Feds search home of Jeffrey Clark, former DOJ official who pushed Trump’s false election fraud claims

Feds search home of Jeffrey Clark, former DOJ official who pushed Trump’s false election fraud claims

This post was originally published on this siteFederal investigators conducted a search Wednesday of the home of Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department lawyer who former President Donald Trump sought to install as attorney general in the days before the January 6 Capitol riot as top officials refused to go...

Read more
Senate Bill Would Protect Medication Abortion As Roe Teeters

Senate Bill Would Protect Medication Abortion As Roe Teeters

This post was originally published on this siteThe legislation is unlikely to pass, but Sen. Tina Smith told HuffPost that the safe, effective abortion method is “a very important thing to be protecting right now.”

Read more
Harris to meet with Democratic state attorneys general on abortion rights

Harris to meet with Democratic state attorneys general on abortion rights

This post was originally published on this siteVice President Harris will meet with Democratic attorneys general from seven states on Thursday about abortion rights as the White House prepares for a Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade. Harris will meet with attorneys general from Wisconsin,...

Read more
Former DOJ officials to testify during the 5th House Jan. 6 hearing

Former DOJ officials to testify during the 5th House Jan. 6 hearing

This post was originally published on this siteThe House Select Committee investigating the Capitol siege will focus on efforts by former President Donald Trump to pressure the Justice Department to pursue baseless claims of election fraud.

Read more
Texas is unlikely to adopt key provision of bipartisan gun bill — a red flag law to take guns away from people deemed dangerous

Texas is unlikely to adopt key provision of bipartisan gun bill — a red flag law to take guns away from people deemed dangerous

This post was originally published on this site By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune June 23, 2022 The bipartisan gun bill that is on a fast track through Congress and backed by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn includes new state grants to incentivize red flag laws, which allow judges to temporarily...

Read more
Biden braces for Supreme Court to overturn Roe after months of planning for next steps

Biden braces for Supreme Court to overturn Roe after months of planning for next steps

This post was originally published on this sitePresident Joe Biden is bracing for a Supreme Court ruling that would strip away nationwide abortion rights in the US, potentially setting off mass protests and heaping pressure on the White House to act, according to officials, even as there remains little he...

Read more
Instagram rolls out age verification, but not to keep children off app

Instagram rolls out age verification, but not to keep children off app

This post was originally published on this siteInstagram’s new facial-scanning partnership for age verification won’t keep children off the app — and it’s making AI experts nervous.

Read more
Will a gas tax holiday help or hurt?

Will a gas tax holiday help or hurt?

President Biden on Wednesday announced his support for a three-month federal gas tax holiday, or a suspension of the federal gasoline tax, in hopes of mitigating rising energy prices plaguing Americans nationwide. But even if such a measure passed Congress (which it’s unlikely to do, as Politico notes), would it actually make a difference?
Politically, it could offer a boon to Biden
A gas tax holiday would be “politically popular” (remember, it’s an election year!) and also “allow the White House to show that Biden is taking tangible action to address one of the biggest headaches facing families,” Matt Egan recently wrote in CNN. Though relief would be “modest,” a tax holiday on fuel could lower retail prices by as much as 18 cents per gallon of gas and 24 cents per gallon of diesel. At the very least, a tax holiday could cut families some sort of break while the administration works on a more permanent fix, per NPR.
This won’t actually make a difference — in wallets or in the polls
But speaking of modest relief … 
With potential savings that clock in at “less than 5 percent of the total cost” at the pump, some experts worry “consumers may not even notice” a tax holiday, wrote The New York Times. And maybe, those who do would be the wrong ones. Though gasoline accounts for a greater share of working Americans’ expenditures, “rich people spend much more money on gas than poor people,” Henry Grabar argued for Slate in March. That means “there are fairer ways to help low-income Americans make ends meet — and smarter ways to target gas price relief to help important, inflation-fueling industries like agriculture and shipping.”
It will just make prices, and inflation, worse
In addition to having perhaps just a modest effect on wallets, “almost everything about a gas tax holiday runs in the wrong direction,” including its overall effect on prices, Senior Contributor Howard Gleckman mused for Forbes on Wednesday. While a tax suspension would “lower the after-tax price of gas,” it would in turn boost demand, thus worsening supply shortages and raising fuel’s pre-tax price, Gleckman wrote. “Any net benefit for drivers would be very small,” he added. 
And The Hill Opinion Contributor Maya Macguineas agreed: While a gas tax holiday might offer “temporary relief at the pump,” it would ultimately just “exacerbate inflationary pressures” and present politicians with an opportunity “to pretend they are making the situation better, when in fact they are making it worse,” she posited in February. As Gleckman also noted, “oil producers and gas stations are likely to respond to the holiday by raising the pre-tax price of gasoline,” meaning the “largest beneficiaries” of the suspension may very well be the same oil producers Biden has continuously derided.
“By making gas cheaper that allows people to buy more of it,” explained economist Carola Binder, as quoted by NPR. “It’s giving them a tax cut and that gives them more to spend elsewhere. So that is going to lead to more inflationary pressures elsewhere.”
It takes money away from infrastructure
The gas tax funnels money into the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for improvements to roads, bridges, and other pieces of the nation’s infrastructure. But the fund, which is not indexed for inflation, is already close to insolvency — and a tax holiday “will only compound this problem,” the Bloomberg Opinion Editorial Board argued in February.
Under a suspension, “the cost of repairing and maintaining highways will rise along with inflation while the trust fund is depleted all the faster,” the board opined. And that’s without mentioning that “declining gas tax revenue” has already “forced the U.S. to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars of general fund revenue into the Highway Trust Fund over the past decade,” Grabar wrote in Slate.
Simply “robbing Peter to pay Paul would still increase the size of our massive federal debt and undermine efforts to assure sustainable infrastructure financing,” Macguineas added.
And what about the climate?
On top of everything else, a federal gas tax would serve to “amplify the climate crisis and slow the development and adoption of cleaner technologies,” Macguineas continued in the Hill. The country should be moving in the “opposite direction” instead, perhaps “replacing or supplementing the gas tax with broader carbon pricing” that would “efficiently reduce emissions and encourage new technologies,” she suggested. A gas tax holiday would just “slow progress” in this area.
Ultimately, the suggestion is merely a political move offering “a short-term gain with a long-term cost to infrastructure and the climate,” added the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board in February. “Voters can recognize a gimmick when they see it.”

Read more
NAACP to partner with Vote.org to boost Black voter turnout in midterms

NAACP to partner with Vote.org to boost Black voter turnout in midterms

This post was originally published on this siteThe NAACP is teaming up with Vote.org to register Black voters ahead of the midterms in an effort to counter new voting restrictions in almost two dozen states.

Read more