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(CityLab)   The US highway trust fund is out of money. Enjoy your summer road trip   (citylab.com) divider line 180
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6306 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jul 2014 at 10:54 AM (23 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-04 11:42:09 AM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight.


Motor fuel taxes on a per gallon are already dependent on mileage traveled and vehicle weight.  The more miles you travel the more fuel you use, thus you pay more taxes.  The heavier your vehicle is the more fuel you use, thus you pay more taxes.  And all the really big vehicles are diesel fueled which is taxed at a higher rate, thus you pay more taxes.
 
2014-07-04 11:43:20 AM  

Private_Citizen: I'll just leave this here:
[img.fark.net image 480x287]

/It's almost as if someone has been standing in the way of public spending, as a way of claiming public spending doesn't work....


Well...we do have this thing called the deficit to get under control....imagine how much more fiscal freedom the government would have if it didnt have to service such a large debt....it seems as if our government is bound and determined to transfer our wealth to foreign comoanies and banks..... hmmmm
 
2014-07-04 11:44:35 AM  

Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):

img.fark.net

Not surprisingly most red states also have the highest percentage of people living in impoverished areas.

www.slate.com

Yanno, there's something about these maps that look familiar.  Oh yeah, right.

www.scvmccsa.org
 
2014-07-04 11:44:45 AM  

Cache: Tax cuts will solve this problem.  Any fool knows that.


Or maybe just stop diverting highway funds to non-highway projects?

For example your "Highway"trust fund dollars at work:

 $28 million to establish 55 transportation museums

$2 billion+ on 5,547 projects for bike paths and pedestrian walkways and facilities

$84 million for 398 projects for safety and education of pedestrians and bicyclists

$224 million for 366 projects to rehabilitate and operate historic transportation buildings, structures, and facilities

 $13 million on 50 projects for youth conservation service

 $19 million for 25 projects to control and remove outdoor advertising;


From 1992-2010, $4.89 billion went to pedestrian and bicycle facilities, according to the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse.

Another $1.26 billion was used for landscaping and scenic beautification.

 Mass transit projects are allocated 2.86 cents of the 18.4 cent federal fuel tax, a diversion of about 16 percent of the tax from highway users.

a $140,000 federal grant was used to build a scenic park in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
In 2010, $198,000 went to a driving simulator installed in the National Corvette Museum.
 
2014-07-04 11:45:35 AM  

mrmopar5287: We had the Trillion dollar Spendulous bill that was full of "shovel ready" jobs to fix roads, bridges, etc. but the money went to the unions instead.

That, and if you'd quit spending motor fuel tax money on rail and bike trail projects that serve and extreme minority of people, you'd probably have money to fix the roads.  When I fuel my car I am not really expecting my money to go fun Amtrak.


Why is it that the modern conservative simply has to lie at all times? I mean, I guess it COULD just be simple stupidity.

Probably both; you sound like a liar AND an idiot.
 
2014-07-04 11:48:29 AM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.


Actually, a Prius does more damage to the road than a dodge ram.  the force applied in PSI by the contact patch of the tire is much higher for the little tires, and they hurt the pavement.  Your ecobox is destroying our roads!
 
2014-07-04 11:49:09 AM  

leevis: Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]

There seems to be some data missing from your chart. It doesn't show who the people are in those states. Even the reddest and bluest states have plenty of people from the other end of the spectrum.



What is shows is  the states that that have the most people who pay nothing - ironic that most of those are Red states.

Circling back to what Dinki was saying: since they pay so little in, wouldn't it be fair if they got less out?

BTW: Here's the list of top ten states who take the most, but pay the least:

img.fark.net
Interesting that 8 out of 10 of those are Red states....
 
2014-07-04 11:50:03 AM  

dwrash: The federal government serving as middle man for state highway projects (except for the interstate system) never made sense to me.  I wonder how much the feds skim off the top?


It's a bribery/strongarm thing. The Feds have no constitutional authority to mandate some things. "Want to keep your federal highway funding? Better make your speed limit 65/have primary seatbelt enforcement/adopt .08 as DUI/make the drinking age 21." It's the same deal as education: "Well, we can't FORCE you to meet the NCLB standards, but it'd be a shame if anything happened to all that federal money..."

I'm a federalist through-and-through, but the current system has allowed the US government to usurp the rights of states through financial coercion. Its ability to tax and dole the money back to the states with caveats attached is an end-run around the constitution.
 
2014-07-04 11:55:18 AM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.


