Undeclared Superdelegates Don't Like "With Us Or Against Us"

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton threw down the gauntlet on the issue of a holiday for the gas tax, asking members of Congress, "Are they with us or against us"?

Apparently members of Congress -- and perhaps more importantly for the race for the Democratic nomination, Democratic members in their roles as superdelegates -- are not taking this ultimatum well, joining with the consensus of energy experts and economists opposing the Clinton-McCain plan. According to The Hill's Jared Allen and Jackie Kucinich, the House leadership, most members of which have not endorsed in the presidential race, are calling the plan "DOA", or dead on arrival. Specifically, both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have spoken on the record as to their opposition to such a move.

But it is not only the Democrats' congressional leadership that is staying away from endorsing the Clinton-McCain plan. Take, for instance, unpledged superdelegate Mark Udall, the congressman from Colorado who is the Democrats' presumptive Senate nominee in the state and who also has a background in energy and environmental policy. A release from Udall's campaign reads as follows:

Yesterday in Indiana, Hillary Clinton challenged every member of Congress to go on the record with a position regarding her proposal to temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax, and state whether they were with her or against her. Senator McCain has offered the same proposal, despite experts from all sides declaring that this plan will not actually lower costs for drivers.

Today, Congressman and Senate candidate Mark Udall responded to the challenge:

"There is no issue I have spent more time on in my public service career than working for real, responsible change in our energy policy - the kind that breaks our addiction to foreign oil and puts us on a path to greater national security, a stronger economy, and lower energy costs for our families.   There is certainly no question that families are hurting with the soaring cost of energy and need relief.

"The so-called 'temporary gas tax holiday' that Senators Clinton and McCain propose won't deliver this needed relief.  This will not create the economic relief they say it will, because prices will continue to rise until we address the real source of this problem.  We do need to provide immediate relief for families hard-hit by spiraling gas prices, and we can do that by demanding the President stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This will ease the production crunch that is causing these skyrocketing gas prices.

"Senator Clinton claimed yesterday that I either stand with her on this proposal or stand with the oil companies.  To that I say: I stand with the families of Colorado, who aren't looking for bumper sticker fixes that don't fix anything, but for meaningful change that brings real relief and a new direction for our energy policy.  We can't afford more Washington-style pandering while families keep getting squeezed.

"It is exactly the kind of short-sighted Washington game that keeps us from getting real results to our energy problem.  Experts across the ideological spectrum agree that it will increase the deficit, drain money away from Colorado roads and bridges, and hurt the environment, all without actually making prices lower for drivers."

Looking at a study from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (.pdf), a three month suspension of the federal gasoline tax would cost roughly $12 billion in revenue for infrastructure but would also cause the loss of over 300,000 jobs. This would include $96 million and 3,351 jobs for Colorado. For reference, it would also cost Indiana $183,722,596 in transportation money, as well as 6,390 highway-related jobs, and cost North Carolina $203,319,748 in federal highway funds and 7,071 jobs. All of this for a plan that would likely do more to pad the profits of big oil companies than it would to lower the actual price at the pump, while at the same time potentially increasing gasoline usage, thus detrimentally affecting the environment.

With numbers like these, perhaps it shouldn't be such a surprise that Democrats on Capitol Hill -- both in their roles as members of Congress and as superdelegates -- aren't biting at Clinton's challenge, and that, what's more, Clinton herself is reportedly toning down the language of this ultimatum.

Update [2008-5-2 17:42:30 by Jonathan Singer]: Some say that I should mention that there is a difference between Clinton and McCain on this issue. I think it's a fairly meaningless one. McCain says that he would pay for the gas holiday through deficit spending. Clinton says that she would pay for the gas holiday through increased taxes on oil companies -- something that would not have any chance of passing through the Congress, and even if it did would not pass with a veto-proof margin to override President Bush's opposition to such a move. Given this set of circumstances, Clinton either has to pay for this policy through deficit spending (like McCain), through cutting off funding to the highway trust (which has terrible ramifications, as mentioned above), or simply not having the holiday. So while there may be some daylight between Clinton and McCain on this issue, it's really small, and not so much that it would be wrong to call this the Clinton-McCain plan (particularly when both of them are using similar talking points to hit Obama on the issue).

Tags: Delegate Count, gas tax, Hillary Clinton, superdelegates (all tags)

Comments

131 Comments

Re: Undeclared Superdelegates Don't Like

It is a bad idea to quote George W. Bush, unless you're doing it to shame him or the Republicans.  

by bosdcla14 2008-05-02 01:04PM | 0 recs
Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

because it would also include a windfall PROFITS TAX on oil and gas.. something I don't think anyone except for them disagree with.

by architek 2008-05-02 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

That has no chance of passing and getting signed into law this summer.

And it's still not a good policy, since you can't ensure that the tax reduction will be passed along to consumers.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

The windfall profits part would achieve a loud thumping veto from Bush without the possibility of an override... whereas the gas tax holiday would pass...

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

Bush cannot veto part of a bill.  We do not have a line-item veto in this country.

by Steve M 2008-05-02 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

your right

thats why he would VETO the WHOLE BILL

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

Does that outcome bother you, if both halves of the bill are bad?

