Tom Friedman Returns, and He’s Right About Gas-Tax Holiday
The progressive blogosphere is going to be tested today. Thomas Friedman is back on the New York Times op ed page, after a leave of absence. His column is about the absurdity of the "Dumb as we wanna be" gas-tax holiday. I’ve already argued this is a bad idea, so I think he’s essentially correct.
This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas tanks. What a way to build our country.
When the summer is over, we will have increased our debt to China, increased our transfer of wealth to Saudi Arabia and increased our contribution to global warming for our kids to inherit. . . .
The McCain-Clinton gas holiday proposal is a perfect example of what energy expert Peter Schwartz of Global Business Network describes as the true American energy policy today: “Maximize demand, minimize supply and buy the rest from the people who hate us the most.”. . .
But here’s what’s scary: our problem is so much worse than you think. We have no energy strategy. If you are going to use tax policy to shape energy strategy then you want to raise taxes on the things you want to discourage — gasoline consumption and gas-guzzling cars — and you want to lower taxes on the things you want to encourage — new, renewable energy technologies. We are doing just the opposite.
Photo of Thomas Friedman by Charles Haynes