Election-Year Tax Gimmicks

President Bush and the Democratic Congress already have given Americans a tax rebate touted as an economic stimulant that isn’t likely to stimulate anything. Now politicians are tripping over themselves to offer more tax gimmicks as gasoline prices rise in this election year.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain was the first to propose a holiday from the federal gas tax (currently 18.4 cents a gallon) for the summer, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has embraced a similar idea, with the twist of adding a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies to cover the lost revenue from the tax break. Barack Obama, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, has criticized those plans but countered with a call for a middle-class tax cut.

If only we voters could get a summer holiday from this kind of pandering!

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