Monday, June 09, 2008

Gas-tax vote grab; or, McCain the Con Man's pathetic pandering populism

By Michael J.W. Stickings


John McCain is yet again calling for a gas-tax holiday. Remember that terrible idea that surfaced a while back? (He and Hillary were for it, Obama was against it.) It's nothing but pandering populism, and it's been thoroughly criticized by everyone know who knows anything about it. (We posted critically on here, here, here, and here. One of us, our resident Hillary booster, was rather more enthusiastic about it here.)

Here's how I put it in one of the posts linked above: "Obama is right not to sign on to this madness.And why is it madness? Because it's 'a crass ploy for votes' that would stuff the coffers of the oil companies more than they are stuffed already, stuff the coffers of Middle East despots more than they are stuffed already, worsen global warming, and, and, and... and all without really doing anything substantial for those at whom the pandering and posturing is directed, namely, the American people... er, voters."

In short, it's terrible public policy.

Not that that's nearly enough to stop McCain, of course. For while he has at least acknowledged that it isn't "an answer to our energy problems," he is now pushing the idea aggressively. Again.

And I just can't do better than the title of Steve Benen's post from earlier today: "Like the villain in a bad horror movie, the 'gas-tax holiday' just won't die."

Not with McCain on board. Here's Steve with some typically fine commentary: "McCain is pushing a 'gas-tax holiday' that he certainly realizes is ridiculous precisely because he has nothing else to offer... This, regrettably, is McCain the Con Man. He's selling snake oil, hoping desperately that voters won’t know the difference. That his proposal wouldn't do anything to help low-income Americans, wouldn't lower the price of gas, and would boost oil company profits seems entirely irrelevant. A confidence man in the middle of a scam can't be bothered with reality -- it only gets in the way of the deception."

McCain the Con Man, Republican candidate for president, bullshit salesman.

Get used to it. There are still five months to go before the election.

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