members of the WTO, Hillary believes we should use the tools available at the WTO to address OPEC's refusal to increase production. WTO rules currently prohibit member countries from imposing export quotas. Yet OPEC member countries are actively and explicitly banding together to restrict oil production and affect global prices. Hillary is calling on the President to engage in immediate negotiations with OPEC members and, if no progress is made, file a formal complaint against OPEC countries at the WTO. Filing a complaint at the WTO will send a clear signal to OPEC countries that the U.S. is committed to an open, transparent global oil market. Such a step will give OPEC members an incentive to increase production as well.
    * Allow OPEC Production Decisions to Be Challenged Under U.S. Anti-Trust Law - Currently, OPEC countries cannot be challenged under U.S. anti-trust laws, even when they are engaged in coordinated, commercial activity to control the global oil market. Hillary supports amending the Foreign Sovereignty Immunities Act so that the Justice Department can bring suits against OPEC countries in U.S. courts for price fixing. Changing the rules would help hold OPEC countries accountable for their decisions.

Close the oil and gas loopholes and use those resources to provide direct assistance to working families facing skyrocketing energy bills on top of record gas prices. Hillary believes that in addition to imposing a windfall profits tax on large oil companies, Congress should move immediately to end the approximately $7.5 billion per in tax giveaways and subsidies that we continue to provide to oil and gas companies, despite their record profits. These subsidies are in part a result of the 2005 Energy Bill she voted against. She would use those resources this year to provide assistance to lower-income families who are not only being hit at the gas pump, but with skyrocketing energy and food bills as well. This winter, a record number of families were forced to seek assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to heat their homes. This included 61,000 Oregon families. Hillary was the only candidate to call for providing emergency energy assistance to these and other struggling families as part of the economic stimulus package. Now, as many states' moratoriums on utility cutoffs expire this spring, millions of families could face the prospect of having their energy shut-off and having to go without electricity, hot water or the ability to keep their homes cool this summer. Hillary will use a portion of the proceeds from closing the oil and gas loopholes to ensure that these hardworking families, who are already struggling to pay for gas at the pump, do not face the extra hardship of having their energy cut off. She will use the remainder of the proceeds to provide immediate aid to lower-income families that are facing high food prices as a result of the record price of oil.

Stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and release oil from it when that becomes necessary - Hillary is calling on President Bush stop taking oil off the market and putting it into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The SPR is now 97 percent full, which analysts believe is more than adequate. Continuing to fill it at these high prices exacerbates high oil prices and costs taxpayers money. Hillary also believes that the SPR should be more actively managed to enable releases from the SPR to counter market spikes and reduce volatility.

Proposals to Reduce our Dependence on Foreign Oil Over the Long-Term

The plans to address rising gas prices in the short term build on Hillary's bold, long-term, comprehensive plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and move America towards energy independence. (www.hillaryclinton.com/poweringamericas future.pdf). Key elements of that plan include:

   * Raising fuel efficiency standards (CAFE) to 55 miles per gallon by 2030;
    * A $150 billion investment in researching, developing, and deploying renewable and alternative energy;
    * Cutting our foreign oil imports by two-thirds by 2030;
    * Providing $1.5 billion per year for public transit, an additional $1 billion for intercity rail, and additional funds for congestion reduction, better traffic management and telecommuting;
    * Providing tax credits and research and development funding for plug-in-hybrid vehicles, which can get up to 100 mpg; and
    * Conserving fuel in the federal fleet. Hillary will call on all federal government agencies to suspend non-essential travel and other activities that use gasoline or diesel fuel, and encourage employees to carpool, telecommute, and use public transportation to reduce fuel use. And she will direct federal employees to reduce maximum speeds to conserve fuel, with exceptions for law enforcement and other emergency services. Under Hillary's plan, the agencies will to report to the White House once a month on their energy use and the impact of conservation efforts.

by bluemoon 2008-04-30 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

I think it is silly to suggest that all of a sudden people will drive  more if there is no tax for the summer. It may mitigate the usual summer increase. One thing that would help the most is to increase MARGIN requirement on gas trade at the futures market driving the speculation out.

by rocky 2008-04-30 03:11PM | 0 recs
The article is not correct

Gas prices are not driven by demand at the pump but by supply at the oil well.  For crying out loud, it is not like the demand for gas in the U.S. has shot up over the last two years.

