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Karl W. Smith

Don’t Suspend the Gas Tax

The idea is appealing both politically and economically, but Democrats should be careful what they wish for.

They will come back down.

They will come back down.

Photographer: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP

Some centrist Democrats in Congress are pushing for a suspension of the gasoline tax, on the federal and state levels, and it’s not hard to see why: Many of them face tough odds for re-election next year, and rising fuel costs affect every one of their constituents. From both a political and economic standpoint, the plan has some appeal.

Nonetheless, suspending the gas tax is a short-sighted idea.