From a political standpoint, it would certainly not be a bad thing to be able to beat the Republicans over the head with a windfall-profits tax in an election year.  That said, no one claimed the Democrats in Congress know what they're doing.

by Steve M 2008-05-02 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

What would likely happen is that the Republicans would try to force a separation of the proposals... that way Bush could veto one but sign the other...

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

Yes, but fortunately we control the Congress so that wouldn't happen.

Let's go back to the original proposal by McCain, which is typical Republican "vote for us, we'll hand out free money!" bullshit.  Much to my dismay, that sort of messaging seems to work out quite well for the GOP.

Now, there are two strategies for combating this.  The first is to do as Obama has done, to explain the complicated reality behind the viscerally appealing proposal, and to call out the cheap pander for what it is.  Now, if this sort of response worked, we'd probably have a better country.  And Mondale probably would have been elected in 1984 after he promised to raise taxes.

The other strategy is to co-opt the Republican strategy, but include a condition that you know they'll never agree to.  The idea of a windfall-profits tax, as you probably know, has been kicked around by the Democrats for some time.  By imposing this condition, when the plan as a whole falls apart, you get to say "sorry folks, the Republicans killed it because they couldn't let their precious oil companies pay a penny more."  And you've defused all the Republican attacks about how those mean Democrats don't want to let you pay less at the pump.

I think both strategies are viable.  Obama's is more wholesome, while Clinton's is more cynical but also more effective historically.  If the Democrats were willing to let the proposal rise or fall on the issue of a windfall-profits tax, they sure could score a lot of points against the Republicans in an election year.  Maybe they're worried about what upsetting the oil companies would do to their fundraising.

by Steve M 2008-05-02 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Proposal REVENUE NEUTRAL

Do you think this low credibility woman can get this passed?  The American people, including smart folks in government and the private sector are laughing at her little silly scam...She is not only NOT credible on anything, but she is now looking super foolish in the eyes Wallstreet and the world!

by Hope Monger 2008 2008-05-03 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared

Funny in any other year democrats would be behind this proposal but i guess this year we do whatever BO says.  Sad.  I guess dems care more about big oil then everyday workers.

david

by giusd 2008-05-02 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared

I seriously doubt that Democrats would be in favor of this proposal in any year...

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared

When have Democrats ever been in favor of this idea?

Never.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared

actually, they tend to get drilled by Republicans for proposing to RAISE the gas tax to cut down on consumption...  Kerry got hammered for that I believe....

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:13PM | 0 recs
Has anyone forgotten that a lot of people drive

to work or for their livings and this rise in the price of gas is so much that they are sometimes unable to feed their families.

Its the fact that its gone up so quickly that is killing people.

by architek 2008-05-02 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Has anyone forgotten that a lot of people driv

I agree that we need a solution, but this is not a solution....

The one thing we have going for us is that gas prices tend to fall the Fall of an election year...

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: please fact check

architek

what makes you think you will actually save money besides the fact that Hillary says so? Really what you are doing is falling for it. Would you be opposed to getting a NON BIASED analysis on the effects on of this  Tax Holiday?

You don't have to Listen to Obama's proposal or take his word for it but please  do yourself a favor and do some research on it Please

You seem like you know what you are talking about when it comes to their Health plans so I am sure you can do some more research into this tax Holiday and how it will do more Harm than good.  

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 01:40PM | 0 recs
Useless pandering ploy.

My wife, who drives a couple thousand miles a month MIGHT save $50 over the summer.

Meanwhile, we lose billions for roads, which are already terrible.

Not a good deal for most Americans.

Useless pander, at best.

by lojasmo 2008-05-03 04:46AM | 0 recs
Sorry, but even Paul Krugman doesn't like it....

And he is definitely not in the tank for Obama.

The gas tax holiday is a cheap ploy to appeal to people's greed.  Until she issued the ultimatum I always assumed Clinton's backing of the "gas tax holiday" was half-hearted.

I'm glad to see Democrats standing firm against it.  I wish Clinton opposed it, too.

by Homebrewer 2008-05-02 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared

let me get this straight because Everyone
not just Obama  BUT EVERYONE from non BIAS economist, fellow democrats, and republicans. EVEN HER OWN SUPPPORTERS INLCUDING SUPERDELAGATES THAT ARE WITH HER SAY IT IS A BAD IDEA AND YOU WILL NOT SAVE MONEY

let me ask you a question? The only Person that thinks its a good idea is JOHN MCCAIN who she praised on numerous occasions

WHY DO YOU THINK SHE IS RIGHT ON THIS ?

AND CAN YOU SEND YOU SHOW ME 1 NON BIASED ECONOMIST THAT SAYS THIS IS A GOOD IDEA ???

But you probably can't because you are a low info voter that think Hillary knows it all

please do yourself a favor and do a little research on this. Don't take my word for just try to get a NON BIASED viewpoint on this please

Hillary is taking advantage of you she is betting on the fact that you will not look into this to get votes  please  just look it up and make a logical decision on your own  

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 01:32PM | 0 recs
Me too...

To be honest, it bothered me too...  there are some phrases that still sting... this one, thanks to Bush, is one of them....

Oh, and forcing Democrats to vote for or against a tax cut in an election year....?  Well, it would simply be ridiculous but expected coming from McCain or another Republican...  but coming from a fellow Democrat?