Exactly how do you plan on enforcing that?
 
2014-07-04 11:55:43 AM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.


Why do you hate freedom so much you farking commie!?!

/I actually like your idea
 
2014-07-04 11:56:29 AM  
 
2014-07-04 11:59:30 AM  

12349876: GORDON: THE US federal budget is twice as big as it was 10 years ago, and yet there's no money for roads.

Nope, nothing fishy here.

Iraq, Afghanistan, per gallon fuel tax that doesn't keep up with inflation.


We've been out of Iraq for a while and Afghanistan is winding down, the highway fund is apparently empty now, and it isn't like federal spending has gone down.
 
2014-07-04 12:01:39 PM  

hasty ambush: Cache: Tax cuts will solve this problem.  Any fool knows that.

Or maybe just stop diverting highway funds to non-highway projects?

For example your "Highway"trust fund dollars at work:

 $28 million to establish 55 transportation museums

$2 billion+ on 5,547 projects for bike paths and pedestrian walkways and facilities

$84 million for 398 projects for safety and education of pedestrians and bicyclists

$224 million for 366 projects to rehabilitate and operate historic transportation buildings, structures, and facilities

 $13 million on 50 projects for youth conservation service

 $19 million for 25 projects to control and remove outdoor advertising;


From 1992-2010, $4.89 billion went to pedestrian and bicycle facilities, according to the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse.

Another $1.26 billion was used for landscaping and scenic beautification.

 Mass transit projects are allocated 2.86 cents of the 18.4 cent federal fuel tax, a diversion of about 16 percent of the tax from highway users.

a $140,000 federal grant was used to build a scenic park in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
In 2010, $198,000 went to a driving simulator installed in the National Corvette Museum.


Would you be so daft as to suggest that first driving down revenues by increasing CAFE standards and mandating electric and hybrid vehicles and then mis-allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to projects that neither build nor repair roads and bridges might possibly cause a shortfall in the funds?  How could that be?

Also, I drive a diesel because of the stuff I need to haul around for the farm.  We pay 6 cents a gallon more in Highway Trust Fund taxes than gas users.  My suggestion would be to let all you slackers catch up to diesel users who are paying our fair share.

If bicyclists want bike paths, let them pay taxes.  Lord knows they should be able to afford it, seeing as how they contribute to neither the HTF or any state and local sales taxes.  They need to start paying their fair share.
 
2014-07-04 12:03:47 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: And when the next bridge collapses the same Congresspeople who voted against investing in infrastructure in the name of pandering to a guy wearing 58-inch-waist pantaloons and piloting a SSI-paid Hoverrround festooned with Gadsden flags will hold endless press conferences and vigils demanding "something be done"...before voting "no" on the next highway funding bill.

If the Interstate Highway System didn't exist and were proposed today the bill wouldn't make it out of a House Subcommittee.



Done in one.


Festooned is one of my favorite words.
 
2014-07-04 12:04:18 PM  

RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.


Spoken like a true parents-basement dweller.
 
2014-07-04 12:05:02 PM  

Mr. Right: Also, I drive a diesel because of the stuff I need to haul around for the farm. We pay 6 cents a gallon more in Highway Trust Fund taxes than gas users. My suggestion would be to let all you slackers catch up to diesel users who are paying our fair share.

If bicyclists want bike paths, let them pay taxes. Lord knows they should be able to afford it, seeing as how they contribute to neither the HTF or any state and local sales taxes. They need to start paying their fair share.


Ha, I like what you did there.  "Fair share" is practically a trigger phrase.
 
2014-07-04 12:07:08 PM  

BrassArt: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

Spoken like a true parents-basement dweller.


right, and when the sin tax causes people to change their habits the revenue from that tax goes away and there goes the infrastructure and transportation funding source.

/cunning plan
 
2014-07-04 12:08:50 PM  

Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]


Interestingly, from my own anecdotal research driving from DC to Florida twice a year, South Carolina has the worst maintained stretch of I-95.  Georgia and Florida have the best maintained. Virginia's in NoVA is sort of screwed up because of construction of the new express toll lanes.

Speaking of, if we go to a mileage tax, how are we going to pay for the new express toll lanes?  After all, we'd already be paying for them, right?
 
2014-07-04 12:10:32 PM  

GORDON: 12349876: GORDON: THE US federal budget is twice as big as it was 10 years ago, and yet there's no money for roads.

Nope, nothing fishy here.

