What do political parties think about the gas tax holiday? Depends on who proposes it

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Looking for a case study of our ultra-partisan politics? No need to search further than your local gas pump.

The ongoing debate over the gas tax holiday in Washington and several state capitals has become a classic example of our toxic partisan politics. When Democrats propose one, Republicans explicitly oppose it. And when Republicans ask for one, Democrats reject the idea.

Opponents of suspension of gas tax on merits are correct. At best, drivers see no more than some of the relief money, while the rest of the profit goes to oil producers and gas station owners. And instead of fighting inflation, reducing the tax only increases demand for that product where supply is limited. he drives the price UP, But this fight really doesn’t outweigh the merits. It’s about supporting your team.

which team are you on

Nationally, we saw this last month when President Biden proposed suspending the federal gas tax for three months. Republicans, who almost never see tax cuts not liking it, flatly rejected it.

Biden said Their proposed three-month gas tax holiday would give consumers “just a little bit of breathing room.”

Within minutes, Senate Republican leaders Mitch McConnell called it “An ineffective stunt…” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) went even further. he called it “Treacherous.”

It’s worth noting that as recently as 2018, Lee, along with fellow GOP senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Introduced a bill to cut the federal gas tax From 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 for five years. That was then.

Partisanship in the States

Then, there are states.

In Virginia, Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin proposed suspending the state’s 26 percent per gallon gas tax. His plan was heavily supported by Republicans in the legislature but was killed by Senate Democrats.

using almost the same language as Biden, Virginia Republican lawmakers insist The tax holiday was needed to help hard-pressed drivers. Democrats said it would cut much-needed funding for the roads.

In Connecticut, Democratic Governor Ned Lamont, sounding like a Republican youngkin, pushed for an extended gas tax holiday. Unlike Youngkin, He got his legislature to agree To suspend the tax until 1 December. Republicans went along, as the gas tax cut was included in a larger budget package. But Senate GOP leader Kevin Kelly declared himself “disappointed and overwhelmed by the delayed and limited tax relief” in budget planning, including the gas tax holiday.

The story was reversed in Georgia. Republican Governor Brian Kemp exercises his executive authority to elaborate and then raise again Gas tax holiday from late May to mid-August. That’s about three months—the same amount of time as Biden’s proposed vacation.

Democrats, including gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, took a different step from their Virginia brethren. almost looks like republicans, they Kemp reprimanded for not continuing with gas tax holiday by the end of the year.

some exceptions

Then, there is California. There, Republicans in the state legislature are calling for a gas tax holiday, State Sen. Brian Jones, who chairs the Senate Republican Caucus, calls high gas prices “an emergency” and says Democrats who oppose the idea are “greedy and somewhat arrogant.”

Democrats are mostly against it. but At least two senior congressional Republicans Want more than just a gas tax holiday in the Golden State. GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) contributed $300,000 to a ballot initiative aimed at repealing the state’s gas tax. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) paid $25,000. Both, surprisingly, oppose Biden’s proposed leave.

There are exceptions to hyper-bias. Some National Democrats opposed Biden’s proposed leave, which helps explain why the idea has already sunk to the bottom of the policy lagoon. Some California Democrats Support There a state holiday. New York enacted a gas tax holiday with bipartisan support.

But, in general, when it comes to the gas tax holiday, it’s all about which team you’re on, not what you actually think about taxes on motor fuel.

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