The problem with the McCain (and, alas, Clinton) proposal to suspend the federal tax on gasoline at the pump this summer--currently 18.4¢ /gal--goes beyond the obvious fact that lowering pump price will drive up consumption, and that the public goods paid for by the federal gas tax will go unfounded, although those are considerable.
There's a more obvious problem, as anyone who remembers the behavior of the oil companies during the second price spike of the 1970s will quickly recognize:
Yes, the tax may go away, but there's absolutely no reason to think the oil companies will pass any of that on to drivers (except perhaps a pittance for PR purposes) rather than pocketing it themselves and leaving prices where they are.
Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #1: Once you have their money, you never give it back.
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