American families are enjoying a level of economic relief they haven’t experienced in six years—and it is largely attributable to the recent slide in gasoline prices. The average price for a gallon of gas, according to AAA, has tumbled 34% in the past year to about $2 a gallon from $3.27. Families are saving $100 a month at the pump and are paying less for groceries and everyday goods thanks to lower transportation costs. Considering that median family incomes are 3% lower than they were six years ago, this is a welcome reprieve for the middle class.
Politicians, on the other hand, see an opportunity to ask Americans for more of their paychecks. On Feb. 4 Democrats in the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.), introduced a bill that would raise the federal gas tax by 15 cents—nearly doubling the current 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax. Meanwhile, legislators and governors in more than 15 states are pursuing gas-tax hikes of their own.
While the various proposals differ, one thing is the same: None should be passed into law. Any gas tax hike, big or small, will harm American families and hurt economic growth—all so politicians can waste more taxpayer money.