John McCain is in Florida right now, vacuuming up cash from some of the wealthier parts of the state--Sinfonian is handling up on his visit to Palm Beach county tomorrow over at Blast Off!--but today McCain was in Coral Gables, and he tried, in his McCain-esque way, to slam Barack Obama for being out of touch on economic issues.

The GOP nominee-in-waiting rapped his Democratic rival for opposing his idea to suspend the tax on fuel during the summer, a proposal that McCain believes will particularly help low-income people who usually have older cars that guzzle more gas.

"I noticed again today that Sen. Obama repeated his opposition to giving low-income Americans a tax break, a little bit of relief so they can travel a little further and a little longer, and maybe have a little bit of money left over to enjoy some other things in their lives," McCain said. "Obviously Sen. Obama does not understand that this would be a nice thing for Americans, and the special interests should not be dictating this policy."
Okay, Johnny--let's talk about who's in touch with reality here. Your call to suspend the federal gas tax would mean that gas prices--assuming that gas companies pass on every penny of the savings on to the consumer--would save drivers 18.4 cents a gallon. How much is that?

$1.84 per ten gallons of gas.

It would save me $1.84 a week on average, because I drive a small car that gets nearly 30 mpg in mixed driving. It would save Amy about $2.50 weekly if we use her truck. Even if you drive a lot, and use 50 gallons of gas as week, that adds up to $9.20 a week. How far are you going to travel, and for how long on that extra $9.20, especially when that translates into, oh, not quite 3 gallons of gas? But Obama, because he recognizes 1) that suspending the tax won't have a real effect on anyone's life and 2) that suspending it will put this country deeper into debt because we'll have to spend borrowed money to cover the infrastructure that tax money pays for.


And then there was this little gem:
"Sen. Obama wants to raise the capital gains tax, which would have a direct affect on a hundred million Americans," McCain said. "That means he has no understand of the economy and that he is totally insensitive to the hopes and dreams and ambitions of a 100 million Americans who will be affected by his almost doubling of the capital gains tax."
First of all, in no universe, not even the mythical ones dreamed up by idiots like the ones at the Club for Growth, is a third of the country affected by the capital gains tax rate. It just doesn't happen. And as far as McCain's understanding of the economy is concerned, well, anyone who believes that a hundred million people would be adversely affected by a modest rise in the capital gains tax rate has a few problems with being in touch with reality, much less in touch with the working class.

Update: Atrios puts the bullet in the head of this zombie lie quite well.

Of course, how would McCain know what the working class goes through? He's so like the working class--son of an Admiral, married to a woman worth a hundred million bucks, who flies him around to campaign on her company's private plane. All us working class people are just like that. Keep your 18.4 cents a gallon, Senator, and keep your platitudes while you're at it.

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