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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

GOP Gas Pains In Ohio: VP Cheney Calls Boehner's Tax Suspension 'False Notion'

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Whatever one thinks about about Vice President Dick Cheney, this fact cannot be ignored. He's an oilman at heart. And Cheney says U.S. Rep. John Boehner, the House Republican leader from SW Ohio, isn't really doing much for consumers by pushing legislation to temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax. Cheney says it is sort of an empty fraud. You didn't know Boehner, R-8 Butler County, was behind that plan? You thought it was John McCain and Hillary Clinton's idea? Well, you would be wrong.

On May 30, Boehner said he was "supporting legislation . . . to suspend the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax for the summer. No one should mistake this for a comprehensive solution, and I'm under no illusion that this is going to end the pain motorists are feeling."

To be fair, Boehner also said he wanted to end earmarks to reduce the federal budget deficit (a pet project), although it was not clear how that would ease the nearly $4 per gallon cost of gasoline.

Cheney says suspending the gas tax won't really help consumers at all. The vice president basically dumped on the idea. Ohio's newspapers pretty much ignored the slap at the state's top GOP official in Congress. Cheney's words were widely reported:

"I think it's a false notion, in the sense that you're not going to have much of an impact, given the size of the gasoline tax on the total cost of the gallon of gas. You might buy a little bit of relief there, but it's minimal."


  1. Normally I'd argue in favor of reducing or eliminating any tax. However, VP Cheney is right this would solve nothing. The rise in the last few years of oil costs can be attributed to increasing demand and a limited supply. The price has just recently reached a price where people are reassessing their driving habits. If we temporarily drop the price 18 cents then people will increase their driving obviously increasing demand. If we really want to impact price then we need to aggressively explore any location that geologists determine may have oil reserves while simultaneously developing alternative fuels that don't involve taking food and turning it into fuel (ethanol).

  2. LargeBill --

    I'd like to see more clean coal research. I think that holds promise to help wean us from the oil economy, which now involves far too much of American wealth being transferred to the Middle East. We're suckers for making the Saudis and their ilk the world's fattest cats. And we need to take a look again at nuclear power. With 21st Century, the nukes of the future probably won't be much like those built in the 1960s and 1970s. The Navy seems to operate pretty safely and reliably. I wonder if its power plant technology is more advanced than what we have in the private utility sector, and I wonder if the Navy's reactors could be scaled up for commerical applications. Probably some classified stuff that is under wraps there, but maybe some way to get it into commerical uses.

    LargeBill, I an not convinced that desperately hunting for more and more oil on this Earth is the answer. I think that has harmed our national interests over the long run -- it has made us too dependent on others.