Hillary Clinton’s GOP Strategy in Force on Gas Tax Farce

Posted by: David Kiley on May 2, 2008

Senator Hillary Clinton on Friday continued to press her support for a gas tax holiday this summer, which most economists say would be a mistake and would save drivers around $25.00 to $30.00.

There is so much wrong with the idea of a gas tax holiday, it’s hard to know where to start. It will add to the deficit, psychologically encourage people to drive more and short-change road and bridge repair budgets. It’s also an administrative and planning nightmare to turn a tax off in May and turn it back on in September.

But Clinton knows a piece of election year bacon when she sees it. John McCain was the first to suggest it. Senator Obama is against it for all the economic and rational reasons. For not the first time, Senator Clinton is trying to persuade voters that she is more like John McCain than she is like Barack Obama.

The gas taxes go to supporting road and bridge projects. But in the GOP cum Sean Hannity world, any tax is a bad tax, so the more a candidate is for a tax rollback, the better the GOP likes it, even if it doesn’t make sense.

Mrs. Clinton introduced legislation in the Senate today proposing the gas tax holiday and covering the cost of it through a “windfall profits” tax on oil companies, a campaign spokesman said. Yikes.

This is legislation that has no shot of being passed this year. None. Zero. Zip. And even if by some miraculous method, the bill did get passed…guess what oil companies would do to make up for it? They’d raise the wholesale price of gas. So, it would be a wash for the consumer at best. But Clinton would be able to say she gave voters a tax holiday, and put an extra $25 bucks in their wallets on top of the Federal checks people will soon be getting.

Even though Mark Penn has been sidelined as the Clinton chief strategist, one mole in the Clinton campaign tells me that the polling they have seen shows that a gas tax holiday tests off the charts with the working class white voters Clinton sees as her key in what’s left of her chances to take the nomination away from Obama.

The next important state for Clinton to put in her win column is Indiana, a state full of working class white voters who have seen their state decimated by job loss. I hate to say this, but its true. The Clinton campaign polls for what scores with less educated voters. So, the strategy is to pursue whatever tests bests among people with the least education.

Say it slowly, and it sounds worse than how I just put it. The more education a person has, the more likely he or she is to support Obama. The less schooling one has, the more likely they connect with Clinton. There is a theme here. And this gas tax holiday fiasco is a microcosm of the situation in the Democratic party. Give them $25.00, and hope they don;t realize that they will be re-taxed by the oil companiees if her bill went through, and by state and Federal government later to make up for lost highway funds when her bill doesn’t go through.

This was also the reason Clinton went on the O’Reilly Factor this week. O’Reilly, like Hannity and Limbaugh have bigger audiences than, say, Don Imus. But Imus has always gotten much more money per 30-second ad, because his listeners are more educated and affluent and spend more money.

In Clinton’s words: “I believe it is important to get every member of Congress on the record. Do they stand with hard pressed Americans who are trying to pay their gas bills at the gas station or do they once again stand with the big oil companies? That’s a vote I’m going to try to get, because I want to know where they stand and I want them to tell us - are they with us or against us?”

In case you missed it—this is taken from the Bush playbook where he has told Congress that to vote against the Iraq occupation appropriations is to vote against the troops.

Clinton’s only hope of getting the nomination rests with super-delegates, a big chunk of which are in Congress. This approach may get her popular votes in Indiana, but playing the Bush card with Congress is likely to get her a pie in the face from her own party members.

It is the Hannitization and O’Reillyization of Hillary Clinton. This is her strategy of appealing to Indianians and North Carolinians who vote next week, two markets where right-wing radio, by the way, is big.

Reader Comments

Noz

May 2, 2008 10:02 PM

As you say, Herr Kiley, this is an interesting one. Pandering to the ignorant unter-klosses at at its very worst. Or is it best? Billary is a slick one, about as honest as a three-dollar bill, an attorney, well suited to be a pol. But somehow this massive character flaw is far too often unseen, or excused. Obpmber is actually saying something for a change, but few are listening any longer. The so-called fuel tax 'holiday' is a delusion and a snare, yet the dolts and dimwits are grabbing at anything now. Nothing is thought thru, difficult at best when one has a problem with one's checkbook, the phone book (if phone can locate one) not to mention being blasted 24/7 with anti-Bushie propaganda by the left wing media. Forget the Rightist talk shows for a moment, they are a problem all their own.

I find nothing but profound shame in this circus on the part of the Crats. Thank goodness I am not one ofthem, never have been. And that McCain does not just knuckle down and tell some truths, nothing but truths, is a bit disappointing. Yet we should all know the truth is often not recognized as such, the more bitter the pill, the greater the tendency to spit it up. And selfish self-destructive ignorant people have little if any judgement now, they are incapable from telling truth from flat-out lies å la Crat rhetoric. The left wing media hath traineth well, now the worms are all slithering home. But to what? From the looks of way far too many of our population, it is yet another in a long series of deep-fried 5000cal. comfort meals.

Also, since this is the Auto Beat Blog, I might add that the majority of these smarts-challenged folks drive vehicles, each made at a loss by the Failed Three. There is a theme here for a few to see as the colossal joke that it is.

Brian Miller

May 5, 2008 1:19 AM

While I am not a supporter of Clinton, nor Obama nor McCain, I am finding the smug "only dumb ignorant working rubes support Clinton" line to be rather common. The comment in the comment section blasting their intelligence again for buying domestic automobiles is also telling.

A great deal of the criticism of working voters in this country comes from people who claim to know better and be smarter. They know better about gas taxes, the deficits, cars, etc. They know better about *everything* apparently.

Which begs two questions. One -- if they're smarter than everyone else, especially the rubes, why aren't they in charge right now? And two -- given that the self-portrayed elites blasting the working class run both the Democratic and Republican parties, why is this country in such sorry shape when it's being run by "smart" people who have educations and high IQs and "know" so much more than the working class?

Food for thought, isn't it?

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