Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why taxing the sale beats taxing the profit from sale.

Mankiw explains why a tax at the pump would work better than taxing windfall profits and subsidizing hybrids. The whole policy plan proposed by Obama seems to be a Rube-Goldberg-style invention to avoid saying we will tax your gas purchases, while attempting to accomplish the same larger goals such as discouraging petrol use (in the hybrid subsidy) through eating into oil company profits (via the windfall tax) when you'd easily accomplish both via a tax at the pump. At least, however, the larger goal is there, opposed to a larger goal of, say, more petrol use or ignoring the problem.

Also, when Obama was in Cleveland Tuesday, he was heckled for not starting with the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of the "town hall meeting." Obama, clearly bemused, tells him "You want to lead the pledge of allegiance? Go ahead."

At the end, the man is asked, "did someone say we're going to say the pledge of allegiance at some point?" and the man, John Quinn, clearly admits, "No!" and so no one is sure why he presumed it would happen.

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