questions

So much has been said about the gas tax but there are of couple of questions still not dealt with. The reader can answer those  for himself and decide whether the gas tax holiday made sense
What is the purpose of the federal gas tax? is it meant to lower the usage of gas or for road construction? Is it important whether the buyer(us) or the seller(gas companies) pay the tax? Would holding the gas price at this price or twenty cents lower lead to increased usage?
 If it is ok for richardson , Deval ,susan rice, robert reich to  disregard their loyalty to the clintons in campaigning against Hillary in the name of the country then why would it not be ok for the clintons or their supporters not to actively support Obama if they felt it was in the larger interest of the country?  In other words loyalty for the country good for some but not good enough for  Clinton supporters?

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proof gas tax holiday worked;Obama flawed

There are 2 bits of conventional wisdom in the "elite" media :

1. that the "pandering" of Clinton on the Gas tax Holiday backfired.  As their logic goes, Obama stood up and told a hard truth and was rewarded by the voters.

2.  that Obama has overcome his "elite" and "Rev. Wright" problems

I disagree with the whole template of #1, but without attacking the premise, the conclusion is clearly wrong.  As for #2  the facts from the NC exit poll proves them wrong:

1.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primari es/results/epolls/#INDEM

The race started out with Obama +4 (very close to his prediction weeks ago)--I got this number from those who made up their mind before the last month.  Then

Hillary won the last month +4
            the last week  +12
            the last 3 days +16
            the last day +14

That means for the last month as Hillary was attacking on the gas tax, Hillary won by numbers that would have given her momemtum in the race in almost everyone's eyes.  These are the facts, rather than spin.  

Obama started off with a lead, and lost it.  The media knows this because he predicted it in his spreadsheet, and it hasn't been wrong very much.

What happened was that the media felt like throwing the race to Obama and waited for the opportunity from the NC "blowout".

2.

As for Obama moving past his elitism and "Wright", the best comparison is looking at Virginia and S.C., compared to NC.  These states are very similar with large black populations and rather conservative whites.

Obama did well with african americans.  I'm discounting this only because for the last 3 months there has never been a dip in any state in the black vote below 75-80%.  This means that as a group A.A.'s aren't paying attention to the debate, they are voting for Obama based on race.

White women, and White men however have voted for Obama in Wisconsin, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, etc.

So they are "gettable"

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primari es/results/epolls/#NCDEM

Yet in NC,  Clinton won:

White Democrats by 25 points in NC
White Independents by 20 points in NC
Republicans (mostly white) by 28 points in NC

For Hillary to drop out under these circumstances would be irresponsible.

What if there has been a permanent change in that Obama can win A.A.'s and educated whites, and then is stuck?

We will find out in Oregon for sure.
If Obama loses the same demographics as he has the last 2 months, he is a flawed candidate.

HRC is actually stronger after Indiana and N.C. that she was beforehand.  Look at the facts.  The question is whether Democrats will choose facts over emotions.

We can complain in November or win and sort it out later.
HRC for POTUS is still on track!

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Study suggests gas tax holiday would work?

Sorry for the length, or lack thereof, of this diary. HRC supporters are pushing this bogus gas tax holiday issue, and they've gained newfound confidence in the idea that somewhere there is an actual study/analysis that shows it to be a good idea. Now, this first came to light in the Salon piece by George Foster - an attorney, not an economist. That piece is available at http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/200 8/05/06/gas_tax/

In it he states:

But Obama is wrong. He did not learn this lesson. In fact, the only scientific study done on the pass-through of the tax holiday savings to Illinois consumers (and those in Indiana, as well, whose citizens enjoyed a similar holiday) found that it actually worked to a large extent.

The study is titled "$2.00 Gas! Studying the Effects of a Gas Tax Moratorium," by Joseph J. Doyle Jr. and Krislert Samphantharak. Download the PDF here. The authors concluded that "the suspension of the 5% sales tax led to decreases in retail prices of 3% compared to neighboring states. And when the tax was reinstated, retail prices rose by roughly 4%."

