4.27.2008 | McCain speaks out for the poor

Taxes: Who's getting shafted?
And in the same breath he speaks out for the "100 million Americans" — less than one-third — who would be affected by a capital gains tax increase under Barack Obama's economic proposal. So as the Republican nominee McCain is carrying the mantle of supply-side conservatism (or, as Bush put it in 2000, calling the elites "his base"). That's understood.

But what caught my breath was seeing McCain refer to Obama's stance on the gas tax as being "defined by special interests." (For the record, McCain proposed a summer gas tax holiday, while Obama is against.) Now, it seems to me lower gas taxes might mean more gasoline sales for oil companies, which would mean more profits for them. What special interest could possibly stand to gain from lower gas sales figures?

Obviously Sen. Obama does not understand that this would be a nice thing for Americans, and the special interests should not be dictating this policy.

Sen. John McCain on a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax, currently fixed at 18.4 cents a gallon

The only "special interest" I could find pushing for a higher gas tax was in Minnesota — home of last summer's I-35W bridge collapse — where the state's association of counties wanted more revenue. But with crumbling infrastructure around the country, tight state budgets and mounting national debt, if government itself has become a special interest in McCain's dictionary, we're in for a more topsy-turvy campaign season than I expected.

And if this is what the national debate looks like, God forbid what might happen if anyone were to suggest increasing the tax.

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