Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A sixth reason the McCain "gas tax holiday" is a dumb idea

It won't actually save anyone that much money.

Reader Sylvie wrote in to point this out to me, using the example of someone commuting in a 28 mpg car. I agreed but noted that the numbers would be different for someone with a less efficient vehicle. But then Dr. Housing Bubble, after noting that the plan would create an estimated $10 billion deficit in the Highway Trust Fund, ran the numbers for someone driving an 11 mpg Hummer H2, and also came up with a piddling savings:
More deficits! Are these people really serious? Okay, from Memorial Day until Labor Day, we have roughly 4 months of driving. Let us assume you are typical and drive around 15,000 miles per year, which works out to be 1,250 miles per month. So over a 4 month period we’ll be driving our H2 for 5,000 miles. At 11 mpg let us run the numbers to see how much we’ll save:

6,000 miles / 11 mpg = 545 gallons needed

545 x 18.4 cents = $100.28 grand total saved!

Bwahahaha! Holy crap we are so screwed. All this insanity over a freaking $100 bucks?
I realize $100 is starting to get into real money for some people, but spread over four months? It starts to look like pocket change. It's certainly not going to do much to stimulate the economy. At best it might stimulate a little more driving. And of course the above calculation assumes the pump price actually drops the full 18.4 cents, which is unlikely.

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