Iraq, Afghanistan, per gallon fuel tax that doesn't keep up with inflation.

We've been out of Iraq for a while and Afghanistan is winding down, the highway fund is apparently empty now, and it isn't like federal spending has gone down.


More specific infomation:
2004: non-discretionary took up 69% of the 2.1 billion budget
2014: non-discretionary is up to 83% of  the 3.6 billion budget
So, we have a growing money problem. A serious one. And it's going to take serious reform to fix it. We have to start with the tax code. Completely over. All of it. Because we need to know how much can be collected without destroying the nation. Then, we can talk spending.
 
2014-07-04 12:10:54 PM  
Raise the damn gas tax already.
 
2014-07-04 12:12:29 PM  

jayphat: GORDON: 12349876: GORDON: THE US federal budget is twice as big as it was 10 years ago, and yet there's no money for roads.

Nope, nothing fishy here.

Iraq, Afghanistan, per gallon fuel tax that doesn't keep up with inflation.

We've been out of Iraq for a while and Afghanistan is winding down, the highway fund is apparently empty now, and it isn't like federal spending has gone down.

More specific infomation:
2004: non-discretionary took up 69% of the 2.1 billion budget
2014: non-discretionary is up to 83% of  the 3.6 billion budget
So, we have a growing money problem. A serious one. And it's going to take serious reform to fix it. We have to start with the tax code. Completely over. All of it. Because we need to know how much can be collected without destroying the nation. Then, we can talk spending.


Yeah but the other guy wants to defend federal spending as efficient.  Don't oppress him.
 
2014-07-04 12:15:19 PM  

Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]


Quite seriously - how many of those people do you think are illegals? Or are they not counted, which would make the numbers even higher?
 
2014-07-04 12:25:48 PM  

ricbach229: Are you sure?  They just spent a lot of time and money tearing up sidewalks and buying new WiFi enabled buses for my city with highway funds.  Seems odd to me that they'd spend hundreds of thousands of dollars tearing up sidewalks that were in good shape if they were running low on cash.


What city?  How do you know the funds came from highway funds?
 
2014-07-04 12:26:09 PM  
The bastards just came through here with a bike lane project.  First they came and fixed up only the right 5 feet of the road, then they painted lines, and now it's done.

Now I get to drive on the shiatty side of the road that they didn't bother to fix while they were here working.
 
2014-07-04 12:27:24 PM  

ZAZ: Imagine states paying for their own infrastructure. It would be like living in the 20th Century.


Imagine them paying for it with tollways at the border.
 
2014-07-04 12:27:34 PM  
So are they going to make the drinking age 18 again?

/DNRTFA
 
2014-07-04 12:30:24 PM  

Lokkii: Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]

Quite seriously - how many of those people do you think are illegals? Or are they not counted, which would make the numbers even higher?


That map is based off of income tax filings...it's small but note the wording at the top: "Percentage of filers with no liability, 2008."
 
2014-07-04 12:32:23 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Raise the damn gas tax already.


Holy crap, that's TWICE this year you've managed to post without trolling! Good boy!
 
2014-07-04 12:34:38 PM  

ZAZ: Imagine states paying for their own infrastructure. It would be like living in the 20th Century.

Imagine if the federal government threatened to take highway funds away from states with a drinking age of 18... and the states said "what highway funds?" instead of "yes sir!"


What part of the 20th century exactly?  Just off the top of my head, the feds paid 50% for roads starting in 1916, stopped paying for maintenance in 1921, started paying 90% of construction costs in 1956, and cut that to 80% in 1991.
 
2014-07-04 12:38:36 PM  

ZAZ: Imagine states paying for their own infrastructure. It would be like living in the 20th Century.

Imagine if the federal government threatened to take highway funds away from states with a drinking age of 18... and the states said "what highway funds?" instead of "yes sir!"


Imagine if Commercial truck drivers had to get a license in every state they traveled to.

/their wallets would look like George's
 
2014-07-04 12:41:14 PM  
With true unemployment as high as it is and our infrastructure crumbling like it is, I have never understood why we never implemented an FDR like public works program.  Spur the economy at the consumer level and improve infrastructure at the same time.  Having the fed buy bonds in order to keep treasury yields artificially low isn't the only tool available to them, but its the easiest and apparently the only one they want to use.  I guess they have bigger concerns, like ensuring the conversion of the United States into Northern Mexico goes smoothly.
 
2014-07-04 12:43:22 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: I have never understood why we never implemented an FDR like public works program.


