If you have ever found yourself at the gas pump thinking, "I really wish it cost more to fill up," then President Obama has just the idea for you. In his final budget request, he will include a call for an additional $10 in taxes per barrel of oil. This terrible idea would roll back the tremendous energy gains made in recent years and harm the economy.
The biggest and most obvious impact of the Obama gas tax would be its impact on the pocketbooks of American drivers. That's right: one of the most underrated findings in economics is the fact that the person cutting the tax check isn't always the one shouldering its burden. In this case, you can tax "oil companies" as much as you want, but the burden will be passed on to consumers. And indeed, estimates show the $10 per barrel fee could translate to roughly 22 cents per gallon of gasoline. That would more than double the current federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. The president, in other words, wants Uncle Sam to collect $5 or more every time you fill up, writes Veronique de Rugy.