Clinton, Obama Split on Federal Gas Tax 'Vacation'

Hillary wants to suspend it; Barack says that's shortsighted
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2008 9:06 AM CDT
A customer pumps gas where self-serve regular gasoline exceeds the $4-a-gallon mark, with Diesel fuel at $4.50, at a Mobil station in Los Angeles Friday, April 25, 2008.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has joined John McCain's call for a summer holiday from the federal gasoline tax, but Barack Obama says the move will hurt more than it helps, the New York Times reports. Clinton says she’d pay for it with a windfall-profits tax on the oil companies. “Middle-class families are paying too much and oil companies aren’t paying their fair share,” Clinton said.

But Obama argued that it would save consumers little—the tax is 18 cents a gallon—and do nothing to address the larger issues at hand. Obama said McCain’s “scheme” would save the average consumer $30 over 3 months, while taking away money from road improvements and costing jobs. “Half a tank of gas,” Obama told his audience. “That’s his big solution.”