"Stupidest policy ever" contest update
Thanks to all for many good entries in the search for the stupidest moment of bi-partisan policy in the last 50 years. The search was of course inspired by this moment's stupidest idea, the John McCain/Hillary Clinton support for a temporary gasoline tax "holiday" during the summer driving season.
- Remember, the 50-year cutoff excludes some otherwise deserving suggestions, like Prohibition, or slavery.
- Most popular nominee so far is the mandate for Ethanol use plugged into last year's energy bill, just before the Iowa caucus. But also remember that, as with the Electoral College and the Democratic primary process, mere popularity does not ensure victory.
- Results tomorrow; still time to vote.
- And while I'm at it, what happened to the usually-skillful Don Gonyea of NPR, in his treatment of this question just now on All Things Considered??? He took the traditional "one side claims, the other side responds" approach -- as if there were any identifiable economist or energy expert, from any political camp, who thought that the "tax holiday" proposal made sense. Maybe he missed the previous night's All Things Considered broadcast, which contained a very good segment about the pointlessness of the plan? And he presented the whole issue as a matter of campaign tactics: the Hillary Clinton campaign had been hitting Obama hard with a crisp attack ad about his refusal to give American motorists "the help they need," while Obama had come back only with a woolier, more "complicated" reply about why the plan was mad. Yes, this episode shows us something about the two campaigns, but it's not mainly about their relative skill in attacking each other.