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Senior Advisor

Highway trust fund

With progressives no amount is ever enough.



This is a classic Washington crisis by the numbers. Congress sets up a “trust fund” — in this case, the Highway Trust  Fund — and depletes it by spending the cash on projects that have nothing to do  with highways. When there’s no money left, taxes must be raised.

The Obama administration sells this fanciful tale with claims that  America’s cars and trucks have been made magically more fuel-efficient by  government fiat, and since everybody is paying less than ever in taxes on  gasoline, raising the tax on gasoline won’t actually hurt. It might sound  plausible, but that’s not the story the numbers tell. In 2009, gross receipts  for the gasoline tax were $24.6 billion. Every year since, they’ve gone up, to  the most recent accounting of $25.5 billion. Separate taxes imposed on diesel  fuel for the big rigs brings the total sum to $41.3 billion.

That’s a lot of money, and it’s keeping America’s roads and bridges  in the best condition in decades. According to a Cato Institute review of  Federal Highway Administration figures, nearly 9 percent of all bridges in the  National Highway System were deemed “structurally deficient” in 1992. That  number has been steadily declining, and less than 4.6 percent of bridges are now  considered “structurally deficient.” “Structurally deficient,” by the way, is  not “structurally dangerous.”

Still, Mr. Obama and his transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx,  want to replenish the Highway Trust Fund with a $150 billion tax increase on  U.S. businesses. Mr. Foxx says he will take “untaxed earnings … and plow some of  that into infrastructure.”

If he gets the money, there’s no assurance he will spend it on  tumbling bridges and crumbling highways. This White House has been spending the  money intended for bridges and highways on niceties, such as bike paths,  sidewalks, hiking trails and landscaping. Billions more go to high-speed rail,  trolleys and other expensive mass-transit projects.

The Highway Trust Fund was created as a user-pay, user-benefits  system, in which those who paid fuel taxes would see those dollars returned  through road and bridge construction, repair and maintenance. It has become a  slush fund to pay for wants, not needs.

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5 Replies

Re: Highway trust fund

and now they are going to make the interstates toll roads because they dont have enough money.

Honored Advisor

Re: Highway trust fund

As far as state fuel taxes the Farm Bureau has been trying in vain to get that tax raised.  It`s been 30 yrs since the last increase and that is pennies per gallon, not the same percentage.  Then it was 18¢ on a $1 gallon of 30yrs later it`s the same 18¢ on $3.39 gas.   But people are skeptical on raising taxes and few politicans want to cross that rubicon.


Jan Mickelsen is against the gas tax increase and has the figures that if we stopped educating the children of illegals that would more than make up the needed road funds without a gas tax raise....ah yeah, good luck with that Jan  Smiley Happy    But, there is alot of examples of government waste and inefficiencies that could be cut and we are supposedly more productive these days that a tax increase shouldn`t be needed. 


A Libertarian running for Iowa governor said if we just cut some ridiculous regulations on road building that alone would make the road dollars cover it all.   


Whenever there are trust funds, just like social security they get robbed.  Like Clinton robbed the SS lockbox to give the facade of a "balanced budget" for 1 year.

Senior Advisor

Re: Highway trust fund

You need to get out more. Such conservative bastions as kansas and Oklahoma already have tolls on their interstate highways.

Senior Contributor

Re: Highway trust fund


Are you bedridden or soemthing ?


Go out and take a walk, go to a pride parade, anything !..... your brain is turning to mush.

Senior Advisor

Re: Highway trust fund

@kraft-t wrote:

You need to get out more. Such conservative bastions as kansas and Oklahoma already have tolls on their interstate highways.

They need to put the tolls on the bike trails. They need to raise the tolls on the high speed rails to make them pay for themselves. That is not what the gas tax in for. It is for the upkeep of our roads and bridges.