Good luck getting that through the House.
 
2014-07-04 12:43:23 PM  

raerae1980: Errk: There has been more highway construction around here in the last 5 years than I can ever remember, with no end in sight.

You must be in Cali. Lots of road/freeway construction here in SoCal.


Sacramento area. It's been crazy.
 
2014-07-04 12:44:51 PM  

queezyweezel: RareChimer: Change gas taxes. Make them dependent on mileage traveled and on vehicle weight. Make fines on odometer tampering and weight fraud massive. Increase as necessary to keep the trust funded 100%. Watch people start demanding more transit and sustainable commute options. Then, slow road construction, focus on repairs and enhancements, and call it a win.

Just as with parking, Americans have lived too long with heavily subsidized driving expenses and have literally built their living environment around it. Well, such subsidies aren't fiscally let alone ecologically sustainable.

Don't bail out the trust fund. Make those who damage the roads pay for it.

Oh, the per-gallon tax should stay as well. This would become a sin tax that gives intrinsic incentive to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. The funds from this tax should go to facilitating sustainable walkabity improvements, bicycle improvements, and the expansion of transit.

Actually, a Prius does more damage to the road than a dodge ram.  the force applied in PSI by the contact patch of the tire is much higher for the little tires, and they hurt the pavement.  Your ecobox is destroying our roads!


You forgot to say "study it out."  I'd suggest people start with looking up what an ESAL is.

Neither a Toyota Prius nor a Dodge Ram does any appreciable damage to pavement.

As my Asphalt professor always says, "One overloaded dump truck wears out the pavement faster than a million VW Beetles."
 
2014-07-04 12:46:21 PM  

mrmopar5287: Motor fuel taxes on a per gallon are already dependent on mileage traveled and vehicle weight. The more miles you travel the more fuel you use, thus you pay more taxes. The heavier your vehicle is the more fuel you use, thus you pay more taxes. And all the really big vehicles are diesel fueled which is taxed at a higher rate, thus you pay more taxes.


In fact, the wear on the road is a more-than-linear function of weight-per-axle.  (Not weight-per-wheel for some reason.)  Divying out the costs "fairly" would be a nightmare, but taxing per gallon, with a different rate for diesel, is easy to do and comes kind of in the right ballpark.

People say they are afraid that Priuses and Leafs (Leaves?) will be getting a free ride, but I think this is just another case of people wanting to stick it to the liberuls even to their own detriment.  How many purely electric cars are out there?  Is it really enough to pose a threat?  As for the hybrids, they're just cars that get good mileage.  Ditch your hummer and you can "cheat" too.
 
2014-07-04 12:47:28 PM  

Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):


No, red states have higher percentages of people that pay no income tax.

37% of California's population is a lot more people than 45% of Mississippi's population.
 
2014-07-04 12:48:00 PM  

johnny_vegas: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/analysis/2014/05/05 / funding-challenges-in-transportation-infrastructure

Pretty good primer on this issue.


What kind of heathen are you trying to inject facts into a FARK discussion?
 
2014-07-04 12:49:26 PM  

ZAZ: Imagine if the federal government threatened to take highway funds away from states with a drinking age of 18... and the states said "what highway funds?" instead of "yes sir!"


I have driven some interstates whose state of maintenance  that left me with the impression that, when threatened with the loss of highway funds, the state said "Meh, it's mostly out-of-staters using that road anyway.  Fark'em."
 
2014-07-04 12:51:19 PM  

dustman81: Mr. Coffee Nerves: If the Interstate Highway System didn't exist and were proposed today the bill wouldn't make it out of a House Subcommittee.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower would be called a RINO and a socialist for even proposing the Interstate Highway System if he would have proposed it today.


I need to read more about Eisenhower; his speech about the military industrial complex was seemingly out of nowhere and completely accurate.
 
2014-07-04 12:51:30 PM  

Private_Citizen: leevis: Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]

There seems to be some data missing from your chart. It doesn't show who the people are in those states. Even the reddest and bluest states have plenty of people from the other end of the spectrum.


What is shows is  the states that that have the most people who pay nothing - ironic that most of those are Red states.

Circling back to what Dinki was saying: since they pay so little in, wouldn't it be fair if they got less out?

BTW: Here's the list of top ten states who take the most, but pay the least:

[img.fark.net image 417x240]
Interesting that 8 out of 10 of those are Red states....