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:06PM | 0 recs
Expected.

I was trying to argue the danger in Clinton's posturing with this issue (with Canadian girl was it?) but many people here will have none of it. It's a stupid pander dressed up as policy to help average Americans, when in fact there's a 99% chance that it will benefit big oil more than anybody.

by lizardbox 2008-05-02 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared Superdelegates

Props to seeing through this crap.  This is nothing but pandering.  No really solution.  There's no way this gets passed anyway and it's dropped after the primaries.

I recall our current President using the "either you're with us or against us" line a few times.  

by chewie5656 2008-05-02 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared Superdelegates

Maybe Hillary was under the impression that Republicans would be the ones put on the spot by this proposal.  I dunno.  I certainly don't like to see any Democratic candidate demagoguing other Democrats to try and score points; the time for running against Congress expired in 2006.

by Steve M 2008-05-02 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re:

I don't understand what's so wrong about giving the people some relief for a few months this summer from such high gas prices.  At least Hillary is recognizing how much people are suffering because of these high prices.  Anything would help.  20 cents or so off a gallon of gas is alot to me.

by karajan72 2008-05-02 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re:

Well, unfortunately, it is a mirage in the desert idea....  whatever savings you might have reaped will be absorbed by the oil companies... they will simply blame lower supply and higher demand...

We do need a solution, but this is not a solution.

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re:

Please read above:

Looking at a study from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (.pdf), a three month suspension of the federal gasoline tax would cost roughly $12 billion in revenue for infrastructure but would also cause the loss of over 300,000 jobs.

Do you want YOUR job to be one of the 300,000?

by feliks 2008-05-02 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re:

Hillary's package includes hitting up the oil companies to pay a surcharge to make up the revenue.  No lost revenue, no lost jobs.

Whether this will pass or not and whether it's a good idea or not is open to discussion.  But the notion of lost jobs seems to be a red herring, at least from the proposal that Hillary is pushing.

by markjay 2008-05-02 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re:
lets just say if by some miracle
she gets the windfall profits tax  passed
what makes you think the Oil companies won't raise their prices to cover the difference?
by wellinformed 2008-05-02 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re:

Right! So lets eliminate Corporate taxes.

by Judeling 2008-05-02 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re:

History has proven time and time again that when corporations face increased costs, it is passed on to the consumers.

by igottheblues 2008-05-02 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared Superdelegates

I don't know why the hell she is pushing this plan. It is a bad plan.

by RJEvans 2008-05-02 01:13PM | 0 recs
poor policy process

This also demonstrates Clinton's poor use of policy decision-making. It's reminiscent of the Mayberry Machiavellis as described by some Bush administration insider-critics in which you find a policy that you think is good politics and then never vet it for its effectiveness.

Of course in this case experts have spoken out to say that it would cause more problems than solutions and the money probably won't even get to consumers, but she thinks it will be helpful for her in IN and NC, so she's pushing it.

No wonder she never read the NIE. Getting information would have only interfered with her what she thought as her best political move.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

Snooze.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-02 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

Yeah.

I guess you figure a good policy process is too-oo-ooo boring.  How dull it is to actually figure out if a policy is worth doing.

I bet that NIE was dull.  But maybe she should have read it.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:29PM | 0 recs
Ouch.

You win my vote for "smackdown comment of the day."

The other negative policy-related aspect to this is that she showed little to no consultation or cooperation with other Senators before trotting it out.  They're used to that from Bush, not a fellow Democratic Senator.

by McNasty 2008-05-02 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Ouch.

My answer is below. Care to read it?

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-02 01:43PM | 0 recs
What, where you said this:

Snooze, snooze.

No, that's probably not it.

by McNasty 2008-05-02 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

she also did not read the NIE on Iran's Nuclear weapons progress  If she did she never had made that "Obliterate Iran" comment

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 01:47PM | 0 recs
poor leadership w/Congress

One thing it demonstrates is her lack of leadership abilities when it comes to dealing with Congress.

Would this be her strategy for congressional relations should she become president?  Well, we saw how poorly she managed that with health care under Bill's administration.  And it sure doesn't look like she's learned anything since.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: poor leadership w/Congress

This strategy works for the Republicans...  they praise loyalty and reward it...they also punish disloyalty.  Democrats do not do that... makes them much harder to bully...

Well, that and Republicans are wimps... that makes them easy to bully too....

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: poor leadership w/Congress

Yep. Pelosi and the others won't just salute smartly and march after a Democratic president if they think the ideas are bad.

Didn't she learn anything from Bill's first two years when they had a Democratic Congress?

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: poor leadership w/Congress

Well, the one thing she has going for her... Congress' approval ratings are usually the lowest in the political spectrum....

Now, that said... some of the Super delegates, whose votes both of them need to finish this thing are members of Congress...  it also sends a bad message regarding down-ticket electability.... Hanging members of Congress out to dry does not do your coattails any favours whatsoever....

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-02 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: poor leadership w/Congress

The Clintons have a terrible political deaf ear when it comes to superdelegates. Calling them Judas or saying they're not from their home state or getting donors to try to pressure the DCCC.  

Superdelegates have pride and are going to react badly to such techniques.  

