… and ye shall receive

Obama’s anti-gas-tax-holiday TV spot is up. Effective, but not very accurate.

Not a speech, but here’s the Obama TV spot going after McClinton on the gas price holiday.

It seems to me to work pretty well, but (or perhaps because) it doesn’t say what my fellow wonks and I want it to say. It doesn’t argue with the premise that eliminating the gas tax will reduce prices in the short run; instead it points out that the benefit to the consumer would be abut $30, or the cost of half a tank of gas. And it doesn’t bite the bullet by saying that higher gasoline prices are beneficial; instead it talks about fuel efficiency standards and “oil-company price gouging.”

So I’m delighted that Obama, instead of ducking, is willing to say long and loud that a bad idea is a bad idea, but I wish he were willing to say exactly why it’s a bad idea.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com