Re "Empty promises," editorial, April 30
Congratulations to The Times for recognizing that the proposals for federal gas-tax suspension are political hysteria. However, The Times could have been really brave and advocated a federal gas-tax increase.
Congress had a chance in the late 1970s to encourage the use of low-mileage vehicles. A significant increase in the gas tax at that time would have accelerated the development, manufacture and sale of hybrid and electric vehicles. This is not a new idea. On Sept. 11, 1979, The Times published an Op-Ed article by Robert J. Samuelson titled "Why Not a New Gasoline Tax?" Notice the date. I submit that it's never too late to think about the future and do the rational thing.
Peter E. Rentz
Your editorial was right on the mark. John McCain has at least a lame excuse -- he already told Americans that he didn't know much about economics, and since then he has done his best to prove it.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the other hand, knows enough about economics but can't resist pandering to the desperate and ignorant who might throw votes her way if they think they might save a few cents on gasoline.
In a more realistic political system, both of these candidates would be disqualified immediately as presidential material.