Fueling Up a Brawl: U.S. gas tax

Would a sizable raise in the U.S. gas tax dent the deficit -- or the economy?

"Fill 'er up!" In these days of buck-a-gallon gasoline, millions of + Americans belt out those words with relish in filling stations from Honolulu to Hartford. But the cost of that tankful could soon take its biggest leap since the oil-parched 1970s. Reason: a hefty increase in the federal gasoline tax may be coming down the road this year. To an increasing number of politicians and economists, a gas-tax boost would be one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the 1990 budget deficit. The idea could quickly gain ground among congressional leaders who are preparing to haggle with...

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