ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA ? Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul says a proposal to raise the federal gasoline tax is the last thing the American people need in a slumping economy. The recommendation comes from a panel made of corporate executives and government bureaucrats commissioned by Congress in the 2005 transportation bill. Congressman Paul was one of nine votes in the House against the bill.

?This is a great example of how out of touch big government and big business are with the American people,? Paul said. ?With gas at three dollars a gallon and a slowing economy, the last thing we need is a tax increase to be paid by Americans who can least afford it.?

Paul called on the other presidential candidates to join him in opposing this and any other tax increase proposals that come down in the future.