Top progressives come out swinging against possible gas tax in bipartisan infrastructure plan since it would hurt lower-income Americans – About Your Online Magazine




Bernie Sanders wearing glasses talking on a cell phone: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Jim Watson / Pool via AP


© Jim Watson / Pool via AP
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Jim Watson / Pool via AP

  • Progressives are attacking the idea of ​​indexing the gas tax to inflation, which is part of the infrastructure project.
  • “Indexing the gasoline tax is just one way to raise taxes on workers next year instead of this year,” a senior Democrat said on Wednesday.
  • The possible increase in the gas tax could generate just $35 billion in a decade.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Some key progressives are turning to a specific clause in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure framework: indexing the gas tax to inflation.

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“Indexing the gas tax is just one way to raise taxes on workers next year instead of this year,” Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said on Wednesday during a hearing by the Finance Committee. Senate.

Then Senator Bernie Sanders also attacked the tax. “Gasoline taxes are regressive taxes,” he said on Tuesday, referring to a type of tax that falls disproportionately on low-income Americans.

The infrastructure project would largely focus spending on physical elements such as roads, bridges and highways, areas that Republicans traditionally favor. Indexing the gas tax would be a source of revenue, along with reclaimed coronavirus relief money and public-private partnerships.

Indexing the gas tax to inflation would not yield a large amount of revenue, however. An expert at the Center for American Progress newly designed raise between $30 billion and $35 billion in 10 years.

Still, the proposal faces a difficult escalation between Democrats and Republicans. Some Democratic senators are already rejecting the measure insufficient to address climate change. Others are reluctant to support the proposal, fearing that center Democrats will refuse further social spending measures in a subsequent bill.

Still, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats are taking a two-pronged approach at this stage: continuing negotiations with Republicans while setting the stage for embarking on reconciliation, a legislative maneuver that requires just 51 Senate votes. for certain projects.

He is particularly focused on reducing harmful emissions in infrastructure accounts. “We need significant reductions in emissions through clean energy, electric vehicles, as well as funding to help manufacturers and farmers be part of the solution in combating climate change,” Schumer said on Wednesday morning.

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Paula Fonseca