Fuel Tax Hike Proposed by Deficit Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Although opposed by many Republicans and Democrats alike, including President Obama, an increase in the federal fuel tax was one of several controversial measures proposed last week by the bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

The commission, headed by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former senator Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.), released a draft of the plan designed to reduce the federal budget deficit to 2 percent of GDP by 2014 and lower the national debt to 34 percent of GDP by 2040.

The proposed 15-cent increase in fuel taxes, beginning in 2013, would be used to sustain the Highway Trust Fund.

TruckerInfo.com reported last week that a poll taken in April 2010, just before Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman were getting ready to introduce a Senate Bill that would impose dramatically higher gas taxes, showed 7 in 10 Americans were opposed to the idea. While Kerry's objective was reducing GHG production, as opposed to the current proposal which is a deficit-cutting measure, 78 percent of those polled said they believe that higher fuel taxes would kill jobs.

The American Trucking Associations has yet to comment on the Commission's draft proposal, but it has in the past expressed support for fuel taxes as a fair and verifiable means of paying for infrastructure, according to TruckerInfo.com.

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