16th district Green Party congressional candidate Scott Summers writes today about GOP incumbent Don Manzullo’s and Democratic Party candidate Robert Abboud’s “pandering” about a federal Motor Fuel Tax holiday:
Gas tax pandering
Looks like my Congressional opponents, Don Manzullo and Bob Abboud, think they have found heretofore undiscovered crumbs at the bottom of the cookie jar.
Abboud and Manzullo and others — John McCain and Hillary Clinton for two — want a “summertime gas holiday”. Drop the 18.4 cent federal gas tax between now and Labor Day.
On May 5th, the Rockford Register-Star’s Chuck Sweeny reported:
“…I wrote in Sunday’s column that Abboud was against the tax holiday. I learned Monday that he actually is for the temporary repeal, even though he doesn’t think it will do any good in the long term. I stand corrected and puzzled. U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Egan, is for the tax holiday, too. Like Abboud, Don says it’s a short-term thing.”
Shall we revisit Economics 101?
A few bucks “saved” in gas taxes at the margin will only increase the demand at the margin. Net effect on gasoline prices: insignificant, if not zero. (Actually, the overall effect is worse than zero, because the available dollars to fix roads will be at a standstill for three months.)
And, like, PUH-LEEZE! We already have deficits out the wazoo, and we keep cutting taxes?????
Count on THIS candidate for Congress to tell it like it is.
Do we want decent roads on which to drive? Guess what: gas taxes need to go up. Do we desperately need a capital program here in Illinois, in order to capture and leverage already-pledged federal dollars for roads and bridges and other infrastructure? You betcha. Gas (and not sales) taxes need to go up.
Do we want to have interstate highway bridges that don’t suddenly collapse into rivers? Our fairy godmothers aren’t going to pick up the tab.
Do we need to refurbish mass transit in order to accommodate all the people who already want to get off the roads (at least some) in response high gasoline prices? Yeah, and gas taxes are the best way to do that. Do we need an accelerated program to tool up for alternative fuels for our cars? Yessir. Do we need to bring passenger rail service levels up? Absolutely.
Gas tax, folks. MORE gas tax. In fact — we need to bring gas taxes up to world levels.
I was in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago, where gasoline was well over five bucks a gallon. (And probably approaching six bucks by now.) The Canadians with whom my wife and I spoke were grousing about it, of course. Is there pain? Anger? Dislocation? Discomfort? Yes — worldwide. It’s not just us.
Don’t get me wrong: the monster spike in petroleum prices affects us all. And the oil giants should be levied a monster tax on their windfall profits.
But cutting petroleum taxes as an election year gimmick only delays — and magnifies — our collective dislocation and hardship down the road (pun intended).
Folks, we need to swallow bitter medicine. Increase gas taxes. If saying that costs me votes, well……..I don’t particularly care.
Oh, and permit me to introduce one of my campaign refrains for the coming months. Personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility, friends. Cut back on car use, as you are able. You know the drill. Bundle your errands, carpool, walk, ride a bike, take a bus or train.
And do you know what? In our capitalist economy (and surprise!, I personally embrace capitalism as the “least worst” economic system), that’s the best way back at the oily petroleum companies: simply don’t buy as much of their product.
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16th district Green Party congressional candidate Scott Summers is seen at his McHenry County College Board Presidency seat just before he resigned as board president after four of his colleagues (five, if you count student trustee Katie Claypool) voted to censure him and Donna Kurtz. The censure resulted from the two’s having the courage to express a change of heart about building a minor league baseball stadium at McHenry County College. What angered the majority bloc so much was the two had voted in favor of the proposal and were bold enough to express their position switch in front of the Crystal Lake city council the night of the zoning vote, which failed. The majority bloc later voted without discussion to kill the baseball stadium project. The picture of the gas price sign was taken in Crystal Lake on Saturday.