Why is Barack Obama and MSM always so stupid when it comes to economics?

Lowering the tax will lower prices at the pump and yes some benefit may temporarily go to the oil companies. Sheesh.

by dMarx 2008-04-30 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

Duhhh...

Wrong.  The price for gas is driven by the oil-company cartels, not by market forces like supply and demand.

We have proven collusion and market manipulation time and again, and it's only becuase they BUY our politicians that they are able to continue on with business-as-usual.

by dembluestates 2008-04-30 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

The price of gas is directly correlated to the price of oil. There are some other factors but there is enough competition in the US that oil prices are the main factor behind gas price fluctuations.

by dMarx 2008-04-30 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

It's a global market and demand most certainly has gone up.  Come on now.  Gas prices are driven not only by demand but its a big part of it.

by snaktime 2008-04-30 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

Oil and gas have a relationship, but it's not a simple one.

Oil Refineries produce gasoline, and they are owned directly or indirectly by the oil companies.  At the moment, they are probably processing oil they bought months ago, and they are operating at nowheres near capacity.

Refinery output is manipulated to operate at what their parent companies consider the optimum profit point.  Do you think the fires, explosions, and maintenance periods which seem to occur just before driving holidays and dry up supply and cause jumps in retail prices are accidents?

Then you must think the record profits recorded by every global oil company for the last eight years straight are accidents, too.

by dembluestates 2008-04-30 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

Record profits are the result of record demand for oil.  You don't need conspiracy theories to figure that out.

Also, for the record, the operating margins of oil companies isn't unreasonably high. They have lower margins than say Microsoft.

by dMarx 2008-04-30 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

Yeah but people do not Microsoft Word to survive, they do need gasoline.

by hootie4170 2008-04-30 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

Um, there is record demand worldwide, but the problem is in the limited refinery capacity. The oil can be pumped to fill demand (for now, anyway), but no company will spend the billions to get new refineries up and running--which would take years, but would be a lot closer if they had made the investment some years ago when it first became a noticeable problem.

Nice to see that everyone is doing so well that saving 20 or 25 bucks a week doesn't make any difference to them. That puts you ahead of millions of other people.

by dark1p 2008-05-01 04:39AM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

snaktime,

Yes demand has gone up in the US but the primary driver of the increase in the price of gas is the increase in the price of oil. So the ultimate point being that a removal of the gas tax will lower the price we pay at the pump.

by dMarx 2008-04-30 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The article is not correct

And the price of oil has gone up so high because the Fed has managed to trash the dollar. Same with gold.

Well, at least Ben got to bail out Paulson's buddies on Wall STreet. Nice job!

by dark1p 2008-05-01 04:41AM | 0 recs
OH BOY! A tax cut that saves 30 cents a day

When you're saving 30 cents a day it can really add up to real money. Just think, after just a couple of weeks you'll have saved enough to buy a burger and some fries.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-05-02 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to

The problem with Hillary's postion is its Political Suicide in the fall (unless see assumes that both of her plan's parts would be aprt of one bill and that such a bill would automatically be vetoed, which frankly would be even more disingenous):

Let's say be some miracle both of Clinton's bill parts go through, and that she somehow wins the nomination (both things which are are around 1% likely), in August when the Holiday end McCain wil push legislation to make the Holiday permanent, when Hillary opposes said legislation McCain will quite rightly run on the argument that "Hillary wants to rise the price of gas, at a time of record prices Hillary Clinton wants make you pay even more at the pump" and once he does that, if Jerome is right about the shortsighted stupidity of the average voter, well the eolection's in the bag.

by Socraticsilence 2008-04-30 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/30/markets/ oil_eia/?postversion=2008043015

Stunted demand and record high prices has left refineries operating at 85.4% capacity this week, little changed from the week prior. Refineries typically operate around 90% at this time of year.

