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article imageOp-Ed: Trump says he would be agreeable to raising gas tax 25 cents

By Karen Graham     Feb 15, 2018 in Politics
You could say that whatever Trump giveth, he can also take away, too. And his latest idea is to increase the federal gas tax to motorists 25 cents a gallon. Doing so would wipe out 60 percent of the tax cuts he gave Americans.
Democratic Senator Tom Carper. of Delaware said in a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers at the White House, President Trump reportedly endorsed hiking the federal gas and diesel tax by 25 cents. Trump said he would be willing to provide leadership on the increase to pay for improvements to roads, highways, and bridges, according to CNBC.
Trump also noted the federal gas tax had not been raised since 1993, and actually, there has been a lot of discussion on the idea for several weeks around the halls of Congress. In 1993, when Bill Clinton was president, the federal tax on gas was raised to 18.4 cents per gallon.
"He said that he knew it was a difficult thing for legislators to support and said that he would support the leadership to do that and provide the political cover to do that," Harper said during an interview with CNN. "And he came back to that theme again and again and again."
Gas prices are displayed at a USA Gasoline station on July 16  2013 in Los Angeles  California
Gas prices are displayed at a USA Gasoline station on July 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California
Kevork Djansezian, Getty/AFP
What would a gas tax increase mean?
And Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao did not rule out the idea of a gas tax on Tuesday when she spoke to reporters at the White House, but she described it as "not ideal." On Thursday the average price of gas was $2.55 per gallon, down from $2.60 a week ago, but well above last year's $2.28 per gallon, according to AAA.
Government data shows that an increase of 20 cents per gallon on gas prices this year has already cost about $34 billion. Daniel Clifton, Strategas' head of policy research, wrote in a note, "The proposed gasoline tax increase adds another $0.25 per gallon. The combined $0.45 per [gallon] increase in gasoline prices eats away $71.6 billion from the $120 billion in individual tax cuts or 60 percent of the net tax savings for consumers."
To put this in a clearer context, for an average family of four, the proposed 25-cent jump in a gallon of gas would show up immediately on the family's transportation fuel bill. A 12-gallon fill up would cost at least $3.00 a gallon.
The July 19  2015 collapse of an Interstate 10 bridge in Riverside County  Calif. due to heavy rains...
The July 19, 2015 collapse of an Interstate 10 bridge in Riverside County, Calif. due to heavy rains is prompting questions among experts about weaknesses in transportation infrastructure and its capacity to withstand increasingly extreme weather events. (There were no fatalities).
Quartzsite Fire and Rescue
Let's be fair about this because there are some pros and cons. The big one for consumers is the increase in car fuel bills, that is true. However, our transportation infrastructure is in very bad shape. It is so bad the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave American infrastructure a D+ on its annual report card.
Basically, it all comes down to getting a clearer picture of what Trump really wants, and it is doubtful at this time that he even knows for sure. After all, this is the leader of one of the globe's biggest economies who suggested that instead of handing out money to welfare recipients for food, we should instead give them a box of groceries every month.
However, while Trump hasn't made his intentions clear, local governments will likely turn to using tolls and other fees to come up with their share of the funding, especially if they want to get anything in the way of federal grants.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Trump, Gas tax, Infrastructure, tax break, Economy
 
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