Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why are Clinton and McCain Singing the Same Gas Tax Holiday Tune?

I’d swear McCain said it first. I mentioned it way back here. John McCain’s solution to the straining economy is a summer gas tax holiday. And now we have Hillary Clinton calling for the exact same minimalist approach.

Now what is with that? Are we back to basic government as usual? Why is Hillary Clinton making it look like we don’t have a clear choice between her and John McCain? Really, I have to ask myself, if she is going to agree with McCain in her proposal of a gas tax holiday this summer, what else is she going to settle down and agree with him about?

As mentioned in my piece knocking McCain on this, not only will this not do ANYthing for the economy or an average American’s monthly bottom line – I think I estimated it would save me $13.32 for the entire summer – it takes away federal revenue that we use to maintain our infrastructure.

Our crumbling infrastructure.

Clinton goes one better than McCain, though, claiming that the holiday will have a trickle down effect where gas savings will be passed on to the downstream consumers.

“You’ve gotta bring those logs in; you’ve gotta send the finished products out. And the costs are sent down the supply chain, from the factory floor to the corner store.”
Now, where did I hear about that before . . . trickle down.

Oh, that’s right. That was Herbert Hoover’s and Dick Nixon‘s and Ronald Reagan’s way to justify tax cuts to the corporations and the rich. From Rolling Stone (2004):

“Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous "trickle-down" theory of U.S. economic policy. If the Rich get Richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow "trickle down" to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all.”
Now, for the first time, a Democrat (and, let us not forget, her Republican foe) is using the idea of the “trickle down theory” to justify a minimalist approach to an economy on the ropes.

The question posed at the top of this piece is “Why”. Why is Clinton doing this? Obama’s campaign has called it “a gimmick”. Basically true, a gimmick it is, but not only that, but an elitist gimmick. A “let them eat cake” gimmick. Clinton hopes to capture the votes of Americans for 18.4¢ per gallon, and she expectes them to be enthusiastic about the prospect. Clinton expects Americans, in the year of Change, to embrace the same old tired politics that go back to Herbert Hoover.

If anything, Hillary Clinton has just illustrated and underlined how her policies are to those of Barack Obama are . . . excuse me . . . as white is to black.

As Republican is to Democrat.

As old tired politics of smoke and mirrors are to the new politics of a new generation.

You have to ask yourself then, if the people Hillary Clinton is playing to these days is not the electorate in primary states, but uncommitted superdelegates, is this her message? Is she telling the superdelegates that the old politics still fit the Democratic Party like a glove?

Like a silk glove?


Anonymous said...

If Hillary was really serious she'd urge us to revitalize the economy by looking for loose change under the sofa cushions. WOOOO HOOOOO! Shop 'til you drop!

Anonymous said...

And they paint Obama as elitist. Good grief, he's the only one that doesn't think we're stupid!