They could ramp up production if they wanted to but because gas companies control all aspects of exploration, production, distribution, they game the system (increasing and decreasing production) to maximize their profits.

by gomer 2008-04-30 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

Jonathan has made a disingenuous, barefaced attempt to deceive, manipulate and frame this issue to Obama's advantage and Hillary's detriment.

As we can see from the comments above, he has fooled no one.

For shame, Jonathan.  The "McCain-Clinton Gas Tax"???

by dembluestates 2008-04-30 03:24PM | 0 recs
Interesting logic

So lowering the price of gas might make people want to --GASP!-- DRIVE?  And by driving, they might --GASP!-- actually spend money on other things, like vacations that would --GASP!-- spur the economy?

Wow, that really IS a dumb idea.  Who needs to spur the economy?  Amazing...

by DaTruth 2008-04-30 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting logic

Clearly you know nothing about this issue. Dropping the gas tax will simply increase demand for gas and push prices right back up again. The only thing that dropping the gas tax will do is put more money in the oil companies' pockets. That's why virtually every economist out there opposes the idea.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-04-30 03:32PM | 0 recs
Do you really have a clue?

Do you even read what you're saying?  If we use your incredible logic, I guess we'd be seeing a moderation in gas prices because of the seriously reduced demand, right?  But, I guess in your world, supply/demand only works in one direction.

What YOU fail to understand is the power of symbolism and the power of perception.  If people are already putting their driving vacations and day trips on hold, that, in and of itself, is causing a rippling effect on sectors of the economy that depend upon domestic tourism.  That will only get worse --much worse-- during the summer vacation season.  There are so many economic consequences to people withholding spending, be it on gas, travel, lodging, entertainment, dinners, etc.  

I'd be willing to accept whatever other profits the oil companies might derive from an increased demand if it provided relief and stimulus to the vast amount of ancillary business concerns who are hurting for the very reason that people have cut back.

These so-called economic experts aren't taking into consideration the psychological components that drive the economy.  They're just looking at raw numbers of what a gas tax holiday might save.  That means nothing to me.  I want to see people spending again.  

Ask these economists what would happen to this country's economy if people just stopped buying gifts during the Christmas holiday season.  'Nuff said.    

by DaTruth 2008-04-30 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Do you really have a clue?

And there will be no stimulus. The gas tax is eighteen cents a gallon on gas that's pushing $4/gal. It's nothing. Dropping it for six months won't have any stimulative effect at all.

Again, virtually every economist out there agrees on this. The gas tax holiday won't do anything that its backers are claiming it will do.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-04-30 04:58PM | 0 recs
ask krugman

he is the fave of clinton supporters these days............

or was that yesterday?

by citizendave 2008-04-30 06:05PM | 0 recs
Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was against it

link

Obama took a different view on the issue when he was an Illinois legislator, voting at least three times in favor of temporarily lifting the state's 5 percent sales tax on gasoline.

The tax holiday was finally approved during a special session in June of 2000, when Illinois motorists were furious that gas prices had just topped $2 a gallon in Chicago.

by joc 2008-04-30 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

And he said it didn't work..

by hootie4170 2008-04-30 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

What he actually said...

During one debate, he joked that he wanted signs on gas pumps in his district to say, "Senator Obama reduced your gasoline prices."

That doesn't sound like him saying it didn't work. Do you have a link for him saying that?

by joc 2008-04-30 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

A government study could not determine how much of the savings was actually passed along to motorists. Many lawmakers said their constituents didn't seem to have benefited. They also worried the tax break was pushing the state budget out of balance.

At the end of Illinois' tax holiday, there was a failed push to eliminate the sales tax permanently. Obama was among those voting against eliminating the tax.

Obama's presidential campaign says the lessons of that Illinois tax holiday influenced his decision to oppose a national tax holiday. The lack of clear results then make him dubious about suspending the national tax now.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080430/ap_o n_el_pr/obama_gas_tax_fact_check

In addition, the Illinois tax was paid directly by consumers and increased as gas prices increased. Obama's campaign points out the national tax is a flat 18.4 cents (24.4 cents a gallon for diesel) and, therefore, isn't climbing as gas prices climb. It's also paid by producers, raising more questions about whether they'd pass the full savings along to customers.

by hootie4170 2008-04-30 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

That's saying they didn't have proof that it worked, not that they have proof it didn't work, which is different.

So, we have Obama claiming he "reduced your gasoline prices." And we also have Obama saying he didn't have proof that he "reduced your gasoline prices."

Hmmm.... Which Barack Obama are we supposed to believe?

by joc 2008-04-30 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

As an Illinois resident, I can say that people laughed at the "tax holiday" of 5 cents. It was such a transparent move to score political points that in the end people just chuckled at the stupidity of our state legislators and moved along.

by wengler 2008-04-30 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

I was at an Obama Town Hall meeting yesterday in Hickory, NC where he plainly stated that he had supported a gas tax holiday while a state senator, and that he learned that his support was a mistake.

I don't have a link to the video, but he said it. I was there.

by tysonpublic 2008-04-30 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

If it was a mistake, why was he going around saying he "reduced your gasoline prices?"

Does he often go around taking credit for things he says didn't really work?

by joc 2008-04-30 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama-For gas-tax holiday before he was agains

Gee, too bad people like Clinton can't say they learn from their mistakes. Of course, she's just evil and Obama is all things good and never tells a lie.

by dark1p 2008-05-01 04:43AM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

Hillary has some nerve questioning Obama's judgement. Let see she is married to a philandering, lying, disbarred attorney, impeached ex president........yeah she knows how to pick em alright....

by adb67 2008-04-30 04:31PM | 0 recs
"I may have balls...
but I still can't pump my own gas."
by Kobi 2008-04-30 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: "I may have balls...

I was amazed that she didn't talk to this guy when she was in his truck but just did a radio interview by cell phone. That was very disrespectful to him as she treated him like a driver and not a citizen she could learn from.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-30 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: "I may have balls...

Hillary's "everyman" facade is painfully transparent.

by Kobi 2008-04-30 06:19PM | 0 recs
Got a cite?

From The Hotline:

Clinton met with Wilfing's nuclear family - wife, daughter and two sons - at the hotel. Bobbie Wilfing talked about how gas prices have impacted their lives, from the extra costs of driving kids to school to possibly canceling an annual summer trip to Lake Michigan. Who's to blame? Wilfing said, "100 percent George Bush."

"We're ready?" Clinton said after bidding adieu to the wife and kids. The Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup was idling outside, with about a quarter-tank of gas waiting for refueling. Clinton buckled up right away, then drove along with Wilfing, 33, on residential roads, chatting and laughing as they went. . . .

After the entire motorcade pulled up, Clinton waited inside just a few moments as Wilfing got out of the passenger side and started the pumping process. With cameras mobbed together, Clinton hopped out of the truck without incident and joined Wilfing at the pump. She seemed very interested in the actual set up, acknowledging later that she hasn't pumped her own gas in years.

For some reason, Clinton chatted with Wilfing so quietly it was as if they were at a library and not an outdoor fueling station. Eventually, a reporter shouted out a question, prompting Clinton to turn and launch into her stump on how the impact of high gas prices has impacted prices across the board for consumers.

Looks like whoever gave you your information might've missed a detail or two.

by Trickster 2008-04-30 11:13PM | 0 recs
Obama Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas Tax

Wow, I'm almost happy B O is playing this ad.  It sounds as demeaning and condescending as you think.  He reaffirms that he thinks saving 20 dollars a month is to meanial and he does not discuss Hillary of course will be replacing the tax with windfall profits tax as her ad indicates.

B O also says this won't bring down costser over the long run.....NO SH1T, no one said it would, it is to give AID TO MIDDLE CLASS.

But then to have people laughing at his mockery, that capped it off nicely Obama.  Glad to see you showing those Small Towns how you feel again.

