Wednesday, April 16, 2008

At Least We Can't Be Too Stupid

by Tom Bozzo

Seeing how John McCain's crack (smoking) economic team managed to fool Our Ever-Sharp Media as to the magnitude of the federal gas tax (correct answer: 18.4 cents), I have to ask the question — feature or bug? For McCain, I have no idea. For the economy at least, at times like these the low gas tax becomes a crypto-feature because Politicians of Great Integrity who Wisely Love the Free Market except when the market has to be counteracted for political purposes can only make St. Greg de Pigou cry so much. Same goes for such local initiatives as may arise related to the modestly higher state taxes. Ultimately, the political answer may be, why bother if nobody will notice.

Obviously, it would have been a good idea to have funded the transition from the drive-anywhere-for-anything economy before Peak Oil struck, but the best policy (going along with the principle that the Fed should do its bit to accommodate the needed expenditures) would be better late than never.


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