Deficit Plan Proposes 15-Cent Gas-Tax Hike

Presidential fiscal responsibility commission's deficit- reduction plan proposes 15-cent gas-tax hike and slaughters other sacred political cows

A plan proposed by President Barack Obama’s commission to reduce the federal deficit works mathematically but not politically.

Co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed raising federal gas taxes, slashing defense spending and farm subsidies in a $3.8 trillion deficit-cutting plan. The plan also trims Social Security and Medicare, reduces income-tax rates and eliminates tax breaks including the mortgage-interest deduction. It would reduce the annual deficit from $1.3 trillion this year to about $400 billion by 2015, and start reducing the $13.7 trillion national debt.

Transportation-industry leaders had been behind a proposal by Senators George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) that the commission raise federal gas and diesel taxes 25 cents. They applauded the commission's suggested 15-cent gas-tax hike, but the plan drew instant opposition from Democrats, some Republicans and business groups. (More at . . . )