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Cut gas tax? Clinton says yes; Obama, no

With the start of the vacation driving season a month away, Sen. Hillary Clinton has joined her potential presidential foe Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, in calling for a summertime suspension of the federal gasoline excise tax.

Gas_pump1_2 However, Sen. Barack Obama, who is battling Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, disagrees.

Obama says temporarily halting collection of the 18.4 cents per gallon wouldn't provide much relief to drivers and would do nothing to reduce oil consumption and imports.

Environmentalists and many independent energy analysts support the Obama stance, but the New York Times reports that Clinton took advantage of the candidates' differing excise tax perspectives, accusing Obama of "being out of touch with ordinary Americans who are struggling to meet their mortgages and gas up their cars and trucks."

Dubya sides with Barack: Proving that politics does into create strange alliances, Dubya sided with Obama.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said that tax holidays and new levies on oil companies would not address the long-term problems of dependence on foreign oil.

Perino agreed that gasoline prices were "entirely too high," but added, "I think it would be disingenuous and unfortunate for American consumers for them to be led to believe that there is a short-term fix. There is not going to be one."

Read the full Times story on the gas tax and political posturing here.

And this Don't Mess With Taxes Earth Day post takes a closer look at federal and state fuel taxes.


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