Today’s Headlines

  • Hilary

    So NYC is permitted to use surveillance cameras in MTA’s subways, but not on its streets and highways to enforce the law. Does this strike anyone else as inequitable as the disparate treatment of crack and powder cocaine?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Despite the power of the appeal of something for nothing and the power of auto dependence, Obama could kill Clinton AND McCain on this one.

    Not by promoting alternatives to driving or fossil fuels.

    By comparing the total increase in gasoline prices since 2000 with the money McCain and Clinton propose to give back — just 18.4 cents, Obama could point out what a con it is.

    And then he could say that for 25 years American politicians have been pandering to the short run preference for cheap gasoline, and after 25 years we are completely screwed.

    “How long are you going to fall for this con? Senator Clinton and Sentor McCain believe that you will keep falling for it indefinately. I may think some working Americans are bitter about what has happened to them, but I don’t think they are stupid.”

  • I was at the NYLCV fundraiser, it was a lot of fun . Dan and Jimmy have a beautiful home in Sunnyside Gardens and are wonderful hosts.

    It was also refreshing being in a room of folks who supported congestion pricing, but are also now looking ahead to keep moving forward with the debate that has been opened by CP, not bitter about it’s loss or pointing fingers. Good times and good discussions.

  • J. Mork

    I am totally shocked at Obama’s position on the gas tax. While I agree with him completely, it seems all too easy for telling the truth to backfire in a presidential campaign.

  • Moser

    I voted for Hillary but am weighing sending a letter to her demanding she get out of the race now that she has turned to horrible public policy in desparation.

  • drose

    Chicago is the lucky destination of more of NYC’s congestion pricing dollars. What is it going for? Testing higher parking garage fees in the Loop, Hyde Park and other south side neighborhoods. I’m sure Brodsky and Weprin are getting thanked by their donors for that not happening here!

    http://mobile.chicagotribune.com/news.jsp?key=157057

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Thanks for that link, D! This URL will give the whole article on one page:

    http://mobile.chicagotribune.com/detail.jsp?key=157057&full=1

  • Hilary

    Even this Hilary for Hillary thinks it’s time for Al Gore to intervene on this gas tax disaster.

  • Mark Walker

    Kudos to Obama for wanting to curtail oil consumptiona and imports. Shame on both Obama and Clinton for not telling the truth about high gas prices — that they’re a direct result of a peak in worldwide oil production and the situation is going to get worse not better. They could be using gas prices to start a national conversation about our energy-scarce future and what we can start doing now to mitigate the harm. But they’re blowing it, both of them.

  • “Kudos to Obama…”

    We should save our kudos in that regard for a candidate that advocates raising gas taxes, or at least making them a percentage of sale price. Obama is doing the right thing, to be sure, but it says more about how pathetically low our energy policy expectations have become than it does about his own principles.

    The would-be gas tax cutters have overplayed their hand. McCain’s plan is for a government already in deficit to “divert tax revenue from other sources to make the highway trust fund whole”, while also making the Bush cuts permanent, and, oh yeah, cutting some other taxes too. He is now fully impossible to take seriously, and the faction of conservatism where that still matters will not be out to vote for him, and may even flip to vote for the economically sane Obama. Clinton just looks like an ass for FOLLOWING McCain on this one. I’m astounded. All candidates have been softly pandering on gas taxes for months. Since Clinton is willing to go to the bottom on gas taxes, WHY didn’t she do it before McCain? It’s the most obvious play in the book (Dole tried it on her husband). Really I don’t get it. Clinton could have at least gotten some “visionary” points by being the first to advocate this national kamikaze mission, yet she waited for McCain to lead it before submissively enlisting. Just more mind-boggling fumbling from what everyone expected to be the best run campaign in history.

    But I’m not upset about it at all. There could be some interesting outcomes from a gas tax “holiday”, if Congress is stupid enough to go there. I’m glad McCain and Clinton have outed themselves as complete energy nincompoops in espousing it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The bottom line is all that has to happen is to have the price of oil stay where it is (going up with inflation) and people and businesses will come up with all kinds of solutions. Bikes are one. There are others. The government doesn’t have to do much of anything.

    The problem is that if consumption falls oil prices fall, and oil becomes the cheap and easy way out again. People go back to their old habits and alternative energy sources go broke — and then we are right back over a barrel again.

    Obama should hammer that home — are you glad gasoline got cheap again in the past so we could stop conserving and pursuing alternatives for two decades? Where did that leave us now? How many jobs were saved in Michigan in the end by dependence on gas guzzlers?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    As much as I love having a choice between them, and love the position O’Bama has taken so far on the gas tax, as much as I love hearing truth spoken, I’m afraid it will damn him. The test will be how many NASCAR dads will be voting in the NC primary and what it does for him.

