A senseless and futile gesture … and our senators are just the ones to do it
By Thomas Mitchell
Thank you, Jim Hartman, for pointing out in the Elko Daily Free Press that the proposal by Nevada’s two Democratic U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen to waive the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gasoline tax through 2022 is not only a political gesture, but for Nevadans it is a futile gesture.
Hartman is the first I’ve seen to point out that Nevada has on the books Nevada Revised Statute 365.185, which automatically increases the state gasoline tax “equal to the amount by which the federal tax is reduced,” so it won’t save Nevadans a cent.
Hartman also observes:
It’s a terrible idea. No one likes paying taxes or feeling gouged at the pump, and that’s the appeal to politicians. It’s a transparent political stunt to give political cover to a handful of Democrats up for election in states where gas prices are going up over 40 percent from last year.
Nevada’s gas prices are up $1.07 per gallon from a year ago, reaching an average price in Nevada for regular of $3.97 (Feb. 23). Crude prices recently passed $90 per barrel and the Russian invasion of Ukraine will raise crude prices to over $100.
Cortez Masto’s legislation is a contradiction in her climate politics. Isn’t the central tenet of Democratic climate plans to raise the price of fossil fuels so we use less? Progressives should welcome higher gasoline prices until consumption drops dramatically.
You can’t have an aggressive “green” climate policy and cheap gasoline. You must choose one or the other.
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Thomas Mitchell is a former newspaper editor who now writes conservative/libertarian columns for weekly papers in Nevada. You may email Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at http://4thst8.wordpress.com/.