According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the gas tax holiday proposed by John McCain and Hillary Clinton would destroy 23,107 jobs in California alone.

UPDATE: Steve’s got a point. The ARTBA report only criticizes McCain’s proposal, because McCain proposes no replacement for the lost revenue. I should have looked more closely at the source report before passing this along.

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That said, this doesn’t get Clinton off the hook. She’s proposing a gas tax holiday for this summer. This summer, Bush will be president and Republicans will have Congressional veto power. A new tax on oil companies will not pass — indeed, has been tried, and failed, two (three?) times this session. It just won’t happen. So your choices are, gas-tax holiday with lost revenue, or no gas-tax holiday. Clinton can say she’d replace the revenue with pixie dust if she wants. But insofar as this policy enters the real world, it does so without the tax that would replace the revenue.

And finally, this is all a bit silly. How much effort should one expend being scrupulously fair in one’s criticism of a crass pander that the campaign itself admits will never come to anything? It’s a monumentally stupid idea even if it goes down exactly the way Clinton envisions.

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