I didn't plan to take a holiday this summer, but politicians are trying to foist one on me.
What's more, the reason given -- to ease the cost burden of gasoline-- doesn't even seem like it will pan out.
Presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) and Sen. John McCain (R. Ariz.) want to convince me that proposals for a summer-long "gas-tax holiday" will ease the burden of $4-a-gallon gasoline for my family.
Politicians and oil companies, however, may be the only beneficiaries of these proposals if uninformed voters buy into the plans.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) announced a $10.89 billion first-quarter profit last week. Investors balked, partly due to concerns about decreasing production. But the fact remains that Exxon has enjoyed its second-best quarterly profit in its history.
Sen. McCain wants to suspend the 18.4-cent per gallon federal gasoline excise tax -- which funds highway repairs -- and stop summertime purchases for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the nation's emergency petroleum stash.
Sen. Clinton announced a proposal to temporarily suspend the gas tax and pay for it by imposing a windfall tax on oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil, Conoco (COP), BP (BP) and Chevron (CVX). Sen. Clinton also proposes stopping purchases for the SPR, but would also release some fuel to ease market volatility when the supplies are short.
I asked some economists what they thought about the so-called gas tax holiday. Here's what I learned:
"It's a complete sham," said Len Burman, director of the Tax Policy Center, a non-profit tax policy research service in Washington, D.C.