President Donald Trump has signaled that he would be open to raising the gas tax.
Trump told Bloomberg that he “would certainly consider” increasing the gas tax “if we earmarked money toward the highways.”
Here are five things to know about Trump considering to raise the gas tax.
1. The gas tax is not mentioned in his tax reform proposal. This means that the specifics of a higher gas tax under Trump are currently unknown. It also unclear if Trump would insist that a tax reform bill that reaches his desk include a higher gas tax. But the fact that Trump has indicated that he might be willing to sign it into law is certainly disconcerting.
2. Increasing the gas tax would particularly harm the poor. The person who inadvertently made this case was, ironically, Barack Obama.
In 2011, Obama stated, “For Americans that are already struggling to get by, a hike in gas prices really makes their lives that much harder. It hurts.”
Obama wasn’t specifically talking about a higher gas tax there, but The Daily Caller noted that the same logic applies to a higher gas tax that Obama was proposing in 2016 since basic economics indicates that a higher gas tax would result in higher gas prices.
Additionally, according to The Heritage Foundation, consumers wouldn’t drive less as a result of a higher gas tax; they would instead “make other sacrifices” and that “on average, an increased gas tax would cost families who drive $54 per year.” Naturally, this adversely hurts the poor, who have less financial leeway.