They are going to think, "Do I want this person in the WH? Do I want to deal with someone like that as president?" And the answer will be - nope.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: poor leadership w/Congress

Exactly.  Which is why this ends by mid-June no matter what happens on Tuesday.

by map 2008-05-02 01:31PM | 0 recs
And remember,

the SDs overlap significantly with DNC voting members.  Who voted in Howard Dean to run the DNC with strong support, and nearly universally have been very pleased with his leadership and priorities.

Senator Clinton continues to distance herself from that group in numerous ways.  I think a large number of the remaining SDs are unlikely ever to support her.

by McNasty 2008-05-02 01:43PM | 0 recs
poor policy process

This also demonstrates Clinton's poor use of policy decision-making. It's reminiscent of the Mayberry Machiavellis as described by some Bush administration insider-critics in which you find a policy that you think is good politics and then never vet it for its effectiveness.

Of course in this case experts have spoken out to say that it would cause more problems than solutions and the money probably won't even get to consumers, but she thinks it will be helpful for her in IN and NC, so she's pushing it.

No wonder she never read the NIE. Getting information would have only interfered with her what she thought as her best political move.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

Snooze, snooze.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-02 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

A brilliant analytical reply.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

The gas tax holiday plan is a good plan. It would save middle-class families precious dollars during this period of never-before-seen high gas prices. Additionally, the highway job industry is cyclical anyway. There are times of feast and times of famine. So to publish a "loss" of jobs is a bit disingenuous in an industry which experiences ups and downs in employment to begin with. Like I've said before, $3.50/gallon of gas versus $4.00 means a lot to people who are at the point of pawning everything they can get their hands on just to afford gas!

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-02 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

The federal gas tax is .18 a gallon, not .50 a gallon.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

Whooo, people won't be saving as much! A pox on thee, Madame Clinton for wanting to actually save the folks money.

There is also the stark possibility that gas prices would be driven down by unforeseeable market forces during the gas tax holiday.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-02 01:35PM | 0 recs
"stark possibility"

Outstanding.  Let's ignore all the economists and roll some dice.

I don't want to continue that particular Bush leadership style, thanks.

by McNasty 2008-05-02 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

Except that, as Pelosi points out, there is zero that Congress can do to make sure that the cut is passed along to consumers.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process
There is also a stark possibility that magical unicorns riding ponies will start coming out of the nozzle if Clinton gets this passed and they'll all wave their magic wands and we'll have cheap, clean solar power and all the terrorists will fall in love with America and we'll all be rich and good looking and sit in a meadow filled with wildflowers holding hands and singing folk songs forevermore until the end of time.
But I won't bet on it.
by Mumphrey 2008-05-02 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: poor policy process

If the gas tax is eliminated for 5 months all that's going to happen is the oil companies will raise their prices, taking the "tax break" away claiming low production.  Hence putting that money into the pockets of big oil and taking it away from consumers and the infrastructure budget.  Makes  the oli companies richer and our infrastructure weaker...BAD IDEA..

by hootie4170 2008-05-02 01:48PM | 0 recs
$3.50/Gal. Vs. $4.00/Gal makes a difference

Well, if the tax was fifty cents, that would be applicable, but it is only $0.18

It will save the average family about $30 over the course of 18 weeks.

It is a crappy plan, any way it is parsed.

by lojasmo 2008-05-03 05:00AM | 0 recs
J Singer, truthteller

Goddamn Jonathan! How can you keep coming on this site and making sense? Why no pro-Hillary screeds like everyone else?

Seriously though, thanks for all you are doing to retain some balance on this site.

by wasder 2008-05-02 01:20PM | 0 recs
STOP THE HANDWRINGING

Undeclared Superdelegates Don't Like "With Us Or Against Us"

The same can be said about extorting SDs to choose Obama. Why is there so much hand-wringing to end the primary? What is Obama hiding? Are you afraid once we get to know him we won't like him? Then shouldn't the primary play itself out? He doesn't have the strength, stamina or conviction to be President.

by nonwhiteperson 2008-05-02 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: STOP THE HANDWRINGING

Extorting? Please explain.

by feliks 2008-05-02 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: STOP THE HANDWRINGING

17 months of a primary...Cmon....

by hootie4170 2008-05-02 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: STOP THE HANDWRINGING

hiding?  excuse me, but I see BHO all over the place, making speeches, conducting town halls, meet and greets, etc.

by igottheblues 2008-05-02 03:27PM | 0 recs
Good idea?

With this proposal, Hillary didn't reach across the aisle, she JUMPED across and found a seat...

by feliks 2008-05-02 01:25PM | 0 recs
The numbers you site

Would seem to ignore the fact that Clinton has called for filling the gap created by her plan with a windfall profits tax on the oil companies.  It is a fact that has been consistently ignored today by Barack Obama's surrogates all day.   They have also consistently ignored the fact that Obama himself supported gas tax holidays earlier in his career.

I agree that suspension of the gas tax will have negligible impact on our energy problem.  But the people in this country are fed up of a government that seems out of touch and tone deaf to their kitchen table problems.  In his opposition to the tax holiday, Barack Obama continues to reinforce the perception that he is out of touch.  

