Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/busine ss/09gas.html?hp

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."
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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.

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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.

Tags: gas tax, Hillary Clinton (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

It doesn't matter...the gas tax holiday will just shift money from the American government to oil companies...why because the prices will immediately go back up because demand will spike because of lower costs. You would have prices back to where they were a couple of weeks before and offering no real relief to anyone. People will shift their consumption if it gets too high.

by applejackking 2008-06-09 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

right, but with gas at $4 a gallon, taxes that are not capped will start to hurt (i.e. a tax on the monetary amount of the gas purchased).

http://www.gaspricewatch.com/usgastaxes. asp

by darwinism 2008-06-09 10:06AM | 0 recs
So wouldn't it make sense...

to get those taxes capped?

by marchmooner 2008-06-09 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

This isn't an issue of rural vs. urban or "elites" vs. common folk.

EVERYONE is affected by rising fuel prices regardless of how much we commute because we are consumers, and transportation costs play into much of what we consume.

The point is that it is only a symbolic gesture that makes no sense on its face. If you provide a gas tax holiday that is magically paid for by a windfall profits tax, then why not abolish gas taxes altogether? It's not like the tax is temporary.

And even if you get the tax passed, those "savings" will be mostly consumed along the retail chain. That, in turn, will make people gas up that much more, and the crunch will be worse than ever.

You want to to tamper the prices? Stop the energy speculating, and begin a serious initiative that invests equally in mass transit and a broad spectrum of renewable sources.

by Reeves 2008-06-09 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

note that i did not use the word "elite."

i would point out, as the article did, that in manhattan, i have the option of taking the subway (or bus or train) or walking to places i need to get to. so in terms of gas prices, there are difference in experience between rural and urban.

again, the point of the article is about gas prices and how it's affecting rural america. i'm not sure how mass transit will help them.

by darwinism 2008-06-09 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

There's no one magical solution for the whole country. Some rural areas will be best benefited by cellulose ethanol. Some urban and suburban areas need mass transit. It'll take that and wind, solar, plug-in hybrids, and everything else under the sun to change this.

Our entire energy policy has to change, and there is no quick fix. Anyone who promises one...is pandering.

by Reeves 2008-06-09 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

It really is a dumb policy.  It won't result in any savings because people will drive more if the price of gas is lower.  The increased demand will then increase the price of gas.  

The solutions to this problem needed to be implemented years if not decades ago.  If rural voters want to blame someone for high gas prices they should blame George Bush for doing nothing to fix this problem.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-09 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

i'm not sure if you read the article but people in rural america are trading in meat just so they can get to work. i'm not sure they'll be taking a road trip if gas prices went down even from $4 to $3. the point of the article is how it's affecting rural america.

by darwinism 2008-06-09 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

Wow, straw man much? Nobody is saying that if prices go down that people will start bathing in unleaded just for the fun of it.

The point is that people WILL drive more if gas becomes more affordable just as they now drive less because it is so expensive. That increased demand will then drive the prices back up, and good luck with that Windfall Profits Tax...

Meanwhile, who got helped here? Nobody. No amount of gas tax cutting will take the price of gas down fifty cents or a dollar.

by Reeves 2008-06-09 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

i have not driven since i moved to ny from ca, but $3 and $2.50 still seems absurdly high to me. if people want to drive more because gas prices went to the bargain price from $4, then they deserve higher gas prices. but i suspect it will not be the ones from the nytimes article that will be driving more.

if a state and local gas tax is pegged at a percentage of the monetary cost of the gas purchased, at $4 a gallon, a tax holiday would bring  down the cost which amounts to real savings for a certain segment of the population. maybe not for you or i.

by darwinism 2008-06-09 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

So why bring up the gas tax then?  

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-09 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

I brought it up because i came across the article which would have been nice to have during the gas tax debate a few weeks ago. I brought it up because at $4 a gallon...and who knows how much more it will go up- it's going to be a big issue through the election. And if it goes any higher than that, any candidate will need a damn good argument not to have a gas tax holiday.

by darwinism 2008-06-09 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

A gas tax holiday is a wicked stupid idea is a damn good argument against implementing a gas tax holiday.  Don't take my word for it.  Google it. There was a lot of discussion about it.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-09 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Gas Prices And The Gas Tax

I've paid close attention to the debate. I don't need to google it. As I said on my post, I was never crazy about the idea.

but try telling this person that saving a few dollars a week is a bad idea. i mean, just google it.

"I make it by the grace of God," she said, and also by replacing meat at supper with soups and green beans and broccoli. She fills her car a little bit every day, because "I can't afford to fill it up. Whatever money I have, I put it in."

by darwinism 2008-06-09 12:54PM | 0 recs

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