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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hat tip to Mankiw who writes:
"The NY Times reports:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lined up with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, in endorsing a plan to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for the summer travel season. But Senator Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic rival, spoke out firmly against the proposal, saying it would save consumers little and do nothing to curtail oil consumption and imports.


... Of course the real credit goes to Austan Goolsbee, Obama's economic advisor. Clinton and McCain's proposal to suspend the gas tax (like an increase in the gas tax) would do little to change consumer behavior and do a lot to distort relative prices at a time where we need stability. Further, a suspension in the gas tax would likely serve just to further line the coffers of oil importers with increased revenue.

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