Democrats Propose Gas Stamps
As the U.S. economy teeters on the brink of recession, Democratic leaders are revisiting an idea born of the Great Depression: gas stamps to help Americans cope with high fuel prices.
The proposal to subsidize fuel costs for lower-income families and individuals would almost certainly be popular with white, working-class voters and could boost Barack Obama’s appeal with that critical voting bloc in this year’s presidential election.
Democratic lawmakers and their leaders say they are serious about including it in a second economic stimulus package expected to move this month. Meanwhile, Republicans ridicule the idea as a return to welfare-state politics, which they say characterized the Democratic Party before Bill Clinton.
“It’s certainly under consideration,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told The Hill on Thursday afternoon. “It would be like food stamps for those people who need help.”
Gas stamps would work like traditional food stamps, which some Americans have collected since the 1930s. They would be used, however, to pay for regular unleaded instead of meat and potatoes.
Under one version of the proposal, a person earning up to $31,200 or a family of four earning up to $63,600 could receive government payments totaling $500 for gas.
HT: The Truth About Cars