Don’t be fooled by gas prices. Give drivers real relief

Count me among those who gasp when I go to the gas pump. The prices are simply out of control.

There’s a lot to blame for the uptick that began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But, in the end, it comes down to the greed of the oil lords. They inflate prices, not because there is a shortage of crude oil, but simply because they can.

Consumers are the biggest losers and are taking it out on President Joe Biden and everyone who owns local power for sky-high gas prices.

It’s never good, but it’s even worse in an election year.

Enter the politicians battling to appease angry consumers before they go to the polls later this year.

California’s $800 idea is nonsense

A growing list of states are proposing to temporarily suspend their respective fuel sales taxes, which are typically pennies per gallon and collectively amount to millions of dollars a year.

Georgia and Maryland have already done so. Connecticut could be next.

But California wants to do more – much more.

Instead of suspending the state’s 51.1 cents per gallon on gasoline, Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to give residents $400 for each vehicle they own — capped at two.

What’s not to like about that? I mean, $800 per vehicle is nothing to sneeze at, considering Thursday the average price for regular gasoline in California was $5.88 per gallon and $6.83 for the midrange.

The absurdity of Newsom’s idea is not just the $11 billion price tag, but the fact that there is no income cap for the relief.

Seriously. Everyone who owns a car, rich or poor, would receive the same amount. It’s more than stupid.

Why should California billionaires, including Silicon Valley darlings like Mark Zuckerberg, get gas relief at taxpayer expense?

Taxpayers would pay for this help

This tells us that politicians are not serious about helping the poor, those who really need relief, but are simply trying to appease all consumers and score political points by doing so.

Do not mistake yourself. I wouldn’t mind getting $800 – in California or here in Arizona. It would fill my gas tank several times over.

But that kind of relief would come from taxpayers’ pockets. In other words, taxes collected from California residents would be used to subsidize gasoline relief.

The only winners from Newsom’s giveaway idea or suspended state taxes are the oil lords driving up prices.

Arizonans, however, don’t even have to worry about talking about any kind of relief. Buckle up and pay.

How to curb the greed of the oil lords?

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has previously rejected the idea of ​​waiving the state’s 18-cent-per-gallon gas tax.

This would have saved the average Arizona driver a few dollars a month or just over $100 a year, according to various reports.

Oh, and let’s not forget Senator Mark Kelly. The Democratic senator from Arizona, who is facing re-election, is proposing to suspend the federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon until the end of the year.

Again, I want the savings for myself, but not necessarily at taxpayers’ expense or the cost of road repairs, since gas tax money is generally used for that and other purposes. public transport purposes.

There are too many, however, who are faced with the difficult decision of whether to fill up on gas or use that money for food. They are the ones who really need relief now.

It would be better to curb the greed of the oil lords. But how do we do this?

Elvia Díaz is an editorial columnist for The Republic and azcentral. Contact her at 602-444-8606 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter, @elviadiaz1.

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