Tags: Polls | Trump Administration | Trump Tax Reform | atr | pelosi | radman | rasmussen

Squeeze DC, Not Citizens for Infrastructure Funds

Squeeze DC, Not Citizens for Infrastructure Funds
(Christian Delbert/Dreamstime)

By
Thursday, 22 February 2018 02:00 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), Republicans are on a roll. So, why is President Donald Trump praising a gas-tax hike to finance his infrastructure plan?

Despite House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s complaints that the GOP tax-rate reductions are "Armageddon," "crumbs," and — as of Tuesday — "unpatriotic," Americans are growing fond of tax reform. Tax-relief promises helped boost GDP growth from 2016’s 1.5 percent (under Obama) to 2017’s 2.3 percent (under Trump). Unemployment is just 4.1 percent. And some 3.8 million Americans at 377 companies are enjoying bonuses, higher wages, lower power bills, and other post-tax-cut benefits.

SurveyMonkey.com has watched the tax cut’s popularity climb from 37 percent of adults in December to 46 percent in January to 51 percent on Feb. 11. Eight percent of Democrats backed this measure in December. Today, 19 percent do.

These and other GOP victories have blunted Democrats’ edge in RealClearPolitics’ generic-poll average, from 13 percent in December to 7 percent now. Politico.com last week found generic Republican congressional candidates leading Democrats, 39 percent to 38.

So, with tax cuts buoying Republican prospects, the Feb. 1 edition of The Washington Post bore jarring news. Sen. Tom Carper,  D-Del., said, "To my surprise, President Trump, today in our meeting, offered his support for raising the gas and diesel tax by 25 cents a gallon and dedicating that money to improve our roads, highways, and bridges."

Lifting this levy from 18.4 cents per gallon to 43.4 cents boosts it 136 percent. Even if phased in over five years, as some suggest, this bad idea is even worse amid rising oil prices. A gallon of regular worth $2.28 a year ago costs $2.52 today. "A higher gas tax means higher prices not just on gas, but on goods and services throughout the economy," Americans for Prosperity’s Brent Gardner warns in an open letter. "These costs would inevitably be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices, resulting in a regressive tax hike on those who can least afford it."

If Trump thus blemishes the GOP’s tax cuts, which have helped bolster his approval numbers (e.g. 48 percent in Thursday’s Rasmussen poll), Democrats will hammer Trump for betraying the forgotten men and women whom he has served so well, so far.

Imagine this Democratic ad, just before November’s mid-term election:

"Trump slashed corporate taxes for CEOs on Wall Street and hiked fuel taxes for workers on Main Street. Call Trump at 202-456-1414 and tell him: 'Get your multi-billionaire fingers out of our gas tanks.'"

Not helpful.

Ominously, Strategas Research estimates, "60 percent of the individual tax-cut savings in 2018 would be wiped out by rising gasoline prices and a 25¢-per-gallon gasoline tax increase."

"There is no need for a gas tax hike," which would cost families $300 annually, argues Americans for Tax Reform’s Adam Radman. "The problem is, gas tax revenue is siphoned off to pay for projects unrelated to roads and bridges," including bike paths, a $6 million Delaware boardwalk, and $120,000 for a "white-squirrel sanctuaryin Tennessee.

This counterproductive gas-tax chatter contradicts earlier, encouraging news about Washington’s share of Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. "Under Trump's budget, the $200 billion in federal funding will be taken from other programs that are cut or eliminated," USA Today reported on Feb. 11.

This pleased Robert Poole, the libertarian Reason Foundation’s transportation guru.

"$200 billion over a decade averages $20 billion per year," Poole explains. "That is 1.67 percent of the annual budget that includes national defense and all domestic programs, other than entitlements. It’s absurd to imagine that somewhere in that $1.2 trillion there are not some items that are outdated, ineffective, or are inherently state or local in nature, not federal."

Rather than hike gas taxes on commuters and professional drivers, President Trump should squeeze Washington, D.C. for the $20 billion he needs annually to stimulate vital maintenance on America’s shabby roads and shaky bridges.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online. He has been a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Read more opinions from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Murdock
Rather than hike gas taxes on commuters and professional drivers, President Trump should squeeze Washington, D.C. for the $20 billion he needs annually to stimulate vital maintenance on America’s shabby roads and shaky bridges.
atr, pelosi, radman, rasmussen
704
2018-00-22
Thursday, 22 February 2018 02:00 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved