McCain Calls For Gas-Tax Suspension

Just as presidential hopeful Republican Sen. John McCain this week proposed a suspension of the federal highway user fees – the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax and the 24.4- cents-per-gallon diesel tax – some in the transportation industry say it could hurt the economy.

McCain called for a summer-long suspension of the federal gas tax and several tax cuts to help a troubled economy, The Associated Press reported.

McCain said economics is not his strongest suit, but he felt compelled to address the problems as he looks ahead to the November general election, The Associated Press reported.

McCain said Congress should institute a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. By some estimates, the government would lose about $10 billion in revenue, The Associated Press reported.

A day after McCain offered his idea, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association offered a number of reasons why the gas tax proposal would be bad for the economy and poor public policy.

Among some of the reasons offered, ARTBA said McCain’s proposal would eliminate almost $9 billion that could be invested in road, bridge and public transit investments, as well as decrease capital investments in highways and transits for state and local governments. The move could also put at risk the employment of more than 310,000 Americans whose jobs are supported by federal investments in highways and transit.


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