Donald Trump's Disappointing Gas Tax Dance

A Gas Tax Hike Is the Obvious Answer to Infrastructure Funding

White House, Congress mull first federal gasoline tax hike in a generation

But a number of Democrats and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pushed the administration to commit far more federal dollars, funded by tax increases, or by closing tax loopholes.

He said the president "came back to the idea of a 25 cent increase several times throughout the meeting".

CNN reported the president said he supported the idea during a bipartisan meeting at the White House with Congressional representatives, according to Senator Tom Carper [D-DE].

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.

"The gas tax has its pros and cons, and that's why the president is leading a thoughtful discussion on the right way to solve our nation's infrastructure problems", a White House official said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

"I'm sure with gas prices already likely to face pressure to rise this spring and summer versus a year ago, any such move would be political suicide for both Trump and politicians that go along", he said.

The White House unveiled Trump's infrastructure plan earlier this week.

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So it was intriguing, later in the week, to see news reports that Trump had signaled support for a 25-cent increase in the federal fuel tax to pay for the plan.

On Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told reporters that an increase in the gasoline tax was "on the table", but noted that an increase in the tax was "not ideal", since it would be regressive, impacting low-income workers adversely.

Every state in the US now receives more road funding from the federal government than it sends to gasoline taxes, but the cumulative deficit in road-repair funds has risen to several hundred billion dollars. 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.

The gas tax is not a flawless funding source.

The ATA advocates gradually raising the tax 5 cents each year over the next four years so the economy can absorb the increase, Spear said. The proposal also would fast-track the permitting process for public works projects, drawing criticism that it is designed more to provide regulatory relief to builders than to genuinely offer a path for upgrading the nations roads, highways and bridges.

The government already expects gasoline prices to rise by 20 cents per gallon, according to Clifton. The gas tax is now 18.4 cents a gallon and hasn't been raised since 1993.

However, Norquist doesn't believe Trump will support such a hike.

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