Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gas Tax Pandering

One of the things I never liked about Hillary's campaign was that it was just so deeply rooted in old politics at a very fundimental level. It was still about big money donors and powerplayers, top-down fantasyland polling, and just a basic level of contempt for the rubes. And it was that last thing that got me most of all: The Clintons think we're all morons and that we'd just support them because we always support them. Unfortunately for her, that only works if she's the only game in town; but given a choice, we'd rather not be treated like idiots.

And I'm reminded of this again reading about Hillary's Gas Tax Holiday proposal, which is like McCain's, except that it has an element to sticking it to the gasman that just looks like more election year pandering from someone who sees populism as a gimmick rather than a movement. And who knows, maybe all the folks at Carpetbagger are right and that this is going to help her. But I don't think so.

First off, people really aren't as stupid as everyone says they are. As I've argued before, they might not be paying attention to politics as much as we do, but they're not dumb. They blame Americans for Bush getting the Whitehouse and keeping it, but both those elections were stolen. And the fact that Bush has the highest disapproval ratings in modern history should be quite indicitive of American intelligence. And I'm quite convinced that even the diehards who still say they support Bush don't really. They support him for the same reason we supported Bill Clinton when he kept lying to us and acting like a conservative: Because we had to.

And so I not only think people won't fall for this ruse, but they'll be mildly offended at it. Sure, the McCain and Clinton supporters will call it genius, but I think undecideds will know better. They see how fucking high gas prices are and will realize that this eighteen cents a gallon isn't the thing killing us. It's the fact that gas prices have more than doubled in a very short time. And so this eighteen cents a gallon isn't even an effective band-aid. I don't know about you, but when I fill up my fourteen gallon tank, I'm thinking more about the $40-plus I'm spending on gas; not the $2.52 in gas tax I pay.

And I think most other folks will act the same way. This just looks like out of touch pandering on the part of Clinton and McCain, like they're going to bribe us with this mere pittance to make us happy and vote for them. If they could somehow get prices down into the $2 a gallon range, then I could see people being happy. And even then, that wouldn't solve any longterm problem at all and would still be pandering. It just wouldn't be insulting pandering.

But again, this is yet more of the old-school pandering we could expect from Clinton or McCain. Who needs real solutions when you can mock them with a relatively meaningless band-aid?

1 comment:

John of the Dead said...

The worst thing about this "gas tax holiday" is that it's essentially borrowing money from China to give to Saudi Arabia, with the oil companies skimming a bit on the way. The benficiaries are three entities that do NOT have the best interest of the American people at heart. Why should we give any of them a break?