Ford Co. Backs Gas Tax Hike to Cut Deficit
Ford Motor Co. Vice Chairman Harold A. Poling said today that the nation’s No. 2 auto maker would support a gradually phased-in gasoline tax increase as a means of reducing the nation’s budget deficit.
Speaking to a group of reporters at a year-end press conference, Poling said a gas tax increase could be phased in over three to five years at an increase of about five cents per gallon per year.
However, he said there must first be an opportunity for President-elect George Bush to “present his policy and approach” to reducing the deficit, which Poling labeled as the “most serious problem the country faces.”
“If he is unsuccessful . . . then as part of a revenue-raising package we would support an increase in the gas tax,” Poling said, provided that such a program is “not just a means of raising funds for further expenditures.”
Bush has promised not to raise taxes.
Industry leader General Motors Corp. has opposed any gasoline tax increase, claiming that it could threaten U.S. jobs and lower U.S. auto production levels.
But Poling said such a program, if phased in over time, would have a minimal effect on the industry.