Gas Prices And The Gas Tax
by darwinism, Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:20:37 AM EDT
I must admite that I was never a big fan of Hillary's gas tax holiday, but according to this article, the people who are affected most by the ever increasing gas prices are her core constituents.
Opponents joked about the paltry savings families would get from a gas tax holiday. Mayors like Daley and Bloomberg called it dumb (not mentioning that the gas tax in their cities is pegged to a percentage of the pump price with no cap- bringing in untold sums of money to city coffers helping to alleviate budgetary deficits).
I think Hillary at least understood the symbolic, if that was all the savings afforded, meaning of the gas tax holiday. Ironically, it would have provided 'hope' to these families that their government is trying to do something, albeit short term, with the rising fuel cost. Unfortunately, substantive articles like this came only after the debate had passed.
The disparity between rural America and the rest of the country is a matter of simple home economics. Nationwide, Americans are now spending about 4 percent of their take-home income on gasoline. By contrast, in some counties in the Mississippi Delta, that figure has surpassed 13 percent.
As a result, gasoline expenses are rivaling what families spend on food and housing.
"This crisis really impacts those who are at the economic margins of society, mostly in the rural areas and particularly parts of the Southeast," said Fred Rozell, retail pricing director at the Oil Price Information Service, a fuel analysis firm. "These are people who have to decide between food and transportation."
With the exception of rural Maine, the Northeast appears least affected by gasoline prices because people there make more money and drive shorter distances, or they take a bus or train to work.
The survey showed that of the 13 counties where people spent 13 percent or more of their family income on gasoline, 5 were located in Mississippi, 4 were in Alabama, 3 were in Kentucky and 1 was in West Virginia. While people here in Holmes County spent an average of 15.6 percent of their income on gasoline, people in Nassau County, N.Y., spent barely more than 2 percent, according to the survey.