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.
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 gas...now 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 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.
Re: Highway trust fund
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.