Before us is a gas tax refund that voters (ahem.. we mean) .. drivers.. are wondering if they will see. Word on the street is that the 18 cents per gallon that the federal government uses to pay for infrastructure - is up for being suspended to help Americans cover the skyrocketing cost of gas.
This is your candidate in Demo mode. John McCain sees this issue from a Republican standpoint; he believes that cutting off the source of revenue that pays for the effort to wean us away from Saudi Arabian oil sources - is a good thing.
Hillary Clinton agrees with the republican position. She has publicly derided any opposition to keeping federal infrastructure revenues such as this excise tax - in place , by saying
"At the heart of my approach is a simple belief, .. Middle-class families are paying too much and oil companies aren't paying their fair share to help us solve the problems at the pump"
The two candidates, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton - are taking an interesting approach. I think its one that reflects their candidacy and policy outlook should they become president.
America's dependency on other nations is an interesting foreign policy game. Right now we as a country have some pretty interesting company as a result of our position as a superpower (with China ascendant) .. our list includes Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and yes. Iraq. Fun party, huh? Guess which one looks like Christopher Walken sitting in the corner.
When America entered Iraq , the Chinese almost threw their hats in the air and immediately began funding African oil-rich countries with infrastructure. This allowed the Chinese to quietly ratchet up their position in the world and can only be counted as a foreign policy victory on their behalf. Meanwhile, America was involved in a tangled set of new problems that we created for ourselves by pursuing the "quick fix". In fact, it is rumored that immediately after 911 there was discussion in the oval office of how it could be used as a pretext to hit Iraq. Oil companie executives think of the Iraqi oil fields with a twinkle in their eye, much as they would this repeal of the excise tax.
Barack Obama, whose candidacy is fueled by the American people as opposed to larger interests - chose to disagree with McCain and the republicans by taking the approach that the federal excise tax on gas is useful for funding research to get us weaned off the oil of these countries. This is an interesting approach for two reasons. First, there are echoes of a foreign policy decision here in this domestic issue - and second, it highlights a very different view of government than the type of democrat that has yielded so much to the Repubicans for so long.
Lets play a thought experiment - Suppose that, just before world war II, when Neville Chamberlain returned from his meetings with Adolf Hitler declaring "Peace in our Time" - the British Diplomat Neville Chamberlain returned from Germany, saying- "We have to go to war. It doesn't look like we need to go to war, now, Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich are a menace and a huge problem we need to address right now before its too late".
One young writer played that thought experiment out in a really nice paper for his Master's degree. The young man's name was John F. Kennedy. According to the young JFK, most britons wouldn't have followed along with that idea(!). He went on to write that nevertheless there were strategies that Chamberlain could have employed.
So, that brings us to Obama. Who disagrees with McCain. Obama seems to be saying that rolling back the excise tax - when oil companies purposefully run their refineries at reduced capacity, and at a time when America continues to be dependent on radical muslim countries for energy - is the wrong thing to do.
What Clinton and McCain have in common , apart from their position on bribing voters.. I mean.. delivering tax cuts to people who need them, is that they are making big oil donors to their campaigns very happy. You can almost see the happy oil company executives beating a path to Washington. You can hear the sound of their cheering. People were actually starting to drive less, now that gas is approaching 100.00 a tank fillup in some places.
Certainly there were some Britons who cheered, when Neville Chamberlain declared "Peace in our Time" - McCain and Clinton will be well received when they are bribing ..er.. informing voters... I mean drivers.. that they won't be paying more at the pump. And it might last for a few months before prices rise up again.
But the post-Pennsylvania electoral landscape showing Clinton getting no reasonable boost and the superdelegates effectively split , is the hidden stressor to everyone. McCain was painfully aware post-Pennsylvania, that he would have lost to both Obama and Clinton in a General Election faceoff in this important swing state.
But given that both Clinton and McCain share large donors as their base more than the insurgent campaign of Obama, is it reasonable to assume that , given 86% of Americans want cleaner air - this is how your candidate would operate in his or her tenure as president?