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Late Thursday word came from the White House that the Obama administration is proposing a $10 tax per barrel of oil sold. If passed, President Obama might be offered honorary prince status in Saudi Arabia because the Saudis would love it. Bit it never will pass, which is why I think it is designed to restart a conversation that has been put off for too long: raising the gas tax. Folks, it's time.

Currently, the federal tax rate for each gallon of gas sold is 18.4 cents. It's higher for diesel, coming in at 24.4 cents. State taxes that get added to the federal rate vary. I say we raise the federal rate a dime. We can afford it. And the revenues raised would go to rebuilding our flagging infrastructure. 

In 2013, gasoline usage in the United States came in at 1,011 gallons per household. At $2.00 per gallon, that's a cost of just over $2,000 per year for each household. Raising the tax a dime would represent a 54% increase in the tax (that's the shocking number) but would only be an out of pocket expense of a hair over $100 per year, per household, or less than $8.50 per month.

I don't know about you, but I would gladly pay that to improve the infrastructure in this country. This would create $13.5 billion in additional revenue that could be put directly into an infrastructure fund. After a few years, you're talking about some real money.

(It would be wise to leave the diesel tax where it is simply because it would be passed on to the average consumer anyway. That's what happens when corporations have to pay more in taxes or costs, they just pass that cost on to their customers as they are not really interested in making less money. This seems lost on some folks in D.C. sometimes.)

As a general rule, I'm not in favor of higher taxes. We could all debate the benefits and drawbacks of our current tax system but I think we might all agree raising the gas tax seems to be a fair and equitable way to increase revenue. I realize consumption taxes hurt the poor more than the wealthy, but I would argue the benefit of the infrastructure jobs, good, quality jobs for years to come, far outweigh the cost of $8.50 per month to each household.

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This also isn't a new tax; it already exists and our country needs the money. The simple fact is that we are running deficits year after year and are in debt to the tune of $20 trillion dollars, give or take a couple hundred billion. These roads and bridges are not going to see a significant increase in the amount of money spent on building and maintaining them without more revenue.

We can live in this fantasy world where college becomes free and everyone gets a tax cut but maybe we should spend some time in reality for a change. Magic is not going to make the deficit smaller or improve the roads and bridges in this country.

Say what you want about "big oil," but the industry employs a lot of people in this country with fairly good pay. The "barrel tax" is going to kill jobs, not create them, and you and I are going to end up paying for it anyway. Let's cut out the middle man and save some money.

We also can't argue that we can't afford to pay more for a gallon of gas. The sales of SUVs and trucks indicate folks are more than comfortable with their current fuel costs. 

Even if fuel prices were to rise substantially, a dime isn't going to make much difference, it will just represent even less on a percentage basis of the overall cost. Plus, breaking news, the oil reserves and technology that have been discovered over the past five years are not going away, even if some oil companies do. I don't like to make "lifetime" calls but $4 per gallon gas is not sustainable for any reasonable amount of time...period.

It's time to pay. I don't necessarily trust the government to spend the benefits of an increased gas tax wisely, but at some point we have to try. We're at that point.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.