Americans will pay more at the pump this summer, but things could be worse for drivers

The US government forecasts that summertime gasoline prices this year will be at their highest level since 2014, when Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” was at the top of all the music charts and Andrew Garfield still played Spider-Man. SUV owners and those who love to take summer road trips may not be pleased by the news, yet it’s important to view the outlook in context: Prices will be higher this summer, but things could also be worse for the average US driver. TAXES The US federal gasoline tax was last changed in 1993, when it was raised to 18.4 cents/gal, but was not indexed for inflation. According to figures from the Brookings Institute, once adjusted for inflation, federal gasoline tax revenues peaked in 1994 and have been falling ever since. While there was some talk this year of a 25-cent/gal increase in the federal gasoline tax, even a novice to politics can see that the Republican Party – in control of both the White House and Congress – is unlikely to push a tax hike with pivotal midterm elections on the horizon. It’s true that some states increased fuel taxes at the start of 2018, but these changes were… continue reading

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