U.S. Presidential candidates and the federal gasoline tax Sen. McCain recently proposed suspending the federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents/gallon, and making up the lost revenues to the Highway Trust Fund from general revenues, ie. adding to the deficit. Now Sen. Clinton wants to suspend the tax but charge the oil companies a "windfall profits tax," which as far as I can tell would be passed on to consumers anyway, hence not altering the retail price at all. Regardless, most experts believe that suspension of the tax would have little to no impact on the retail price, as refiners cannot increase production to meet whatever increase in demand would result from a slightly lower price. Not to mention that the higher price should eventually lower demand or lead to increased supply (though with the regulatory/upfront cost difficulties in building new refineries, that may not be the case), which is what we want - so a temporary artificial downward adjustment in the price would be counterproductive. Sen. Obama describes both proposals as pandering to voters with a gimmick. This article shows he voted to suspend the Illinois gas tax when he was in the state legislature, though he now says he learned from the lack of results of that tax holiday. Now, I am usually all for tax cuts, but I am equally against increasing the deficit - and if the cut would not acheive it's desired result, it looks like a bad idea. I actually think that Obama is on the right side of the issue (this time), though I don't think he has done a good job of explaining why. What's your opinion? Maybe we should have a running election thread rather than starting a new one for each issue that arises. What do you think?