On gas and Clinton
Over at TfK, Josh more-or-less reads my mind about the rank stupidity of McCain and Clinton calling for a suspension of the gas tax:
This is stupid, because it won’t actually cut prices (the price of a good like gasoline is dominated by how much customers are willing to pay, and fiddling with the tax won’t change demand, just how much money oil companies get and how much goes to the government). It’s also stupid because it will starve the government of funds it uses to maintain roads, and infrastructure maintenance is always good, and is especially important as a form of counter-cyclical spending in a recession. Finally, it creates the impression that gas prices are dominated by onerous taxes, when in fact, the price of gas is driven by market forces, and will only be lowered by changes in behavior.
When faced with 200+ economists who disagree with the plan, Clinton derides "elite opinion" – you know, the opinion of those with years of training in a field.
Josh is, I think, being a little too kind to Clinton. I have given up on her as her actions (particularly with regards the screw-up by the Michigan and Florida Democrats) have only shown that she will do anything to win. While she’s preferable to McCain, it ain’t by much. Either way, it will be politics as usual.