Nearly Half of Voters Think Congress Should Run With Trump's Tax Outline
- Author: Leroy Wright May 07, 2017,
May 07, 2017, 0:01
Reacting to criticism over a lack of specifics in the president's tax ideas, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told CNBC on Thursday the plan was purposely vague.
"The truckers have said that they want me to do something as long as that money is earmarked to highways".
But most of all, we must rethink our method of funding highway construction and fix.
There's been no increase in the federal motor fuel tax since 1993.
The federal gas tax is now 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents for diesel and hasn't been raised in twenty years, leaving the Highway Trust Fund broke.
To keep a positive balance in the trust fund, lawmakers have injected an additional $143 billion into it since 2008, according to a report past year by the Congressional Budget Office. Armed with a widely-signed lawmaker pledge not to raise taxes that aren't being offset, the group holds enormous power on the issue. He noted that a number of states have recently "bitten the bullet" by raising gas taxes, adding that he believes the Trump administration will now consider doing so.
Many Republicans oppose any sort of tax increase, but some have at times backed an increase in the gas tax. The industry benefits because better roads reduce travel times, curb the frequency of vehicle repairs and improve roadway safety. USA firms are subject to the highest top nominal tax rate in the industrialized world, 35 percent, a major reason that businesses shift overseas, or at least report their income abroad, beyond Uncle Sam's reach. It puts a far higher burden on poor and middle-income Americans, because they pay a higher proportion of their incomes in fuel costs commuting to work and school.
Representative Peter DeFazio of OR, the transportation panel's top Democrat, said he thought most Democrats and many Republicans would go along if Trump strongly advocated for an increase.
Combined with state taxes on fuel, Americans are taxed roughly 50 cents per gallon on gasoline and just over 55 cents on diesel fuel.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during his daily briefing that Trump "absolutely" intends to unveil a $1 trillion infrastructure package sometime this year. There are 35 Republican congressmen from the high-tax states of California, New York, New Jersey and IL, and some of them are already balking.
Representative Kevin Brady, the chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, made his opposition to an increase clear Monday afternoon.
The Trump administration has placed an overhaul of the tax system - describing it as the biggest reform in history - at the top of its legislative agenda.
David Solomon, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, said the great sense of optimism early in Trump's tenure may be fading some.