Friday, May 2, 2008

Latest Dem polls (May 2); gas tax thoughts

The next two primaries are in just four days. Here's where two of the major polls stand:

Indiana: Rasmussen has Clinton leading Obama 46-41, Zogby has it dead even at 42.
North Carolina: Rasmussen says Obama leads Clinton 49-40; Zogby says Obama 50-34.

On the "markets" betting, Rasmussen suggests Clinton has an 85.7% chance of winning Indiana while Obama has a 93% chance of winning North Carolina.

Meanwhile, not one but two presumed strong Clinton supporters -- both formers chairs of the national Democratic Party -- have defected to Obama. Even more interesting is that of the superdelegates who have declared Clinton now leads by only 15. One of them, Joe Andrew, explains why here at HuffPo.

As far as the gas tax issue goes -- Obama is correct. A tax holiday amounts to peanuts and would only encourage more driving, impacting already strained reserves and driving prices up even higher. Clinton could be making a big mistake by telling her fellow members of Congress they are with her or against her. Isn't that what Dubya said the week after 9/11?

The real solution is not politically expedient ideas as a one time "holiday" but rather what many countries have adopted and what provinces in Canada, one by one, are considering -- starting with British Columbia. A steadily escalating carbon tax, offset by equivalent decreases in income taxes. Actually Bill Clinton was elected partly on the promise of a carbon tax at the source (not at the delivery point) which was a key part of Al Gore's contribution to the platform, but was forced to back down after massive opposition from the coal industry which is now trying to sell us on the scam of "clean coal." Low sulphur coal with carbon capture may wind up as part of the solution, but I think it is an idea which should be the last part of the energy independence puzzle and not the first.

Mr. Clinton stabbed Al Gore in the back and instead went for an increase in the gas and diesel tax at the pump. Newt Gingrich kicked his ass a year and a half later. Remember that?

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