Clinton's plan is not irresponsible because she offsets it with other revenues.  It is part of a very thoughtful and comprehensive energy plan that she has outlined.   Certainly better than the Bush/Cheney plan that Senator Obama supported.  In contrast, McCain's tax holiday proposal does not seek to fill the revenue gap.   Senator Obama may also be taking a responsible position, but one that continues to leave the public with the perception that the government has not heard its concerns.

by activatedbybush 2008-05-02 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

So you think the US should adopt a policy as a symbolic gesture, despite the fact that people will continue to pay the same amount anyway and there will be less money for construction jobs and infrastructure repairs?

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

Hillary's plan delivers immediate relief, as opposed to what the blogger clamors for, which is the slacking off of our additions to the petroleum reserves. It would take half a year for any slight change in the price of gas to be reflected in our lessening of our additions to the reserves. Again, my girl, Hillary, knows what to do in the short term to help people now!

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-02 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

The modal estimate is that this saves people $30 over the course of the summer. And that's if the cut was passed along to consumers, something that can't be mandated.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

I don't know where you get that number from.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-02 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

I don't know where she got that number either.  Cause it's much less than 30 bucks for most people.  I only save 8 bucks.

Gas Tax Holiday Calculator

by map 2008-05-02 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

I have posted this link several times and have yet to see one HRC supporter post his or her savings.  Hmm, wonder why......

by igottheblues 2008-05-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

I know math is hard for Hillary supporters so let me help.  18.4 times total gallons of gas used within a three month period.  I recommend using a calculator.

by Tunk 2008-05-02 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

Math.  I know you guys don't really do that well.  Sorry.

by lojasmo 2008-05-03 05:24AM | 0 recs
Psssst

"as opposed to what the blogger clamors for"

You appear to be a "blogger" yourself.

Try not to fall into the trap of smearing everyone who comments on the internet.  It's not very useful.

by McNasty 2008-05-02 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

Big oil will just raise their prices nullifying the tax break...It will go into their pockets...

by hootie4170 2008-05-02 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site

See, the thing about proposing a tax to make up for the lost revenues is that then you don't have less money.

Hillary's proposal is that there would be a tax holiday offset by a windfall-profits tax on the oil companies.  Now, you may think the Republicans would never agree to the latter, but that doesn't entitle you to take half of Hillary's proposal and act like it's her whole proposal.

by Steve M 2008-05-02 02:10PM | 0 recs
Photo ops as policy

Whatever will make a good soundbyte and score political points goes. That's what's driven Bush's 'planning'. Just what we need, more of the same. Lets blow the billions we extract from the oil companies on a political stunt that won't save anyone money. Then try and explain why you are re instituting the tax when the Republicans call to make the tax holiday permanent.

While we are pandering let's obliterate Iran and bust up OPEC. Maybe she can borrow GWB's cowboy hat and get herself a ranch in Arkansas to burnish her new image.

by hankg 2008-05-02 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers you site
Would seem to ignore the fact that Clinton has called for filling the gap created by her plan with a windfall profits tax on the oil companies.

It's ignored because it's a pipe dream.  What are the chances that Clinton can get that bill passed and signed into law in a month?  Basically zero.
by ChrisKaty 2008-05-02 02:05PM | 0 recs
"With us or against us"

They're now definitely against Hillary.

I hope Obama sends her a thank you note for herding the congressional supers his way even faster.

by Kobi 2008-05-02 01:38PM | 0 recs
OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

oh wow obama's supporters are so touchy and upset because sen. clinton wanted a (gasp!) yes or no answer from lawmakers. and who said the left wasn't tough?

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

Way to work with Congress!  Just make demands.

Well, I remember when Bill Clinton said he'd veto any health care bill that came to him if it wasn't the one his wife put together.  And where did that get him? No health care reform at all.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

Actually it's the LAWMAKERS themselves who are upset(and they are ALL superdelegates)

by feliks 2008-05-02 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

if u ask me this "do-nothing" congress needs a kick in the pants.  or are u happy w/ how Reid and Pelosi buckle to Pres. Bush every session?

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

I'm happy that Reid and Pelosi know it is about DELEGATES

by feliks 2008-05-02 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

I don't think you'll be so happy when McCain whips Obama when polls show he'd have lost to Hillary.

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

as long as you guys vote for obama, that won't happen

by ab03 2008-05-02 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

sorry but right now it's Hillary or Nader (if BHO wins the nom) for me.  maybe you guys should stop alienating us so much, ay?

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

Then I hope you're very happy with McCain and an unending war in  Iraq and a new one with Iran....oh wait....I'm confused.......was it Hillary who siad the words Obliterate Iran?

by feliks 2008-05-02 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

only if they launch a nuclear attack on the only true democracy in the middle east and one of our greatest allies. unlike rev. wright's clips, these words of hillary's were REALLY taken out of context.

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:12PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

fine, I hope you're happy with McCain as president - whatever he brings.  You'll have showed us BHO supporters.  

you guys aren't a picnic either but that doesn't mean I'm going to let a bunch of internet nobodies dictate how I want the country run.  if you have a problem with Obama - fine.  if you have a problem with obama supporters and decide that is sufficient not to vote for him...

by ab03 2008-05-02 02:15PM | 0 recs
hey Blue Doggy crap

how old are you?

