The federal gas tax on gasoline is currently 18.4 cents per gallon (24.4 cents on diesel). The current price of gasoline at the pump is about $ 5 per gallon, which means that if your local station is priced at, say, $ 5.50 per gallon above average and federal gas tax will be eliminated, the price will drop to $ 5.32 per gallon. gallons if Congress agrees to this break.
So the first question is whether any of the consumers who pay the highest gas prices (1) will even notice the change, much less (2) the slightly lower prices being linked to the arrogance of the federal government rather than to its product. the same price fluctuations that make consumers mention every time they get up at the pump.
The second question is whether gas retailers will really pass on the full 18 cents of savings to customers or simply keep prices as high as their local customers will pay, which is capitalism, and collect the difference as extra profit. Here’s a tip: it will definitely happen. Petrol stations across the country regulate prices every day according to not only fuel prices but also local competition. Gas prices at the pump are always rising sharply in response to supply pressures, but are falling much more slowly, because if consumers start paying higher prices, only local competition between stations will force sellers down again. Consumers’ demand for gas is relatively inflexible; In the very short and very long term, price changes can change consumer behavior, but in the medium term people need to go where they need to go. If you charge them extra dollars a gallon to get there, most of the country is well and really stuck paying them because there are no mass transit alternatives. It’s sharing, staying at home, or crowding out.
Biden’s proposal is one that he is likely to have to make from a purely political point of view, and it will cause a great deal of controversy in Congress. Democrats taking part in the heavy re-election race are keen to exempt gas taxes because they can boast that they have done something and that the general consumer sentiment is becoming quite sour, which is usually the prelude to the party’s full progress in the coming mid-term. Political Democrats are likely to oppose the move, as it is unlikely to lead to lower gas prices, even if it drains federal infrastructure dollars. Republicans have to decide whether to do something they claim to do could to help the economy prepare for the medium term, which they have absolutely no intention of doing, but others could be affected by a call to “unscrew the federal government from infrastructure dollars,” which are ready to demand a complete abolition of the gas tax when the three-month tax breaks expire.
From the point of view of political strategy, all this is quite a mess and will remain so. From a purely political point of view, this is an objectively bad idea: suspending the gas tax will in no way significantly reduce gas prices, as it is a small, fixed amount that is less than the weekly price fluctuations that consumers currently see, even if the stations are broadcast every time. penny (which they will not do). And prices will almost certainly rise again when the summer travel season arrives, as it happens every year; it will also have an impact on the actual impact of the gas tax holiday on station prices.
However, before anyone starts tearing their clothes off about how bad an idea it could be, the political reality itself is concerned. It may be a bad policy to accept a symbolic gas tax holiday that is likely to end up in big oil pockets, not to give relief to consumers, but now conservative (fascist) markets and politicians are boldly claiming a Republican base. that Biden is an economic antichrist who has raised gas prices around the world only by being evil and convinced maybe Republican politicians in your state have tried to end the democracy of our nation, caused violence in the U.S. Capitol, and continue to help and promote national concealment while passing new laws to encourage further coup attempts, but if there is a choice between maintaining democracy and a high level. gas prices would not anyone to choose cheap gas instead of democracy?
Patriotism is an opportunity to roll coal to the funeral of the latest mass murder victims. Conservative media is filled in interviews in which normal, ordinary Americans insist that gas prices are far more important than whether Donald Trump, for whom they would still vote, made a betrayal.
Yes, Baiden’s White House may not be on the ice if they think they should do everything they can to reduce the number of streets in the corners. Half the country feels pretty confident that $ 5 a gallon of gas is a worse fate than fascism, and Takes Carlson and the clan tell them.
However, the point is that we know why gas prices are high. It really is in all newspapers. In addition to the ongoing regional pandemic crises, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused global chaos in fuel markets, as sanctions shut down Russia, demanding or at least urging buyers to find non-Russian sellers. Chaotic markets mean higher prices.
But, the oil companies themselves are skipping through with record profits. This is not a sign of oil market difficulties, but a sign that oil companies are using existing markets to raise cash for as long as possible.
Does this mean falling prices during the crisis? You could initiate a case, but for the most part no one even bother to ask. That is all over the world, given that the rest of us have literally more than one barrel in the oil markets. Regional consortia are working together to ensure that prices remain high and that oil-rich countries can milk their known reserves at the best possible prices. U.S. oil companies are reaping record profits and continue to insist that if they do not receive all the last possible tax breaks that the industry can come up with, the society as we know it will collapse.
A better political move than a gas tax holiday could be a complete attack on the oil industry because of its deep infiltration record. Voters are already aware of this report; Polls show that most voters believe the rise in prices is due to “corporate greed” rather than political figures, and more than four in 10 voters believe oil companies are “raising prices”. Biden could also do more to highlight the role of oil companies in sabotaging plans to shift America to renewables, citing the current rise in prices as the first reason for the transition and getting out of the thumb.
But it would also quickly become a “cultural war”. State governments in places like Texas are likely to react by saying that oil extraction is now a religion, passing new laws that make it illegal to insult oil industry leaders and awarding cash prizes to hunt down anyone who does. Oil companies are owned by our politicians, as only a few other industries can qualify for it.
It is all a rich tapestry, but in a country where a large part of the population can be sure that a president who is not a fascist is deliberately raising gas prices to the detriment of the good, kind people of Racistville or whatever it is accepted. To go ahead, we are facing another election in which the fate of the people and the planet in the minds of many voters is probably second only to new fears that driving a SUV they have just bought now costs them more than they thought.
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