04.19.08

Old News

Posted in Energy, Politics at 7:58 am by justakim

Ever wake up in the morning with a sinking feeling as something dawns on you? As if the impact of some news a few days ago hadn’t really sunk in?

This morning, I woke up with a delayed reaction to John McCain’s gas tax cut. I merely dismissed it at the time, rather than reacting with appropriate dismay. This news is so old, I can’t find a direct article without putting effort into it.

I love the guy, but what? If gas was elastic (demand is responsive to price) and the price goes up, we’d just drive less. If gas was inelastic (demand not responsive to price) and the price goes up, we’d just complain and drive the same. Now what would the gas companies do if taxes are removed? Charge more, of course! Sometimes it is true that companies pass prices along. Only when we’re willing to suck it up.

So, McCain wants to suspend gas taxes over the summer. Not only is that an unrealistically short time frame for government action, it also doesn’t give much time to react, which means that this idea is a no-go. But the question remains: Does he think that this truly would be good for the country and thinks government should hop to it, or does he just see a harmless opportunity to express sympathy? Neither sounds good.

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