I thought Clinton supporters were supposed to be part of the "older" demographic?

I find it quite hypocritcal for you to post
***

"OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

oh wow obama's supporters are so touchy and upset because sen. clinton wanted a (gasp!) yes or no answer from lawmakers. and who said the left wasn't tough?"

**

**********

but then you are not so tough when you post ?

*****

"sorry but right now it's Hillary or Nader (if BHO wins the nom) for me.  maybe you guys should stop alienating us so much, ay?"
*
******
I don't know what your problem is but obviously you are not the brightest bulb

You MY FRIEND ARE LACKING 'Testicular Fortitude'

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

you really don't get it ?

ok what proof would you need to show you that Hillary is taking advantage of you ?

besides the superdelagates think its a bad Idea

her OWN ECONOMIC ADVISOR  is saying its a bad idea? Do you realize the this BLIND support is the same way we were lead to war by bush ???
and she is doing the same thing.

look just research this from a non biased source thats all I am saying...please

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

honestly, the tone is fine.  she could have asked them with a pretty please.  would not make this anymore dumb of an idea.

even if you accept that gas tax holiday is a good thing, at the very least you have to concede that it is controversial.  hillary knew it was controversial and not just between obama and herself, but controversial between a lot of democrats.  

so why force the hand of a ton of congressmen right before an election year?  democrats now have to say on the record that they did not support a tax cut.  it is either a brilliant move by hillary because she thinks that democrats have no choice but to support this - or it kills her campaign if she doesn't sweep it under the rug.  the rhetoric in her speech is not the main issue.  its the bill itself.

by ab03 2008-05-02 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

those of us who commute 30 miles each way to work will appreciate this break in gas prices to be made up for by the tax on Exxon etc.  Obama's supporters are well-off or in school and don't understand the real working people like me, Hillary does.

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

lots of people commute to work, including myself.  and I hope that savings gets passed on to you since there is no guarantee that that will happen.  (this is the main argument, BTW)

of course - when there is this much debate over an issue, still trying to figure out why you force the hand of a bunch of democrats.  because you think you're right even though lots of people think you aren't (including your favorite NY Times economist)?  

if you like tax cuts so much, just vote republican.  I bet McCain will continue to hand out $600 rebates.

by ab03 2008-05-02 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

if the nominee is BHO, I just might vote republican! thanks for the advice!

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

yup you showed me.  or showed your true colors.  i guess there are a lot of republicans on this blog

by ab03 2008-05-02 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

you aren't doing your side any favors, you know. Are all of hillary's 15 million votes from undercover republicans too?  if you guys quit morphing our candidate into Pres. Bush you might not have so many defections and a Pres. McCain in January. Are any of us morphing Barack Obama into Robert Mugabe?  That's just as crazy as morphing Hillary into Bush and u don't see us doing that.

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

seriously though, who cares what i say or kos says or anybody else.  you are a smart, discerning guy or gal.  you can see through the morphs.  pick the guy who you think is better.  if you legitimately think its mccain over obama, then go for it.  if you want tax cuts, a war in iraq, more power to you.  but don't vote based on what rabid fans of obama say.  

and calling you a republican wasn't based on saying that hillary was a republican or president bush.  she's clearly not.  it was based on you saying that you'd rather vote for mccain than obama.  i think that, given their positions on issues, it is a fair litmus test for whether you are a republican.  if i said i'd rather vote for nader or nobody or mccain than hillary, you could say the same thing about me.

by ab03 2008-05-02 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re:

you seem like a smart person too, so I'm sure you understand that the losing side in this very close, historic nomination fight will be heartbroken and devastated, so don't kick us, put our face in the dirt, rub salt on our wounds then expect us to enthusiastically jump up and embrace you.

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re:

our side could also lose.  

and i will be just as upset and I might have a bad taste in my mouth when I vote for Hillary...

but I will vote for Hillary.  

Maybe you'll vote for Obama and you're posturing but I really don't like suggestions that Hillary supporters won't vote for Obama - especially when it is just based on what happens on message boards.  

and not to compare battle scars, but there would be just as much salt in my wounds.  look to the right at some of the recommended diaries and comments underneath.  some of those comments are just as mean.

by ab03 2008-05-02 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re:

well it's a shame isn't it that instead of trying to douse the flames, markos poured more gas then banished half the kingdom then like the wicked witch sending her flying monkeys after Dorothy and co., has his minions attacking us Hillary supporters over here every day?  so much for being a "party leader", ay?

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 04:31PM | 0 recs
Fun exercise

30 mile commute each way
equals 60 miles
multiply by 5 days equals 300 miles
divide by an inefficient gas mileage of 15 miles per gallon and this translates into 20 gallons of gas per week
Multiply by 18 cents and we get the grand total of $3.60 per week of savings ! or less than  $15.00 a month for 3 months !

This all assumes that the gas companies pass the savings on to you :)

by KosTexasliberal 2008-05-02 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Fun exercise

$15 a month will pay for my monthly Netflix fee! I'll take it!

