The bad ideas from Albany show no sign of letting up. Just when you thought the push for a state gas tax holiday had died down, State Senators Jeff Klein and Eric Adams — of the Bronx and Brooklyn, respectively — roll out their own version of summertime "relief" for drivers, and it’s a doozy. They want to suspend tolls on bridges and tunnels in the New York City area on major holidays and, yes, give drivers a gas tax rebate of up to $200.
The money quote comes from Klein, as cited by NY1 on Saturday:
"Unfortunately, according to AAA, there’ll be 360,000 fewer drivers
this Memorial Day weekend, because of high tolls and our very high gas.
This is something we need to address immediately," said Klein.
I know, I know — vowing to put more traffic on city streets is beyond backwards. But please reserve judgment until you read Klein’s full justification, from his office’s press release:
"Suspending bridge and tunnel tolls will help improve traffic flow, reduce air pollution, and reduce fuel consumption," said Senator Klein standing today at the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. "In addition, a gas tax rebate will ensure that the savings are transmitted directly to the consumer rather than the oil companies, and make travel all together more cost effective."
See? It’s worse than you thought. Pandering to drivers just crossed the threshold between cheap populism and Orwellian doublespeak.