PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

May 4, 2008

Gas Tax Pandering

Filed under: Politics — CPav @ 5:50 pm
Tags: , , , ,

A few follow-up comments to my ice cream gas tax story a few days back:

  • The Huffington Post has a rundown of support/opposition for the proposal by both McCain and Clinton. Interesting that the only person they could find who supported the idea was a politician, who frames it as a “why shouldn’t Big Oil pony up?” issue.
  • John McCain says he’ll pay for the lost revenue from not collecting the gas tax for the summer by cutting pork barrel spending projects. But these cuts, if he were successful in making them part of a budget, wouldn’t be in effect until the next budget round, so that’s a number of months of shortfall that isn’t made up for in the McCain proposal. And he also doesn’t say how he’s going to replace the jobs that will be lost in Congressional districts that don’t get to build their projects due to the slashed spending.
  • Hillary Clinton will pay for the lost revenue brought on by the tax holiday by taxing the windfall profits of the oil companies. Civics lesson, people: One junior senator from New York State cannot pass a tax all by herself, even with the help of the senior senator from Arizona, especially when there is no evidence that a majority of Congress supports the plan.
  • Even making the enormous leap of faith that the lost tax revenue will somehow be made up in such a way as to not jeopardize bridge and highway repairs, there’s another problem with the whole plan: There’s nothing to force the oil companies to pass the savings on to the consumer. Nothing. Nada. Just because they’re not paying the government that 18 cents per gallon, doesn’t mean they’ll drop prices by a corresponding amount. And when the tax goes back into effect, does anyone really think the companies will be good corporate citizens and not raise their prices a corresponding amount? (“Oh, trust us. The price would have been this high all summer except for that tax rebate.”)
  • And, if the cosmic forces align just right and the tax holiday passes through Congress and the lost revenue is recouped somehow and the oil companies do pass on the savings to the consumer and don’t pass the subsequent increase back, some of the experts say that the lower prices will cause consumers to buy more gas instead of less, which will make the prices go up more.
  • North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, a Clinton supporter who’s been stumping for her in his state, spoke out against the idea when McCain proposed it, but supports it now that Clinton has endorsed it. In other words, he was against it before he was for it. (Audio of his statements is linked from this blog, and the third commenter makes many of the points I’ve made here, with some more detail.

So, basically, anyone who’s telling you that a gas tax rebate will save you money this summer is counting on the fact that you don’t know anything about basic budgets, the way laws are passed, and the way business accounting and supply and demand work.

In other words, they not only think they’re smarter than you, but they think you’re dumb as a gas pump.

Maybe later we’ll talk about which candidates are truly elitist.

The 300 Project: 6/81

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April 30, 2008

Ice Cream News

Filed under: Politics — CPav @ 7:36 pm
Tags: ,

We here at PavCo Multimedia Synergistics are pleased to announce the acquisition of the Polar Bare ice cream shops, in which all of the counter girls scoop your cones wearing bikinis. In the interest of gender equality, we tried having the male employees dress in speedos, but the chilling effect somehow wasn’t the same.

Anyway…

To celebrate our acquisition, all of our locations will be waiving the St. Louis County Special Ice Cream Excise (SPICE) tax. This quarter-cent sales tax would end up saving the average family of consumers approximately $3 over the course of the summer, but our advertising won’t mention that. We’ll only tell you that we’re offering you relief on the high cost of ice cream during the hot summer months, when consumption is up. We also won’t mention that we don’t have the power to actually not charge you the tax. And since the tax doesn’t actually go into our profits, but into the St. Louis County Deserts and Confections Fund, we’re also not going to mention that that fund will be short a good percentage of its annual budget, which covers not only ice cream, but pies and cakes as well. And if anyone brings it up, we’ll just remind you that we’re doing it for you.

Our second-nearest competitors, the Fully Clothed Ice Cream Company, is going to also waive the SPICE tax (which they also don’t have the power to do), but they’re going to make up the funds to the Confections Fund by taxing the ice cream companies (which they also don’t have the power to do, and which the people who do have the power to do have shown an unwillingness in the past to do). After all, it’s more important that you have that $3 in your pocket than that we have cake and ice cream, isn’t it? At least Fully Clothed and Polar Bare agree that it’s all about you.

Our nearest competitor, Dressed for the Weather Frozen Custard, isn’t about you, though. They’re hung up on the fact that FCICC and PB can’t actually arbitrarily deliver what we’ve promised, and that our actions will provide only token relief to your pocketbooks, while a high probability exists that, in the long run, our actions will drive up the price of ice cream. Dressed actually tried this on a smaller scale a number of years ago, and saw that it doesn’t work too well. But, while our advertising (and that of Fully Clothed) has consistently made the point that Dressed is lacking in meaningful experience, we’re just going to totally discount his actual in this case. Because this is all about YOU.

And by you, we mean getting you to vote for us for Most Popular Ice Cream Parlor. But of course, we won’t say that. We’ll just shorten it and say it’s about you.

Because it’s certainly not about a $28 savings on gasoline over the course of the summer.

The 330 Project: 14/74

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