Clinton Spurns Economists at Her Peril

Tough talk on gas tax opens candidate to Bush comparisons
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2008 7:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – In dismissing what she called “elite opinion” and embracing the gas tax holiday, Hillary Clinton has adopted a regressive energy policy, Andrew Leonard of Salon writes. Her declaration yesterday—“I’m not going to put my lot in with economists”—smacks of George Bush’s worst moments and ignores the harsh reality that any serious plan to deal with the climate and fuel crises requires that gas prices go up, not down.

But economists aren’t taking the Clinton and John McCain plans for the holiday sitting down: More than 200 experts—including four Nobel laureates—have signed a petition dismissing the idea, Bloomberg reports. The bipartisan group says oil companies, not citizens, would benefit most from a tax break, and the big losers would be federal coffers and highway maintenance.