This suggests that the tax holiday delivered at least 60 percent of the tax savings to motorists.

Notwithstanding the lunacy of pointing to as a success a tax "holiday" that shows it was still raided to the tune of 40% by middle men/producers, the rush to find ANYONE to say ANYTHING that is even remotely supportive of the policy is funny to watch, ESPECIALLY when you consider what the author of the study actually thinks about the Clinton plan.

http://www.williampolley.com/blog/archiv es/2008/05/gas_tax_holiday.html

The Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog says that my comments (specifically the last sentence above) are "probably the strongest show of support available". That may be. Though I meant it to be a bit of "damning through faint praise." My criteria for good public policy is that it be well out of the neighborhood of "pointless." Still, I'll bet others would agree that the consumer might benefit a few cents, but I think it is safe to say that we stand firm in agreement that this is a bad, bad idea.

So keep trying, you're still at 0 "economist elites".

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UPDATE: Hillary's War on Science

Pity the poor scientists. The Climatalogists are treated as world-conquorers trying to push some fake 'Global Climate Change' policy on our poor children. Real Americans know better.

The scientists say: "What? Were just studying, researching, publishing, understanding -- you know, doing science. Sorry if you don't like the results"

The Biologists are treated as heathens, fanatical zealots of the false god Darwin who refuse to look at other theories. Real Americans know better.

The scientists say: "What? We're just studying, researching, publishing, understanding -- you know, doing science. Sorry if you don't like the results.

The elitists Historians and Political Scientists who spoke out against the war -- and more so against mistakes that followed are anti-American traitors who'd rather see al Qaeda dance triumphant on American bodies than support the President. Real Americans know better.

The scientists say: "What? We're just studying, researching, publishing, understanding -- you know, doing science. Sorry if you don't like the results.

Now, the elitist economists want to see Americans starve, miss out on a necessary gas tax holiday that will lift the middle class out of their financial crisis.

The scientists say: "What? Wait a second. Hillary Clinton is saying this? We expect this from Bush, but Hillary? Really? You mean the unanimous consent of national experts is really worth nothing ONCE AGAIN?"

Then the scientists say: "Wait a second. Smart progressives are buying into this anti-intellectual pablum? Really? Screw this, we're taking our degrees and going to Europe."

And they add:

"By the way, Brawndo's Got What Plants Crave."

UPDATE: Some wiseguys here are making the age-old argument that Economics isn't a science. For them I offer an old article about how the Brits are answering it. It neither supports or defies my premise... since I don't mind dissent. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040706/asp/frontpage/story_3459850.asp ...which discusses how the Royal Society and Cambridge argue the merits of Economics as a science. One commentator notes:
And in my view economics is surely a science. We produce empirical knowledge which is subject to process of testing, broadly interpreted, and feedback; see my post above. We even now have controlled experiments. And look at some of our competitors. String theory is not yet empirical. Environmental science and ecology are rife with ideology. Astronomy doesn't have controlled experiments.
I agree, obviously. My sociologist wife, who relies entirely on peer reviewed data and mathematical analysis for her work, obviously agrees. My physicist father long disagreed, but changed his mind once he got into String Theory.

The Gas tax: Hillary vs Obama

There has been a lot talk about the recent gas tax holiday that Hillary (and McCain) have proposed. And Obama has called pandering. The media, helped by the Obama campaign, has gone along with this characterization of Hillary's proposal (though oddly that same frame has not been applied to McCain and he is somehow not pandering). And of course there is a huge difference between what Hillary proposed and what McCain proposed that for the most part has been given short shrift. She would pay for hers by collecting the tax from oil companies instead and McCain will yet again put it on the national credit card. So Hillary's proposal causes no loss in highway funds and no loss of revenue or jobs as Obama has tried to suggest.

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Diaries

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