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(29,821 posts)
Sat Jan 27, 2018, 08:21 PM Jan 2018

White House Open To Gas Tax Hike To Pay For Infrastructure Upgrades


WASHINGTON ― Raising the gas tax to help finance infrastructure improvements isn’t off the table for the Trump administration, according to White House aide DJ Gribbin.

“We don’t support it. We don’t oppose it either,” Gribbin, who serves as the special assistant to the president for infrastructure policy, said Thursday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting.

Trump last year said that as a funding source for his much-touted push to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, he would be open to increasing the federal gas tax for the first time since 1993. The Highway Trust Fund, which helps pay for the nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems, is primarily funded by the federal fuel tax. But the vast majority of Republican lawmakers, who control both houses of Congress, have opposed raising the levy.

Gribbin told dozens of U.S. mayors on Thursday that Trump’s long-delayed infrastructure proposal will include $200 billion in public spending, with the rest of the $1 trillion plan consisting of private tax incentives. But ways to finance the plan, as well as whether it should include more direct federal spending, will ultimately be left up to Congress, he said.

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(5,572 posts)
12. This would actually not be good for them
Sun Jan 28, 2018, 12:09 AM
Jan 2018

They would not be getting the money and the tax would drive up the cost of their goods.

The net result would be them selling less gas as people adjusted with better fuel efficiency, more transit use and modified commuting patterns.


(1,009 posts)
4. They could have
Sat Jan 27, 2018, 09:29 PM
Jan 2018

paid for infrastructure with the 1.6T tax cut they gave to the rich.

Instead, they will be raising our taxes even more to pay for it through something like this (my local paper mentioned something like a 25 cent increase per gallon), or selling out our infrastructure to private entities, possibly foreign.

On top of this, oil prices have done nothing but go up since Trump was elected.


(29,821 posts)
9. And then all our paid for highways will become
Sat Jan 27, 2018, 11:36 PM
Jan 2018

toll roads. We'll be paying through the nose for the rest of our lives.


(3,743 posts)
5. Thanks for the link
Sat Jan 27, 2018, 09:56 PM
Jan 2018

I'm going to get my own kind of mileage outta this one. His local base of gas guzzlers will not be appreciative.


(31,261 posts)
7. The Trumpers around here drive nothing but big vehicles.
Sat Jan 27, 2018, 11:26 PM
Jan 2018

Big pickups, thirty feet long SUVs. Let the bastards pay more. I have a gas efficient sedan.


(50,824 posts)
8. I remember when Clinton raised the gas tax by 2 cents per gallon
Sat Jan 27, 2018, 11:36 PM
Jan 2018

Adding some more text...you'd have thought Clinton confiscated their first child, second dog and third gun from all the howling the GOP did over this hike. FWIW if you have a 25 gallon gas tank and you run it empty, the Clinton gas tax hike raised the price of the tank by less than the price of the Snickers bar you bought while standing in line to pay for fuel.

Now Trump is talking about a 25 cent per gallon tax hike. That's going to hurt, and there won't be a Democrat around to blame it on.


(5,572 posts)
10. This isn't going to be popular
Sun Jan 28, 2018, 12:07 AM
Jan 2018

But it is long overdue.

Much of infrastructure spending comes from the gas tax and not general revenue. It doesn't really have to be that way but it is a fairly straightforward direct user tax that links expenditures directly to the funding mechanism.

Most taxes are based on a percentage so they naturally rise over time with the costs of goods. Gas taxes are a set amount of cents per gallon. So they have not gone up at all in 25 years. If anything, they may have gone down (relative to miles traveled) as fuel efficiency standards have gone up. Meanwhile, the costs of infrastructure construction has gone up tremendously in that time.

If you believe in infrastructure, you have to believe in funding it. If we don't fund it, we end up falling behind. Even a lot of spending that we do get is reliant on private funding. This has been the fundamental flaw in Trump's earlier infrastructure ideas. He wants to outsource everything to private industry. But those private financiers are looking for profits and that just ends up costing us more in tax cuts and user fees.

Aside from the direct funding issues, a gas tax is a form of "sin tax" that can drive public policy. It pushes for higher fuel efficiency standards and encourages (and subsidizes) transit use. You can even avoid it entirely if you buy electric vehicles.

I get that this would feel like an affront to the middle class. i would soften it by proposing a 10 year phase in to allow people to replace vehicles and change commuting patterns with foreknowledge of what costs were coming.

Having said that, it won't happen because politicians are cowards and personal use of a gas guzzling car is seen as an American birthright. So we will continue to lag behind in infrastructure AND cook the planet.


(29,821 posts)
19. If there wasn't the Public/Private thing going on
Sun Jan 28, 2018, 01:41 PM
Jan 2018

I might agree with you. However, what it looks like to me is that the private money will get paid back with toll roads and we will get the do whacka do again.


(5,572 posts)
20. I don't think you can separate them
Sun Jan 28, 2018, 02:24 PM
Jan 2018

The move towards private funding is because of lack of funding. Every policy person I know would rather build the old fashion way rather than give up so much control to outside interests. But they do it because they have to.

Response to WhiteTara (Original post)


(23,719 posts)
14. Of course he does--it's a regressive tax.
Sun Jan 28, 2018, 12:54 AM
Jan 2018

Hurts the poor and middle class more than the billionaires.


(5,126 posts)
15. Trickle down tax burden....
Sun Jan 28, 2018, 01:49 AM
Jan 2018

State and local communities will likely have to pass State wide issues to increase income or more likely sales tax and put levies on ballots for the match portion too.

So John Q feels all happy about an extra $40 in his take home pay but never realizes the correlation when the gas tax ticks up, State sales tax increases a percentage point and his local community and schools are forced to go to the ballot for a school levy, a roads levy, a parks levy, a fire levy, a library levy, etc.

So still happy about the extra $40, he sees the price of gas and consumer goods tick up as a result of sales/gas tax, property taxes increase, his health insurance and care costs go up, fees are added to his bank account and increased on financial transactions. It cost and extra $50 for license and registration fees... The extra $40 his federal taxes were reduced has been swallowed by the extra $200 in expenses every month. He blames Obamacare, the State, the Township trustees, the parks commission, the bank, etc. for being fiscally irresponsible and never realizes that he is paying more because the 1 percent got what they wanted which was an 85% share of the tax cuts and it reduced income to the local entities.


(28,470 posts)
16. Like Chris Christie--Take money from Transportation Trust Fund to balance budget, then raise gas taxes.
Sun Jan 28, 2018, 02:54 AM
Jan 2018

The Transportation Trust Fund was self-sufficient, where it took in enough money. But, Christie transferred money to the General Fund to help balance his fucked up budgets brought on by mismanagement, the loss of $400B Race-to-the-Top money, which was his direct fault, the reduction of Exxon's $8.25 Billion superfund settlement to just $250 Million, and the cut of $1 Billion in yearly taxes to the Top 1%. Then, there becomes a shortfall of money to take care of the roads... and the taxpayers and drivers are on the hook.

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