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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Pander party

If Hoosier voters were so smart in "seeing through" Hillary Clinton's federal gas-tax holiday, why didn't they similarly turn on Jill Long Thompson and her similar cap on the state sales tax on gas?

Hoosier voters showed in last week's primary that they're smarter than the pundits thought.

[. . .]

After all, if voters believed Clinton's plan to eliminate the 18.4-cent federal gas tax would reduce prices, her margin of victory would have been higher. Instead voters seem to believe Obama's call for energy conservation -- and a $1,000 tax cut.

Makes you wonder if Republican candidate, John McCain, will stop talking like Clinton when it comes to gas taxes.

The answer is, of course, that Long Thompson's gubernatorial opponent pandered, too, with his own cut-the-cost-of-gas ideas.

As many critics (including me) have pointed out, these tax holidays or caps are just gimmicks. Individual drivers won't save much, but in the aggregate a lot of money will have to be done without or made up for. And there could be unitended consequences, such as an an increase in demand that brings even higher prices.

But let's not overlook one detail. Such pandering at least lets me keep some of my money, however, little, instead of having to fork it over to somebody else. It's hard to be too negative about that prospect. Do it often enough in enough areas, and it might even be worth cheering about. It's called tax relief or tax cuts or something like that. I forget.