On the first half Diane Rehm show today, Thursday, May 1, 2008, there is a round table discussion about the utter lunacy of the so-called Tax Holiday being touted by John McCain and Hilary Clinton, but which Barack Obama has come out againt, claiming that it will not really save people much money, and it will also take money away from a highway and road infrastructure system in this country that is badly in need of repairs and updates — remeber the collapsing bridge in Minnesota anyone? Obama’s position is supported by all three guests on the show today, not to mention numerous other economists and other experts. In fact, Rehm’s producer could not find anyone who would come on the show and in support of the Tax Holiday.
Some of the points made on today’s show are as follows:
1) It is no surprise that Republican Presidential nominee John McCain would support this Tax Holiday, but according to one guest “Hilary should know better” and not just because she is a Democratic but because she has supported and put forth efforts in opposition to this very idea. No one else on the show defended her.
2) Another guesst said that it “was a dumb ideal all around”
3) It was universally agreed that this was nothing more than political pandering. Hence it supports Hilary’s politicaly sliminess, and Obama’s forthright stance even if it does not score him political points.
4) The Tax Holiday would save the average person maybe 50 cents a day and ultimately about $150 to $200 over the course of the summer. Mostly it will benefit the rich, people who drive a lot!
5) In comparison to point number 4, consider that the Tax Holiday will result in a $9 billion — not million, but billion — loss in revenues for road and bridge and other infrastructure repairs. Also, it will result in job loss, about 300,000. These are bluecollar construction jobs. Hey, working class Joe, how you like you buddy Hilary now?
Other issues touched on in the discussion included the fact that Mexico oil production has been descreasing. The US currently gets 7% of it’s oil from Mexico. According to one guest on the show, that could simply end. Mexico is having an internal debate about whether they should allow outsiders to come into the country to extract the oil. Currently, a Mexican government entity is responsible for oil production, but the Mexican government does not possess the technology to get to some promising oil reservese. There is a large contingent within Mexico that is adamently against allowing outsiders to take over oil production.
We should expect to see at $4 per gallon prices at the pump by summer’s end.
We are currently producing more biofuels via corn but stil more can be done by utilizing tree bark, switch grass and other sources.
The point is we have a serious crisis brewing here and in response to it John McCain, a memember of the ever-aging and increasingly out of touch Silent Generation, and Hilary Clinton, a quintessential Boomer if there ever was on, are playing politics. Shame on them!
Barack Obama, a Gen Xer, is the only candidate willing to deliver honest information and do the difficult work to address this situation and others that will no doubt face this country in the years, decades, and next century to come.