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Gas tax politics

The New York Times front-pages, "Clinton lined up with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, in endorsing a plan to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for the summer travel season. But Senator Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton's Democratic rival, spoke out firmly against the proposal, saying it would save consumers little and do nothing to curtail oil consumption and imports."

"While Mr. Obama's view is shared by environmentalists and many independent energy analysts, his position allowed Mrs. Clinton to draw a contrast with her opponent in appealing to the hard-hit middle-class families and older Americans who have proven to be the bedrock of her support. She has accused Mr. Obama of being out of touch with ordinary Americans who are struggling to meet their mortgages and gas up their cars and trucks."

The Washington Post's fact-checker weighs in on the matter. "The advocates of a 'gas tax holiday' are exaggerating the benefits to consumers from their proposal. If the Illinois experience is a guide, there is likely to be some reduction in the price of gas, but it would fall well short of the size of the tax reduction. In order to pay for the tax cut, the government would have to cut back on highway construction and maintenance or find some other way of plugging the shortfall in revenues to the Highway Trust Fund."

Meanwhile, NBC's John Yang reports that President Bush will hold a news conference today in the Rose Garden at 10:30 am. He will deliver an opening statement (approximately eight minutes long) regarding Americans' understandable anxiety about issues affecting their pocketbooks. He will also call upon Congress to send him sensible and effective bills that will help Americans weather this difficult period and keep our country moving forward.