Prices at the pumps put a smile on my face –and the faces of millions of drivers across the country – as we can now fill up for under $2 per gallon in some states. The drop in gas prices has freed up our budgets to spend elsewhere, but perhaps not for too long.

The drop in fuel prices, according to AAA is putting more than $14 billion of disposable income back in our pockets and Congress sees this as a hefty pot of money to tap for infrastructure spending.

Governors are pushing for congressional leadership to bump up the federal 18 cent gas tax to provide more funds for roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs. Traditionally a liberal proposal, the gas tax boost now enjoys support from conservatives such as the Republican governors of Massachusetts and Iowa as well as GOP congressional members.

Falling gas prices are due to America’s surge in domestic oil and gas production putting it on par with production from Saudi Arabia and Russia. As we become more energy independent, especially with the potential passage of the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline, the upsides of cheaper gas provides excellent prospects for our pockets and our economy.

Would a rising the gas tax stymie those efforts? Republican Senator Bob Croker of Tennessee and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut are willing to take the risk. The two have proposed raising the federal gas tax by 12 cents over two years and indexing it to inflation. Not only would it raise revenue but the measure would lower other taxes.

USAToday reports:

While some top Republicans remain adamant a tax hike is not the answer, there are signs that the idea, including one from Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, is at least getting a fresh look.

Corker and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., have proposed raising the federal gas tax by 12 cents over two years and indexing it to inflation. To make the concept more palatable to fiscal conservatives, the measure would lower other taxes.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said this week a gas tax increase could not be ruled out. Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, agreed.

The Highway Trust Fund will be short more than $160 billion over the next 10 years.

Corker told reporters this week that even if raising the gas tax isn't the solution, he wants whatever Congress decides by May to be a permanent fix.

In the House, Speaker John Boehner of Ohio opposes an increase in the gas tax. Reacting to Corker's proposal, he said Thursday, "There are a lot of people with a lot of ideas. We've got to find a way to deal with America's crumbling infrastructure and we need to do it in a long-term program that is in fact funded."

The fall in gas prices has been a welcome reprieve to the wallets of Americans so why are lawmakers –especially those who should support lower taxes- pouncing on the opportunity to tax away our added discretionary income?

Americans don’t want it either. In a recent IBD/TIPP Poll, 59 percent of adults oppose the gas-tax hike, while just 34 percent support it. Among Republicans the opposition is extremely strong as 70 percent are opposed compared to just 24 percent who support it. As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “After years of suffering $3-plus-a-gallon gasoline, Americans have finally gotten a reprieve — one that will put about $200 billion in their pockets this year, at current prices… Sorry, but the federal government routinely steals about 25% of our gas-tax funds for non-transportation uses. It's not a trust fund, it's a piggy bank. And adding to it is something the GOP will be wise to avoid.”

We also can't be naïve to think that gas prices will not rise again. Once they do, we'll be stuck with a higher gas tax. Infrastructure I our nation is important, but before jumping the gun and jumping to a tax increase, perhaps we should look for alternative ways to achieve the same results.

PS. Just for the record: Charles Krauthammer is one of the conservatives favoring raising the tax on my gasoline—but at least he would reduce Mr. Fica’s haul on my paycheck to accommodate the gas hike.