Gas Tax Vacation All Biden Ever Wanted! Gas Tax Vacation So You Can Get Away!
It’s summer time and the living is expensive thanks to high inflation and gas prices, but President Joe Biden’s coming to the rescue! He’s proposing that the federal government stop collecting tax on gasoline — 18 cents per gallon on the regular stuff and 24 cents per gallon on diesel — until the end of September. Families won’t have to sell a kidney or a spare kid to visit Disney World. Well, to drive there anyway.
"By suspending the 18-cent ... federal gas tax for the next 90 days, we can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief," Biden said.
This is where we commie libs remind you that gas taxes are used to fund such common examples of government waste as road maintenance and repair. You might assume Republicans would love this idea, because they hate taxes — particularly gas taxes — almost as much as they hate women or trans people. That’s their jam. However, Joe Biden suggested it, so it’s obviously socialism. Republicans have a whole “Rabbit Season/Duck Season” approach to politics.
John Thune, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, scoffed at a gas tax holiday and suggested Biden’s plan is going nowhere, like Americans who can’t afford gas.
"What the administration, of course, is coming up with is yet another gimmick, another Band-Aid and something they know is dead on arrival up here in Congress," Thune said.
See, Biden has no real solutions just cheap gimmicks. It’s all showbiz, kid! Besides, midterms are in a few months, and it’s in the GOP’s best interests if Americans feel like it’s 1979 again. My beloved disco is barely hanging on, and everyone’s obsessing over gas prices.
What it certainly isn't is 2006, when a man by the name of John Thune proposed a gas tax holiday, because a Democrat wasn't president then.
Republicans in California and Connecticut have proposed gas tax holidays over the past year. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a gas tax holiday last year after (falsely) blaming rising gas prices on “inflationary pressures from bad federal policies.” DeSantis and the GOP legislature passed a $1.2 billion bill in May that would suspend the state gas tax in October, a few weeks before DeSantis is up for re-election. The bill also suspends state tax on diapers and baby clothes. Florida Republicans presented this as a necessary response to “reckless federal spending” under the Biden administration that sent inflation rates flying. That’s a bunch of lies, but it’s a narrative the GOP will reinforce with voters feeling the economic pinch.
Some economists argue against a gas tax holiday. They claim it's unlikely that overall gas prices would decrease, while oil company profits might increase by billions of dollars. Economists also warn that the short-term relief from a tax holiday might damage the economy long-term and only raise inflation rates
Democrats aren’t enthused with Biden’s plan, either, and remain noncommittal, like Biden had invited them to a backyard party without pool access. Senate (more-or-less) Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, "Senate Democrats tried to pass [a gas tax holiday] recently and it was blocked by Republicans. I believe the most important thing we can do to lower gas prices is crack down on Big Oil's manipulation of the gas market.”
That’s true, Senate Democrats introduced a gas tax relief act in February, led by Mark Kelly, and Republicans blocked it. The only option left is to shame the oil companies, though it's unclear what that might achieve. Even if you made them cry, they’d just wipe away the tears with $100 bills.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the big oil companies of profiteering and exploiting the marketplace, which is sort of their raison d'être, but this time it’s really hurting people. Wednesday, she released this statement in response to Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday: “We will see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the president’s proposal in the House and the Senate ... ” Yeah, she’s not coming the backyard party.
\u201cPelosi noncommittal re Biden's call for 3 month suspension of fed gas tax.. (Not a complete surprise. She's not a fan of it)\n\n"We will see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the President\u2019s proposal in the House and the Senate..."\u201d— Al Weaver (@Al Weaver) 1655923343
House Democrats passed the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act in May, as well as the Lower Fuel and Food Costs Act this month. Both are doomed in the Senate, thanks to the Democrat Face Puncher 9000 we mean the filibuster.
Look, a gas tax holiday isn’t great policy. We actually do need to keep demand down if we stand any chance of decreasing inflation rates. However, in our car-centric society, gas is very much a necessity for Americans who will angrily cast votes in November. Republicans are in an ideal position because they don’t give a fuck. They’ll just blame any inflationary impact from their state-level gas tax holidays on Biden’s economic policies. Yes, we know they’re lying, but most of us aren’t swing voters.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."