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Fun exercise

netflix?  times are tough...

by ab03 2008-05-02 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Fun exercise

yeah they are, which is why I can't afford to go to the movies anymore and now just wait the 3 months till they come out on DVD

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Fun exercise

Again that assumes the very generous oil companies pass on %100 of the savings on to you. They are well know for being generous like that

by KosTexasliberal 2008-05-02 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Fun exercise

even if the gas companies give him the full $15, have we really done anything good?  I understand the working man's plight and every little bit helps but this is a plan promoting gas usage.  you, the working man, might not drive any extra than than what you have to (being the good green democrat that you are), but certainly other people will.  I bet there's a better way for the american people to end up with $15 over the summer than risk more pollution and more oil dependence.

by ab03 2008-05-02 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: OMG her tone upset me whaaaaaa!

I commute 31 miles each way to work.

Her idea is dumb. There's not much debating it. I am under no illusions about what the oil companies will do. They will jack their prices up right back to where they were.

And the windfall tax? I don't know the existence of any drug with enough powers of hallucination to make me believe that Congress will pass such a bill and the President will pass it within the next month.

The idea is dead and it seems as though it's coming back to bite her.

by PSUdan 2008-05-03 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared Superdelegates Don't Like

I thought HRC was the candidate who can get things done. Meanwhile, she's turned off congressional members of her own party.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-02 01:51PM | 0 recs
Depends on what the definition

of "it" is.  [Ducks head]

by McNasty 2008-05-02 01:53PM | 0 recs
*Giggle*

My word! Are you implying that HRC engages in sophistry?  No way - she always speaks the plain truth.  God bless her...or is it God blessed her?

by quixote27 2008-05-02 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared Superdelegates Don't Like

I thought BHO was the candidate who brings everyone together? why is it he can't even unite his own party after he supposedly clinches the race with his delegate lead?

by BlueDoggyDogg 2008-05-02 02:33PM | 0 recs
The problem with this idea

... is that it relieves the oil companies of the burden of paying the tax, but doesn't require that they pass the savings on to the guy at the pump.

Think they'll do that on their own?

Leaving aside the Bush-like phrasing, this is a Bush-like "solution".

by obsessed 2008-05-02 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared Superdelegates

Jonathan's update is very disappointing to me.  If you think Hillary's proposal is a nonstarter, then it's a nonstarter, but the proposal still is what it is.  Unlike McCain's proposal, Hillary's would not result in lost federal revenues, nor would it cost highway jobs, both of which are valid criticisms of McCain's plan.

So it's just flat-out dishonest to say the "McCain-Clinton plan" would result in bridges falling down due to lack of funding for infrastructure.  It's demagoguery.

by Steve M 2008-05-02 02:06PM | 0 recs
Your update is insufficient

There is no "Clinton-McClain plan."  Please cease immediately the use of that grossly dishonest and offensive phrasing.

This is a matter of fact, not of opinion.  Just say not to dishonesty.

by Trickster 2008-05-02 02:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Your update is insufficient

i agree.  there's no reason to call it this.  it's not the same plan and you should at least respect clinton's idea.  

in the end, it might not end up as any different once it gets signed but there's still a chance that hillary's plan gets passed in tact.  don't make it sound like hillary is going to co-sponsor the bill with mccain.

even hillary's bill as is deserves criticism.  ("taking from one pocket of oil companies, filling the other)

by ab03 2008-05-02 02:27PM | 0 recs
Not so

The point you made that there is little difference between Clinton and McCain is ridiculous.  MAKE the Rethugs vote against the gas companies spending their gazillions to help the American taxpayer.  MAKE the president veto that bill.  You think Americans are mad now, you would have them seething then.  Clinton has a brilliant plan, and Pelosi and her crew of "It isn't fair to ask us to DO anthything," are a bunch of sorry losers.

by candideinnc 2008-05-02 02:16PM | 0 recs
Doggie Treat Economics

We need a serious president.

by Bush Bites 2008-05-02 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Doggie Treat Economics

We need a serious CONGRESS.

by stefystef 2008-05-02 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Undeclared Superdelegates Don't Like

If it were a one off it would be no biggie, but for some time Senator Clinton has been antagonising super delegates in pursuit of a certain demographic in primary elections.

For some time now she has been in more need of super delegate votes than boosting primary votes.

After praising Senator Obama for a winning campaign she should blame nobody but herself for losing the nomination.

by My Ob 2008-05-02 02:23PM | 0 recs
Unfortunately, the dems in congress

would be against anything that does tax windfall profits, notwithstanding the fact they are having hearings on this right now.  

This is not just about "GWB never signing this deal", its also about the dems in congress who's power would be threatened by any serious change (Reid, Hoyer, Pelosi for example), even after GWB is gone. How many of these same people voted FOR the Cheney energy bill, the one that permits continued gouging at the pump and in the field?  So how sincere really, is their protest?  Or does their protest give them cover to do nothing?

Whether minor or not, this kind of opposition to any tax on big oil just shows how difficult it is going to be for any democratic candidate, nominee, or president to "change" things...even with the expected gains for Dems in the Senate and House.  No matter what, and whoever is the democratic president, they will need to be pushed in more progressive directions...

With that said, no ultimatum is a good idea, whether it is "do the gas tax relief", or "vote for me or AA's will leave the party"!

by 4justice 2008-05-02 02:27PM | 0 recs
Lets spell it out clearly

Alright, lets try to spell this out very clearly for  supporters of this gas tax holiday idea.