    Liberals love a principle loser and having a “full throated” debate about the War and gas taxes is great in an intellectual sense if in the end McCain prevails those positions too will prevail. Really a clean parallel to the CP politics where the failure of CP may make Weiner Mayor. Unintended consequences.

  • Spud Spudly

    I also think Obama’s going to get killed on it, regardless of the merits. There are lots of people out there whose entire lives depend on cheap gas and right now between gas prices and home values they’re dying. Those people who fill up three cars twice a week just to get the kids to school and mom and dad to work are already MAD AS HELL. It’s going to be impossible between now and the next primary, or between now and Election Day, for Obama to articulate his position well enough for those people to support the one candidate who doesn’t support gas tax repeal.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (It’s going to be impossible between now and the next primary, or between now and Election Day, for Obama to articulate his position well enough for those people to support the one candidate who doesn’t support gas tax repeal.)

    It’s an easy one to sound bite. “Gasoline is up by $3.00 a gallon, and the only solution the sort of people who put is in this terrible position propose it to cut the gas tax a measly 18.4 cents and let OPEC increase their profits by that amount. It’s a scam.”

  • Mark Walker

    In this week’s Village Voice cover story on Amy Poehler, she says she rides the subway to work at Saturday Night Live: “it’s the best way to get around, especially if you’re going to midtown.”

    http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0817,amy-poehler-pops,419655,20.html

  • To the extent that the facts get out, that the tax is only 18.4¢ on the gallon (not the dollar) and that waiving it for the summer would save most drivers less than $40, the damage it does to Obama in North Carolina or anywhere should be minimal. He can afford to run rebuttal ads that do the arithmetic for the lazy. Meanwhile it’s polishing off the last layer of intellectual support left for the Clinton campaign.

    Scrolling through the first 50 comments on the WNYC story that Streetsblog just linked I count only one commenter, Susan, that thinks this suspension is good idea. Lots of disappointed Clinton supporters, surprised that she would pander on this issue. (What campaign have they been watching? What political career?)

    Clinton’s only chance at the nomination is to win an outsize portion of Democratic super-delegates, and having 49 out of 50 NPR listeners mad at her for wallowing in this lamest of Republican policy pig-pens is not to her advantage. Superdels know also that, by November, the “holiday” will have failed either in congress, with a Bush veto of “windfall” taxes, or by actually getting passed in some form and not translating into lower prices. This is one of the sturdier limbs Obama has gone out on.

  • poncho

    when people say they want something to be done about gas prices what do they really want done? is it the gas tax suspension that would save them only 18 cents/gallon bringing the price of gas to the level it was a few weeks ago. do they want the government to subsidize gasoline or make it free? do they want to roll the clock back to 1999 when gas was $1.15? while i think i’m stating the obvious, i just dont think there is any real solution to solve this “problem” other than to cut back on the use of gas.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (when people say they want something to be done about gas prices what do they really want done?)

    Cut off all the welfare money to all those minorities and immigrant loafers in the cities, and use the savings to have the government subsidize gasoline for hard working middle class Americans to get to their jobs, and our precious seniors to get to the doctor. That’s what.

    Again, turning to the big picture, America bought the argument for 20 years that all its problems were caused by minorities, immigrants, and those living in older central cities. And these have been the target of all shifts in fiscal priorities since then — the only people any pol or pundit dared to say weren’t putting enough in or were taking too much out.

    Lo and behold, there is still not enough being put in, and too much being taken out. This has caused a great deal of political confusion. Hence the same old stupidity gets repeated even though Joe Sixpack is starting to catch on that it doesn’t make any sense. J6P may not be open minded enough to see it coming, but he is not too dumb to see it when it gets here.

  • Spud Spudly

    I remember thinking Bush had virtually no chance for re-election and then there he was again, smiling his little chimpy vacuous grin for another four years. Problem was the only people I spoke to were people who felt like I did. There was a NY1 “snap poll” this morning asking people their opinions about a suspension of the state gas tax. More than half were opposed. But the only people who voted are NYC Time Warner customers who watch NY1 in the morning instead of Fox or Maury Povich.

    What people really want to see done about gas prices is exactly what Clinton has proposed: Cut the gas taxes and tax the friggin’ hell out of the oil companies that are raking in record profits.

    It’s not that hard to understand. Even 18.4 cents per gallon is better than nothing. And if you can cut off welfare money for immigrants than all the better. People in NC and wherever are heavily invested in their lifestyle. There is a palpable rage and fear rising throughout the land, much more so than on this little island off the coast of America.