Trump Wants to Raise the Gasoline Tax—Maybe

Donald Trump wants some money to pay for his infrastructure ideas:

President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser raised the possibility of increasing the federal gasoline tax next year to help pay for the administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, U.S. Representative Tom Reed said. National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn brought up the fuel tax as a way to help fund promised upgrades to U.S. roads, bridges and other public works during a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers dubbed the Problem Solvers Caucus on Wednesday, said Reed, a New York Republican who is co-chairman of the caucus.

Republicans mostly seem to be pretty lukewarm to the idea, but they shouldn’t be. Here’s the gasoline tax over the past 70 years:

An increase of five or ten cents would get the gas tax back to where it’s historically needed to be to properly fund road and highway maintenance. More than that might allow us to build new stuff, as Trump wants. Unfortunately, Republicans don’t recognize that inflation exists if the topic happens to be tax rates. I don’t suppose there’s much chance of this happening unless Trump himself gets out and starts getting big cheers at his rallies for the idea.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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