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-30 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas Tax

btw Jonathan, if you call Hillary's ad acknowledging Obama doesn't agree with her proposals by just saying , Obama says "no" to this, which he only digs himself further in his own ad, an attack, what do you call Obama's on himself?  lol

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-30 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas Tax

I think most people feel condescended to by a candidate who thinks that 20 dollars can win their vote, maybe even more so if you are poor and touchy about money issues to begin with.

by mady 2008-04-30 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas Tax

The ad did a great job of reiterating Obama's themes on not lying to the American public and the need to change DC, while tying it to gas prices and energy policy.

And of course it reminds people of the reasons why they don't consider Clinton trustworthy.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-30 05:25PM | 0 recs
Whatever relieves your bitterness.

by Kobi 2008-04-30 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas Tax

Not 20 bucks a month 20 bucks over the whole summer period.

by telfish 2008-04-30 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas Tax

My vote's sure not worth any more than that!

by Kobi 2008-04-30 06:24PM | 0 recs
What an elitist!

A few more questions followed, with Clinton staying on message, referring occasionally to Wilfing, who stood silently to her side. "This is a very complex problem that somebody needs to start unpacking, and begin to answer questions for people like Mr. Wilfing."

Clinton then shuffled off to go and pay her "exorbitant bill." While inside, she stopped at the coffee machine, struggling a bit to get it working before pouring a French Vanilla cappuccino.

by Kobi 2008-04-30 04:43PM | 0 recs
And French!

What, American vanilla isn't good enough for her?

by Drew 2008-04-30 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: And French!

Obviously an elitist who also hates America -- that is, if she's to be judged by the standards she applies to Obama.

by Kobi 2008-04-30 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton Gas

But the tax give back check I'm supposed to receive next month is a stunt.  So was the one in 2000.  And I'm sorry, y'all, but my job makes me drive as does my grad studies and saving $200 or more this summer does make me a little happier.  Also, as most gas pumps around here
are at $3.50, the drop to $3.35 (once the tax is cut) would, I think, stimulate the economy a bit by having people drive and do things even more this summer.  I can't help the fact that most people drive trucks (SUVs) in America.  I don't and never will.  My fully paid 2000 Toyota Avalon gets 27 mpg and yes, I'd trade it (or buy cash) for another one that did even better, if I could.

I'll take the Gas Tax Give back this summer.  

by krj47 2008-04-30 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response to the McCain-Clinton...

It's basic supply and demand. If you lower the tax you increase demand and thus force price back up to "fill in" the void left by the tax. Now instead of the government getting the revenue, the oil company gets the money. Even if Clinton makes up the revenue, we are back paying what we paid before. I can understand this lack of understanding from McCain but not Clinton.

by neverfox 2008-04-30 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: A Forceful Response

ya'll have it wrong as some have noted.

1-  $25-30 per month is not nothing to a large segment
2- people see the fuel prices at the pump. It's real. They can reach out and touch it in ways that the usual esoteric economy speak doesn't get to
3- I love, and I suspect -- everyone but oil execs and people named Bush or Cheney -- love, any talk of windfall profit taxes, no, make that OBSCENE profit taxes, of the greedy oil companies.

We all know the real villians when we see 'em: oil companies that are laughing about $120 oil all the way to the bank.

Hillary has tapped into all this nicely and has positioned Barack on the bad side of this issue.

Argue the details and pander-this and pander-that all you want, but Hillary has played this one very well indeed.

by sarany 2008-04-30 06:50PM | 0 recs
get your facts straight

"$25-30 per month is not nothing to a large segment"

It's $25-390 over the whole period -- not "per month."

"people see the fuel prices at the pump."

Under McCain's and Hillary's "holiday," people would see gas prices go back to where they were two weeks ago. That is, if the oli companies and gas stations don't just jack price another 18cents on the same day it  would take effect.

For once in your life, DON'T BE DUPED BY A FAKE PROMISE!

As for a windfall profit tax. Obama'a already ahead of you on that.

"Hillary has played this one very well indeed."

What hillary has played, is into the correct majority perception that she'll say or do anything to get what she wants.

by Kobi 2008-04-30 08:15PM | 0 recs

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