Sunday, May 4, 2008

The “Gas Tax Holiday” — Politics as Usual

It would be nice if the media would stop their incessant carping about Rev. Wright (today the NY Post is delving into his personal life reporting that “BARACK’S REV. ‘STOLE A WIFE’”) for a moment to give Obama some considerable credit for refusing to jump on the gas tax holiday bandwagon and calling it exactly what it is: a cheap political gimmick. Well, not that cheap actually. It’s estimated that it will cost the U.S. Treasury $9 billion and 300,000 highway construction jobs while doing practically nothing for average consumers. In any case, it takes some considerable courage to adopt a principled stance that’s perhaps going to be unpopular the week before two key primaries (aren’t they all “key” according to the media?) in favour of doing the right thing.

As for Hillary’s boner today when she said “I’m not going to put my lot in with economists,” needless to say, former Clinton Labor Secretary (and noted economist) Robert Reich isn’t impressed. “In case you’ve missed it, we now have a president who doesn’t care what most economists think” he writes on his blog. “George W. Bush doesn’t even care what scientists think. He rejects all experts who disagree with his politics. This has led to some extraordinarily stupid policies.”

Hmmm. Kind of like our own government cutting the GST in the face of a pending recession and wasting billions on subsidies for corn-based ethanol. Apparently, the Stephen Harper Party of Canada doesn’t put its lot in with economists either, despite the PM sometimes pretending to be one!

Note: Before anyone points out the irony of deferring to “experts” after an earlier post concerning that topic, I’m well aware of it, thank you. But still…