Finally, stimulus that works! Don't screw it up

Helping the middle class. That's been the announced goal of every Democrat and Republican administration forever.

When Democrats are in office, that lofty goal is used to justify tax hikes, expanding government programs, and adding more regulations. Republicans used the "help the middle class" line to justify cutting taxes, cutting government programs, and reducing regulations.

Gas prices at a station in South Orange, New Jersey, October, 2014.
Marty Steinberg | CNBC
Gas prices at a station in South Orange, New Jersey, October, 2014.

I think the Republican M.O. is the better way to achieve more prosperity for everyone, but both party's plans and track records truly pale in comparison to something else that's more powerful, more wonderful and much more immediate than any political policy.

It's called lower gas prices.

Everything from consumer-confidence reports to Wal-Mart's earnings numbers show the recent sharp dive in gas prices is helping the middle class, especially the lower middle class, in an immediate and significant way.

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It's often said that every penny taken off at the pump turns into a billion added dollars into American consumers' pockets. But more importantly, that money is truly spread evenly across every economic class.

We're talking real relief for people who need that money to buy groceries, clothes and eat out just once in a while. Does that sound like something a billionaire or a CEO would need? Not really. But they love those lower gas prices when they help drive poorer Americans back into the stores, restaurants and hotels. Lower gas prices are truly the "trickle up" kind of development the Democrats and liberals have been calling for since the Great Depression.

But hold everything! How are those liberals and Democrats responding to the lower gas prices? Are they applauding the work done by the industrious and risk-taking oil companies who developed fracking and all the other measures that increased U.S. supply and drove these prices down? Nope. In fact, many progressives, lefties, and even elected Democrats are using this drop in gas prices as an excuse to demand a big whopping increase in — you guessed it — gasoline taxes!

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That's right. Even after being presented with the best evidence ever that gas prices affect the lower middle class and poorer working Americans the most, the Democrats seem more eager to please their much richer greenie environmentalist campaign donors by pushing for new taxes that will push the price at the pump higher and higher. The old joke about "we're from the government and we're here to help" has never been more biting than it is when we talk about the effect of increased gas taxes on economically strapped Americans.

For all the Republican claims that the Democrats only want to shake down richer Americans and corporations, the liberal push to increase gas taxes is proof that no income level is immune from the government's insatiable cash grab.

Here's a better idea, why not find a less regressive way to improve the U.S. infrastructure than imposing a harsh tax that slams the poor? Or better yet, how about letting the other industries that cater to people of all economic levels compete more so prices can be reduced at the grocery store and the mall as well as the gas station?

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Most importantly, instead of paying off crony donors or trying to incite class warfare Democrats and Republicans should just let the free market do its thing.

Commentary by Jake Novak, supervising producer of "Street Signs." Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.