John McCainâ€™s proposal for a three-month summer federal gas-tax holiday might be a good way to get votes, but itâ€™s lousy transportation and energy policy. A Wired blog points out that suspending the federal 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax would save the average motorist about $28. But the plan would cost the government $9 billion in lost highway funds and put at risk an estimated 300,000 jobs tied to the funding, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
This at a time when the Highway Trust Fund, which bankrolls local and state road and bridge projects, is already facing a $3.4 billion deficit.
A McCain spokesman said he would borrow from the general fund to make up the shortfall, but doing that would just add to the federal deficit.
Plus, as energy experts point out, the next president should be encouraging gasoline conservation, not more consumption and carbon emissions.