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As reports surface the White House is considering a federal gas tax holiday to alleviate some of Americans’ pain at the pump, South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott told Fox News the move would not work as a long-term response to the energy crisis.
While erasing the 18.4 cents the federal government takes from every gallon of gasoline sold would create mild short-term ease, it will likely be swallowed up by ever-inflating prices and is essentially an attempt to illustrate relief that won’t hold, Scott said.
The tax, which is nearly 25 cents-per-gallon for diesel, is on top of varying state gas taxes and creates $50 billion in annual revenue, the lawmaker said – adding that the real solution lies in reverting to pre-Biden policies such as increased domestic fuel speculation.
“When we’re going to try to trick the market and suggest that we can reduce your prices by alleviating the tax pressure, that’s great. But unfortunately, the way that gas is ticking up every single week, that reduction in price is eliminated in about 12 days.”
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“So the truth is that what we need is to restart the conversation about the Keystone XL pipeline to introduce confidence into the marketplace,” he said, as Biden ended the project with the stroke of a pen his first day in office.
Considering all taxes and fees, California at 67 cents; Pennsylvania and Illinois at 59 cents-per-gallon have the highest state levies, while Alaska at 15 cents and Missouri at 17 cpg have the lowest – all on top of the 18 cpg federal rate.
“What we need is to have certainty and predictability so that those energy producers feel like they can invest billions of dollars to extract the energy from the soil so that we can use it in our tanks,” he added.
Scott said that without a predictable, consistent energy policy and without the reemergence of U.S. pipeline construction, Biden is simply just moving figures around and not impacting the long-term futures market.
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Scott also took issue with the administration’s plan for student loan forgiveness – which would transfer the financial burden from young debtors to the American taxpayer.
“Just think through who’s a student in college today and how many of those students look like me,” the lawmaker said, who is Black.
“The truth is, when you’re having a conversation about wiping away $1.6 trillion of student loan debt, you’re not having a conversation of empowering African-Americans through the elimination of student loan debt. What you are having is a conversation about middle-income America that represents the vast majority of the student loan debt.”
“Can we have a conversation about managing that student loan debt? Certainly. But eliminating that debt, the government fiat is not the way we get there.”
He also reacted to the advent of the latest gun control and reform legislation, remarking on his past negotiations on the subject of criminal justice reform with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and others a few years ago.
“I sat at the table twice and saw the Democrats walk away. I remain at the table today, still working on police reform,” he said.
“Let’s put both sides to the side and realize that the binary choice that they presented to the American people between communities of color and law enforcement is a false binary.”
“What I’ve seen in the legislation so far has been a focus and emphasis on mental health and school safety. Those are two very important parts of the vehicle. If that is a vehicle, we might see enough Republicans taking a look at it and examining it.”
However, Scott maintained he is not afraid to walk from the proverbial table if the package evolves toward one that infringes on Second Amendment rights for civilians.