Target's CEO Brian Cornell.

MONEY & BUSINESS: Target CEO blasts Biden’s idea of gasoline tax holiday

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The boss of the “cheap chic” Target discount chain blasted President Biden’s idea of a federal gasoline tax holiday, saying it could do more harm to the US economy than good.

“It would increase demand,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, adding that the country instead should be looking at ways to lower prices by increasing the supply of gas.

In addition to waiving the federal gasoline tax, which could save Americans up to 18.4 cents a gallon, the president floated the idea of a gas rebate card on Monday.

“That’s part of what we’re considering,” Biden told reporters near his vacation house in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “That’s part of the whole operation.”

It’s unclear how such cards would work – whether they would be pre-loaded or provide rebates.

“Gas cards will be a mini-stimulus,” Cornell said Tuesday. “It’s time to fundamentally change the supply and demand curves for fuel and transportation,” Cornell said.

Target Corp.’s CEO Brian Cornell thinks gas cards and gas tax breaks are a bad idea.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Biden.
President Biden may decide this week to implement a tax break on fuel.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil refiners have said they are operating at near-maximum capacity, which has helped send gas prices near all-time highs of almost $5 per gallon as of Tuesday.

Cornell said he’s watching how consumers behave on July 4 weekend — including “how far they are willing to travel” and how much they will spend on food for barbecues — noting that it’s one of the top three weekends of the year for food purchases.

“July 4th weekend will be really important,” he said.



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