Republicans are weighing whether to raise the federal gas tax. It’s an idea they are prone to hate, but they may need it to pay for President Trump’s infrastructure investment plan.
Supporters of the idea note that the tax hasn’t been raised since 1993 and have plenty of evidence that resistance to a hike is wearing down.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently called for the Trump administration and Congress to raise the gas tax by 25 cents per gallon to help pay for an infrastructure package, projecting it would generate more than $375 billion over a decade. For 25 years, the federal tax on gasoline has held steady at 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel. It is not indexed to inflation.
The Republican chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, prodded colleagues at the recent GOP retreat to consider setting aside years of opposition and raise the tax.
And perhaps most revealing, some of the most conservative House members who heard Shuster’s pitch are open to it.
This morning, NBC Today Host Matt Lauer asked Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to swear President Trump’s proposed tax cuts will pay for themselves.
I wonder if Matt ever asked any member of the Obama administration to swear that people would be able to keep their doctor under Obamacare.
Of course, Mnuchin didn’t raise his hand because he knows full well the tax cuts won’t pay for themselves. They will cover their cost in part as a result of the economic stimulus they provide, but even conservative economists don’t believe tax cuts fully pay for themselves.
President Trump knows this too. What all the flummoxed pundits and politicians in Washington don’t understand is that this is not a proposal. This is an opening proposal.
A businessman who specializes in dealmaking has landed in a town, Washington, that doesn’t understand business. Trump is going big with his proposal because he knows he won’t get everything he wants. His actual goal is probably pretty clear to him, and it’s not what he is proposing. It’s less.
What is going on here is that Trump has decided, after the Obamacare repeal debacle, to start making policy from the White House and not leave it to a wonk and politician like Speaker Paul Ryan.
Ryan put out an Obamacare repeal plan that was actually his final proposal, and look what happened. He didn’t leave himself room to maneuver. And so it sunk. Trump is now left trying to revive it.
As the tax debate goes on over the next year, look for Trump to mostly stick to his guns until the last minute, and then “magnanimously” agree to jettison some of his ostensibly cherished proposals for a deal.
President Trump Wednesday is expected to propose cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, fulfilling a campaign promise and eclipsing a longstanding proposal by House Speaker Paul Ryan to drop the rate to 20 percent. I’ve got an idea. Let’s cut the rate to 0 percent. I honestly don’t understand the corporate income tax… Continue Reading
President Obama today plans to effectively demand that taxpayers fund his jobs plans, saying tax increases that might be used to offset tax cuts long coveted by business should be rolled into financing his agenda instead of keeping things deficit-neutral. Speaking in Chattanooga, Tennessee on the latest stop in his soak-the-rich speaking tour, Obama will… Continue Reading
With just ten days remaining before Election Day, the White House has let word leak out that it is supposedly considering a tax cut as part of a new plan to stimulate the moribund economy. From the Washington Post: The new tax cut could provide hundreds of dollars or more a year to workers and… Continue Reading
The White House today suggested it may consider raising its $250,000 income level threshold for increasing tax rates, refusing to rule out acceptance of a new proposal by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to raise the level to those earning $1 million or more. While saying President Obama’s position on setting the tax increase trigger at… Continue Reading
Updated 1:10 pm ET President Obama paid a total federal tax rate in 2011 on adjusted income of $789,674 that may be lower than that of his secretary, even though she earned substantially less. Obama has spent the past week touting the Buffett Rule, which calls on those who make $1 million – just a… Continue Reading
President Obama chose not to subject himself to his own proposed Buffett Rule, paying only a 20.5 percent federal tax rate instead of the 30 percent rate called for under the proposal he has been talking about all week. The Buffett rule would apply to those making $1 million, and Obama did not quite make… Continue Reading
Workers are beginning to be informed of major health reform-mandated changes to their health care flexible spending accounts that will make the accounts far more difficult to use and that will limit the sum of health related products that can written off from taxes. The changes will result in higher taxes paid by workers making… Continue Reading
Having spent $1 trillion on health care reform, Democratic leaders have checked the books and discovered to their dismay that THE UNITED STATES IN RUNNING UNBELIEVABLE DEFICITS. Sorry, let me get a hold of myself. It’s just that they’ve taken the big overindulgence at dinner that existed under GOP rule and turned it into an… Continue Reading