Trump says he would be agreeable to raising gas tax 25 cents

Cheryl Sanders
February 18, 2018

According to the CBO, each 1 cent increase in the gas tax produces $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion in revenue.

Putting another 25 cents on the consumer price for gasoline, as proposed by the Trump administration, could be political suicide, a market analyst said.

The White House declined comment on the president's discussions during the closed-door portions of the meeting.

Sen. Tom Carper of DE said Trump told lawmakers in a White House meeting that he would be willing to provide leadership on such an increase.

When President Trump was campaigning for office, one of his promises was to upgrade and modernize the nation's infrastructure.

The new proposal would elevate the tax to approximately 43 cents for retail gasoline.

"There are pros and cons", Chao said in a White House briefing.

"To my surprise, President Trump, today in our meeting, offered his support for raising the gas and diesel tax by 25 cents a gallon and dedicating that money to improve our roads, highways, and bridges", Carper said in a statement provided to reporters.

"The gas tax has an adverse impact, a very regressive impact, on the most vulnerable within our society; those who depend on jobs, who are hourly workers". The proposal comes on the heels of an expansive infrastructure plan, an ambitious budget bill and tax reforms that many analysts said would add to a mounting federal deficit.

A 25 cent increase in the price of gas could cause motorists to pinch some pennies at the pump in the coming months.

Tara Billingsley, a partner at Jim Massie & Partners and former senior staff member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said there's a joke in Congress about a lawmaker who "wasn't against raising the gasoline tax, he was just against voting to raise the gasoline tax". Over the next decade, the US national debt will likely increase by $7 trillion, as the proposal does not seek to balance the budget, instead relying heavily on states to attract outside private investment to fund major projects.

There might not be much support for a higher fuels tax outside of the White House. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobbying group, says the proposal would raise $394 billion and that neglecting to address the deteriorating American infrastructure is costing businesses and families money. The gas tax is now 18.4 cents a gallon and hasn't been raised since 1993. This is an area ripe for bipartisan effort, especially in an election year, though the irresponsible tax cut and the new spending deal suddenly have Republicans now calling for austerity.

"Republicans will never pass a tax hike on working Americans", Norquist tweeted February 14.

Well, as we know by now, Trump is prone to changing his mind.

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