Now that President Barack Obama has broken his promise about not raising taxes on the middle class, it’s “Katy, bar the door” time.
The Obama Administration is once again considering switching from a per-gallon gasoline tax to a pay-per-mile plan in order to increase the amount of money going into the Federal Highway Trust Fund. According to a Government Accountability Office study, the trust fund needs a tax increase to keep from going broke.
The trust fund is drying up because of the move to more fuel-efficient cars. Better gas mileage means fewer trips to the pump, hence the drop in trust fund revenues.
To maintain spending at current levels would require a doubling of the gas tax to 32 cents per gallon, according to the GAO. Should the Federal government add spending needed to fix crumbling infrastructure and build new roads, that tax would have to increase to 45 cents per gallon.
The GAO says the average driver pays about $96 per year in Federal gas taxes. To raise the $78 billion needed to fix and maintain roads, that would need to rise to $248. Translated into a pay-per-mile plan, the average driver would see an increase in the tax from .9 of a cent per mile he currently pays to 2.2 cents per mile.
A pay-per-mile plan was floated during Obama’s first term. It was scrapped after it was met with public outrage.
Between the fiscal cliff deal and a number of Obamacare taxes taking effect in 2013, Americans have already been hit with $264 billion in new taxes since New Year’s Day. It’s one of the largest one-year tax increases in American history.
Of course, Obama believes there is no spending problem. He’s right. Recent legislation proves neither Obama nor Congress has a problem spending money. Cutting, though, is a different story. And passing a budget is out of the question.