Politicians’ answer to high gas prices: send voters checks
High gasoline prices have a tendency to make politicians worried about their re-election chances do the darndest things.
Consider the wave of pols who think the best way to help drivers (who happen to be voters) deal with high prices is…to send them a government check:
…California lawmakers floated a proposal to spend some of the state’s $45 billion budget surplus on sending all California taxpayers a $400 check. That, according to proponent Assembly member Cottie Petrie-Norris (D–Irvine), is the amount your average Californian pays in state gas taxes every year.
Earlier this week, New Jersey Assemblyman Edward Durr (R–Gloucester) introduced his “Gas Price and Inflation Tax Credit Act” that would give a $500 refund to families and $250 to individuals.
“Gas prices and inflation are both soaring, which is making it harder for New Jerseyans to fill their tanks and feed their families,” Durr said in a statement to NJ.com. New Jersey has a $10.1 billion surplus. In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz (D) has also suggested spending some of his state’s $10.5 billion budget surplus on $1,000 rebates to families and $500 to individuals.
State lawmakers propose to get this cash from their own resources, which are doing quite well, thank you, owing to the hundreds of billions of (borrowed) dollars the federal government poured into states during the depths of the coronavirus lockdowns.
So a rebate using borrowed money that will have to be repaid with interest is a good idea? According to how government works, it sure is.
The best way to lower gas prices isn’t a monopoly money-funded rebate. It’s peace…and expanded domestic production of oil and gas.