Barack Obama claims that the gasloine tax break will only give the average consumer a break of $28. Hillary claims that it will give the average consumer a break of $70.
Hillary does make the point that individuals like truckers and long distance commuters will get even larger breaks.
Let’s look at the trucker. A week or so ago, I heard that it was costing a trucker $1200 to fill up their rig. For 300 gallons that’s a $54 break each time a trucker fills up. How many times will the average trucker fill up in the three months that the proposed gasoline tax holiday will cover? If he or she fills up 20 times or more then Obama’s $1000 rebate is already exceeded.
How will that decrease in expenses for the trucker effect the cost of the goods he’s hauling? Some.
So, in reality, the gasoline tax break is going to effect more than simply what it costs each time a person fills up his or her car. It’s going to effect the price of food they buy at the grocery store. It’s going to effect the price of clothes they buy for their children to return to school next fall. It’s going to effect the price of the medicine you buy to treat your summer allergies.
It will have a ripple effect that Barack Obama is simply or conveniently ignoring.
Since the price of gasoline lags about two months behind the price of crude oil, gasoline prices are going to be higher this summer. That’s a given. We haven’t seen the impact of $120 a barrel crude oil yet. Basically, we’re just feeling the effect of $90 a barrel crude oil. So, figure gasoline being about 33% higher in late June or early July than it is now. That’s right, somewhere over $5 a gallon. It will cost about $70 to fill up a compact car. That $1200 that the trucker has been paying will be $1500, at least. The $54 will still be $54.
Maybe, in addition to the gasoline tax break, the various government agencies will turn a blind eye to truckers hauling excess loads so they can get more bang for each diesel buck they spend. Frankly, by then, a lot of people will need it.
Those city buses that so many people shun may start looking attractive and standing a little while at the bus stop may not simply be an inconvenience but a necessity to get to work and keep the family fed and clothed. People might be coming home to a house that isn’t quite as cool as last summer. People might even be breaking loose those windows that have been painted shut for so many years.
It’s going to be a long summer … hopefully not too hot in addition … just to keep the cooling bills down … if cooling is even going to be affordable.
Green industries, solar power, wind power … they all sound good … altruistic goals to achieve. Who is going to be able to afford adding solar or wind power to their homes when they’re worrying about buying food to eat and fuel to get to work? Who’s going to care about an environmentalist’s panoramic view or the possible devaluation of Senator Kennedy’s vacation home on Nantucket Sound? Who’s going to worry about oil rigs over the horizon when they can’t afford to go to the beach? Who’s going to care about the pristine beauty of ANWAR when they can’t afford to air condition their home?
It’s way past time for people to get a reality check before reality hits everyone like a freight train and the freight train is almost here. And our Congressional representatives and state representatives have herded all of us onto the middle of the tracks.