OMB’s Donovan: Obama Open to Gas Tax Increase By Alexis Simendinger
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Are you ready for a federal gas tax increase followed by a state gas tax increase? The federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money, and some senators have proposed to fix the problem by raising gas taxes. This, however, is the wrong solution because it treats the symptom, and not the underlying reason for the shortfall.
Increasing the gas tax would simply allow Congress to increase spending on often-frivolous projects that do nothing for highway travelers, with no guarantee that it would keep spending below revenues. Thus, in two or three years we would be likely to see the fund once again run out of money.
President Obama would work with Congress to raise the federal gas tax to help pay for road and transportation improvements, even though he presented lawmakers with an alternative funding proposal this week, his budget director said Thursday.
Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan said Obama crafted an alternative six-year infrastructure plan because “it just has not seemed like there’s an ability politically to get any consensus around the gas tax. … We’re not going to take anything off the table, but also we’re open to a range of solutions, and hope we get into serious discussions about that.”