This is what would like happen:

  1. Congress cuts gas tax.
  2. Congress passes windfall profits tax on oil companies to make up for revenue lost from the gas tax.
  3. Oil companies raise price of gas to cover the amount they pay in windfall profits tax.

Result:
The American people don't save money, the gas companies continue to gouge consumers.  

Additionally, this assumes that Bush and the GOP wouldn't block (via veto or filibuster) any legislation containing windfall profits taxation on the oil companies.  Thats extremely unlikely and to hope for that seems misguided and naive.

I don't buy the argument that Clinton's idea is flawed in that it would cut revenue to be spent on infrastructure, because if it were passed in its entirety, the windfall profits tax would make up this loss of revenue.  However, the windfall profits tax would likely not pass.  

Thus, if some compromise measure were reached w/o the windfall profits tax, then we WOULD lose revenue usually spent on infrastructure, the price of gasoline would not drop, and the oil companies would be doing just as well as before.

So, can any supporter of this idea explain why this is worth supporting?

by sorrodos 2008-05-02 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Lets spell it out clearly

$15 a month in the pockets of the working man.  the rest of that budget stuff be damned.

can i just point out that this might be the most non-Democrat thing Hillary has done?  Not in a bad divisive way, just in a party lines sort of way.  Cutting taxes, giving a very nominal rebate while claiming victory for the working man.   this is what bush did for the entirety of his political career starting in Texas.   Is this the future of the Democrat populism?

by ab03 2008-05-02 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Lets spell it out clearly

This woman is foolish at this point, GONE!

by Hope Monger 2008 2008-05-03 06:08AM | 0 recs
Undeclared Superdelegates sicken me

You know what?  Fuck 'em.  I'm serious.  I haven' heard one thing from the Democratic Party about how they can help people in the immediate.

What a bunch of whiny babies.  They disgust me.

Piss or get off the pot.  

by stefystef 2008-05-02 04:21PM | 0 recs
Obama will take a hit on this

... canvassing in Levittown, PA two weeks ago, the one, I tell you one, house we came across that was pro-Obama, was totally worried about the price of gas.  They would talk about nothing else.  I think HRC has the foresight to see both short term and long term solutions here and that is the basis of her recent proposal.

Look - if we don't win this election - there'll be no gas price relief for the middle class.  HRC has her eye on the endgame here.  Pelosi, not so much.

by Molee 2008-05-02 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will take a hit on this

you really need to read Diaries before you comment on them

by wellinformed 2008-05-02 07:58PM | 0 recs
Her proposal puzzles me, frankly

There are plenty of Clinton supporters in the political and punditry world who oppose this proposal, and the fact that she made it truly puzzles me:

1. it is bad energy policy and climate policy --we need to reduce gasoline consumption, not encourage it;

2. there are plenty of ways to ease the burden on working families directly through the tax code that one could propose as an immediate "with me or against me" bill...one doesn't have to use the gas tax to strike that pose [for example: a tax credit based on distance driven to work...or any tax relief for middle-to-low income families];

3. Puzzling: she has to know that this erodes her "experienced...solutions" meme; the narrative that will develop is that she is cynical, naive, or both....what good is her expertise if she wastes it on cynical proposals thrown in the face of Congress?

4. Even more puzzling: the gauntlet thrown down to Congress in this particular way; as Udall makes clear, it is likely to hurt more than help with super delegates

4.1 echoing McCain all the way

5. True, it is probably effective with voters on Tuesday, but at the price of losing supers (see 4)

all in all...seems like a misstep to me, and I think that will become clear after Tuesday's votes are counted

Puzzling.

by trubble 2008-05-02 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Her proposal puzzles me, frankly

...what I mean is that, after the votes are counted, she may appear to have gained...but after a bit the analysis in my post may take hold....

by trubble 2008-05-02 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Her proposal puzzles me, frankly

Her proposal is strange indeed and does not make sense for the reasons you outlined.  But...  if HRC loses both NC and IN, she is in deep, deep trouble with the supers because the case against Obama will be diminished.  

Her campaign is now at the point of living week to week, trying to get past IN (which she should win) and on to more friendly states for her.  In the very short term, she needs to pander to voters, "solutions" be damned.  She is aiming to keep the supers on the fence right now, rather than force a choice which would favor Obama.

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-05-02 08:20PM | 0 recs
Contact your superdelegates

The Democratic race for nomination is very much alive - and most likely to be decided by superdelegates. Nevertheless.. Indiana ,Idaho and West Virginia are still to come.

If you're tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to LobbyDelegates.com and push them to support Clinton or Obama

If you haven't done so yet, please write a message to each of your state's superdelegates at http://www.lobbydelegates.com

It takes a moment, but what's a few minutes now worth to get Obama in office?!

Sending a note to current Obama supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Clinton supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Obama, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Obama. It's that easy...

Clinton Supporters too .... !

It takes a moment, but what's a few minutes now worth to get Clinton in office?!

Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It's that easy...

REALLY easy to identify the superdelegates and reach out to them! It includes a list of names, addresses, and affiliations of superdelegates from each state including your state

by Jack08Democracy 2008-05-05 03:45AM | 0 recs

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