Lower gas taxes, a fake good idea from Joe Biden?

As expected, Joe Biden took the floor on Wednesday at the White House to announce a “tax holiday”, a three-month suspension of gasoline taxes, i.e. 18 cents per gallon (approximately 3.8 liters) of gasoline and 24 cents per gallon of diesel. “I fully understand that this tax suspension will not solve the problem on its own but it will offer families immediate relief, just a little breathing room while we continue to work on a sustainable lowering of prices. “, declared the American president while the average price of a gallon reached 5 dollars in the United States, a historical record, note Fox Business.

The Biden administration estimates that this federal measure, combined with a state tax break, increased production and lower prices transferred entirely to consumers, could result in a reduction of one dollar per gallon, relief Politico.

“But the idea may not be received by Capitol lawmakers as favorably as Biden hopes,” warns ABC News. This suspension of taxes must indeed be approved by Congress. The White House will have to convince 50 Democratic senators as well as 10 Republican senators, “which seems extremely unlikely” according CNN.

The chain quotes for example Kevin Cramer, senator from North Dakota. “Americans aren’t asking for 18 cents in savings, they want Trump’s energy policies back!” », annoys the chosen one. Republicans denounce a purely political measure a few months before the midterm elections.

More serious for the president, even the Democratic camp displays its reservations. Gasoline taxes are normally used to maintain the country’s roads. “This policy will provide only tiny relief while gouging a ten billion dollar hole in the highway fund as we continue to repair broken bridges, reduce road deaths and build a modern infrastructure system, points out Oregon representative Peter DeFazio. Barack Obama himself called the measure a “gimmick” during his election campaign in 2008.

Economists are also skeptical. “Some are clearly saying it’s a bad idea”, signal NPR. Carola Binder, of Haverford College in Pennsylvania, says the measure could act as a stimulus as the government tries to control spending. Above all, Americans should drive less. Jason Furman, former economic adviser to President Obama, explains for his part on American public radio that the oil companies will be the first to benefit by recovering most of these 18 cents per gallon.

Demand will be high during the summer

ABC News recalls that the Biden administration has already put public pressure on these companies. The president addressed her again during his speech: “My message is simple. We live in a time of war, of global peril. Lower prices at the pump. Do it today. Your customers, the Americans, need help right now”. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is scheduled to meet with industry leaders on Thursday.

For FoxNews, “Biden has looked everywhere for ways to lower prices, except in increasing production”. The media, hostile to the president, points to his program in favor of renewable energies or the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project. FoxNews points out that the United States produced 12 million barrels of crude per day during the week of June 6 when production was 13.1 million barrels in March 2020.

The rise in prices is partly explained by the shortage of refineries at a time when demand increases with the end of the pandemic, insist washington post. The daily specifies that Biden “used almost every tool at his disposal” and that increasing production, even if it means ignoring environmental regulations, as advocated by the Republicans, will not change anything in the short term for the consumer.

According to the Post, a worsening of the economic crisis or the sudden end of the war in Ukraine with the return of Russian oil to the market are the only two factors that could rapidly bring down the cost of fuels. Prices should go down again at the start of the school year, but this summer, the desire of Americans elsewhere after a long pandemic will undoubtedly maintain demand, and therefore prices.

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