Monday, April 21, 2014

Federal Highway Trust Fund Update

There is an excellent article in the April 2014 edition of the Economist Magazine. The title is “Highways to Hell”. I couldn’t express it better. The part that interested me the most was the following statement; “The HTF spends $45 billion a year and is funded by a tax of 18. 4 cents on each gallon of petrol. But revenues are declining; the young drive a bit less and cars burn fuel more efficiently. Since American voters hate energy taxes, the petrol tax has not increased since 1993 and its purchasing power has declined. Adjusted for inflation, it is now worth only 11.5 cents. Had it been indexed to inflation 20 years ago (says the Centre for American Progress, a leftist think tank), it would now be 29 cents a gallon.” I am sharing the above as it affirms the position I have espoused for over a decade now. Had the Congress had the foresight to index it at the beginning there would be no shortage of funds today. Americans were so thrilled at the thought of the Interstate Highway program, that there would have been no objection. Think of the good paying jobs there could be, think of how much safer our highways and bridges could be and think of the extra incentive higher gas taxes would have on the average American as he or she contemplates purchasing a new vehicle. Even today should the Congress just index the tax to inflation the healing process could begin? I am not sharing this with my Congressman or my Senators as should any one of them sponsor a bill he would be destroyed by negative advertising. Oh for the day when Americans cared enough to sacrifice a little for the general good. I doubt if I will live long enough to see that attitude re-appear.

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