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On Valentine’s Day, perhaps as a way to extend an olive branch of peace and a valentine of love, President Donald Trump reportedly endorsed the idea of raising the gas tax by 25 cents per gallon, according to lawmakers who attended a bipartisan session at the White House. The gas levy hike would help pay for his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, but it would irk anti-tax conservatives and much of his base in Middle America.
Sources close to the situation say that the president was open to a myriad of options to cover the tab for his endeavor to fix bridges, repair roads, and upgrade highways.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a staunch advocate for the proposal, prognosticates that a 25-cent hike gradually implemented over five years would generate approximately $375 billion over ten years.
Democrats are far more inclined to raise gas taxes, including Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), who already confirmed he would lend “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.” Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) also acknowledged that he was pleased by Trump’s consideration.
Not too many Republicans would be willing to add to the daily cost of living, especially since it would offset some of the tax cuts. However, former Representative Ray LaHood (R-IL), who also served as former President Barack Obama’s Transportation Secretary, said he’s “for Trump on this one.”
One of the worst things that could happen to the American people is bipartisanship on this issue.
Gas Tax Hike Would Hurt Trump Base
Today, motorists pay about $2 per gallon, as well as a federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents (24.4 cents for diesel). The last time the federal gas tax was increased was in 1993, when President Bill Clinton first entered the Oval Office, Seinfeld was at the height of its mega success, and Steven Spielberg was still directing excellent motion pictures.
So, in light of everything that has transpired in the U.S. over the last 25 years, you might think it would be time to raise the federal gas tax. But that wouldn’t be good for President Trump’s loyal base.
The effects across the nation of a 25-cent jump would vary because of current gas tax rates and fuel consumption. Of the top ten states maintaining the highest percentage escalation in total gas tax liability, nine supported Trump in 2016 (New Mexico being the outcast), according to Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners. The report discovered that Mississippi would witness the highest surge in annual gas tax burdens per household with $391, followed by Wyoming ($380) and South Carolina ($377).
“Every American stands to lose under this proposal, but some would be more heavily impacted than others,” the group said.
A plethora of anti-tax groups issued comments since the reports went viral.
“I’d hate to see a new tax siphon off 20 percent of the $1,000 tax reform bonuses back to the swamp this year,” FreedomWorks stated.
“President Trump will not be fooled into following the Democrat playbook,” Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist averred in a statement.
There has yet to be a timetable laid out. In the preliminary stages, Republicans and Democrats appear to be generally in favor of an infrastructure initiative. How it’s paid for is where the parties split.
Taxpayers Saving a Few Bucks? Tax It!
The government cannot bear to witness taxpayers enjoying extra Federal Reserve Notes in their wallets. Politicians are like those spoiled, obnoxious children who hate it when other kids are happy.
Thanks to the shale revolution, gas prices have remained relatively low since 2015. Because the average retail price has cratered from around $4 per gallon, Capitol Hill and state governments are seeing fewer tax revenues, much of which would be wasted on frivolous outlays anyway.
So, what’s the solution for politicians to continue getting their next spending fix? Well, taxpayers have a few more dollar in their pockets, so that only means one thing: tax it! You will barely notice the government extracting more money from you since it’s merely a few pennies – or so they say.
Unfortunately, the gas tax, like so many other taxes Americans come across in their daily lives, is a tax on living. Whether it is a sales levy, sin tax, or soda excise, all of these are penalties on going about your existence. In addition to that, Americans are mandated to give the government a large portion of the fruits of their labor.
It may be admirable that President Trump wants to find revenue tools to pay for his infrastructure proposal. But rather than bleeding taxpayers dry, like previous administrations have done, the best idea would be to take a chainsaw to the federal budget and slash spending. The U.S. tax code is currently four times larger than William Shakespeare’s complete works. This isn’t just embarrassing; it is theft. Trump should hit the brakes as soon as possible. Otherwise, he could pay the price in the midterms and 2020.
Do you support a 25-cent gas tax hike? Let us know in the comments section!