Count General Motors' CEO Rick Wagoner as one proponent for a raise in the federal gas tax. While the idea seems like political suicide for any legislator willing to jump on board, hiking the gas tax up so that a gallon of gas hovers around the $4.00 mark could have a few desirable effects, notably influencing consumers to purchase fuel efficient vehicles and funding road improvement projects that are currently out of cash.

Last summer, when fuel prices were at their record peaks, interest in hybrid vehicles and smaller cars was also at an all-time high. With the introduction of the Chevy Volt tentatively scheduled for late 2010, perhaps it's not so surprising to hear that GM, once a major detractor of artificially high fuel prices, is now singing a new tune.

Still, it seems unlikely that the government would raise the gas tax in the midst of a recession. After all, it's much easier for legislators to direct a mandate at automakers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles without worrying about whether consumers will be motivated to buy them.

[Source: Washington Times, Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty]