Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I just don't get it -- Kennedy gas tax holiday

Posted by Craig Westover | 11:32 AM |  

So to solve a problem caused by too little supply, the GOP is proposing a solution that would increase the quantity of gasoline demanded. From the Mark Kennedy camp --

Kennedy Calls for Summer Suspension of Gas Tax
Result Would Immediately Drop Prices at the Pump 18.4 Cents per Gallon

(St. Paul, Minnesota) – Yesterday, Congressman Mark Kennedy wrote a letter to House colleagues asking for support of his Summer Relief for Motorists Act, which would suspend the federal gas tax from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Suspending the 18.4 cents per gallon tax would immediately lower prices at the pump.

Kennedy’s plan would also replace any lost revenue for the Highway Trust Fund by collecting deep-water lease royalty fees that were previously uncollected due to an oversight of the Management and Mineral Service. The $7 billion would hold the Highway Trust Fund harmless without raising taxes.

“There has been too much grandstanding with politicians holding press events at gas stations and pointing fingers, but not offering any real solutions to the high cost of gas prices,” said Mark Kennedy. “I’m proposing the Summer Relief for Motorist Act to move beyond the partisanship, beyond the politics and beyond the finger-pointing. I’ve proposed a real solution that would immediately lower prices at the pump 18.4 cents per gallon.”

“We can help Minnesota families and small businesses in the short term by suspending the federal gas tax over the summer, while we keep working toward the long term solutions like ethanol, hybrids, and hydrogen energy,” Kennedy concluded.
If I'm wrong on this, maybe some of the Kennedy bloggers can give me some insight. Or would it just be wrong if it were only a Democrat proposal?

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., called for a temporary holiday from the federal gas tax. This would send exactly the wrong message if oil really is scarce and government wants to encourage alternatives. [Ed Lotterman, Pioneer Press]
This proposal just doesn't make sense. And King agrees.

Update: Kennedy vs. The Machine fisks Amy Klobuchar's latest email on gas prices. I have to give the guys credit -- it's tough to write substantial criticism of Klobuchar's insubstantial fluff. But just fisking Amy isn't enough, especially when so much of Kennedy's energy policy differs from Klobuchar's only in degree not direction. Unless she's elected, Klobuchar is just talking. Kennedy is pumping his tax holiday into the House even as we blog. It might be better to bring Republicans to their senses and make the party stronger and more principled than simply bash the opposition.