From 2005 to 2009, every state received more funding for highway programs than they contributed to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. This was possible because more funding was authorized and apportioned than was collected from the states, and the fund was augmented with about $30 billion in general revenues since fiscal year 2008.


Highway Trust Fund:
All States Received More Funding Than They Contributed in Highway Taxes from 2005 to 2009
GAO-11-918: Published: Sep 8, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2011.
 
2014-07-04 12:52:00 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: And when the next bridge collapses the same Congresspeople who voted against investing in infrastructure in the name of pandering to a guy wearing 58-inch-waist pantaloons and piloting a SSI-paid Hoverrround festooned with Gadsden flags will hold endless press conferences and vigils demanding "something be done"...before voting "no" on the next highway funding bill.

If the Interstate Highway System didn't exist and were proposed today the bill wouldn't make it out of a House Subcommittee.


Done in one, and never before has that been so true.
 
2014-07-04 12:53:15 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: With true unemployment as high as it is and our infrastructure crumbling like it is, I have never understood why we never implemented an FDR like public works program.  Spur the economy at the consumer level and improve infrastructure at the same time.  Having the fed buy bonds in order to keep treasury yields artificially low isn't the only tool available to them, but its the easiest and apparently the only one they want to use.  I guess they have bigger concerns, like ensuring the conversion of the United States into Northern Mexico goes smoothly.


While it would improve the infrastructure, I don't think it would spur the economy very much. You can only do so much roadwork at a time so it would have to be spread out over several years. A few months ago I was talking to a guy who decided we needed a stimulus program where every single bridge over the Ohio River would have been completely repaired or replaced, all at the same time. This guy commutes across the river from Owensboro, KY.
 
2014-07-04 12:53:31 PM  
hasty ambush:


From 2005 to 2009, every state received more funding for highway programs than they contributed to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. This was possible because more funding was authorized and apportioned than was collected from the states, and the fund was augmented with about $30 billion in general revenues since fiscal year 2008.


Thanks Obama.
 
2014-07-04 12:59:03 PM  

flondrix: People say they are afraid that Priuses and Leafs (Leaves?) will be getting a free ride, but I think this is just another case of people wanting to stick it to the liberuls even to their own detriment.  How many purely electric cars are out there?  Is it really enough to pose a threat?  As for the hybrids, they're just cars that get good mileage.  Ditch your hummer and you can "cheat" too.


At some point the free rider problem for electric vehicles will have to be dealt with, but that might be as simple as an annual registration fee that is a one-time tax payment into the state and federal motor fuel tax funds.
 
2014-07-04 01:01:28 PM  

Fissile: Private_Citizen: Dinki: Simple solution- pull the DOT money from every project in all the Red states. They don't need that Federal government interfering in their lives anyway.

Well, it would be fair - after all, most Red states also have the largest number of people who pay no Federal Income tax (you know, Mitt's 47%):
[img.fark.net image 525x387]

Not surprisingly most red states also have the highest percentage of people living in impoverished areas.

[www.slate.com image 590x442]

Yanno, there's something about these maps that look familiar.  Oh yeah, right.

[www.scvmccsa.org image 600x465]


 33.media.tumblr.com 31.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-07-04 01:04:40 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: With true unemployment as high as it is and our infrastructure crumbling like it is, I have never understood why we never implemented an FDR like public works program.  Spur the economy at the consumer level and improve infrastructure at the same time.  Having the fed buy bonds in order to keep treasury yields artificially low isn't the only tool available to them, but its the easiest and apparently the only one they want to use.  I guess they have bigger concerns, like ensuring the conversion of the United States into Northern Mexico goes smoothly.


Couple of problems with your idea.  First, government spending to stimulate the economy is Keynesian.  None of the politicians who subscribed to his theories over the last 75 years bothered to read the chapter where it said that during the good times, government actually needs to pay off the debt.  We're already n pretty dangerous territory, debt-wise.

Second, FDR got away with murder, relatively speaking.  Subsequent to the passage of The Great Society, court rulings have come down that it is somehow un-Constitutional (not to mention it's mean and hurts their self-esteem) to expect welfare recipients to actually do anything for the benefits they receive.  So, if you have a choice between doing a hot, dirty job fixing potholes or getting the same amount of money sitting on your arse watching TV, what are you going to do?

The Fed's bond purchases don't show up on the national debt.  Even though it's a government sponsored entity, it operates as a private corporation and its debts are its own.  Until it defaults and the government needs to bail it out, a la Fannie Mae. But that won't happen until at least the next Congressional term, if not the next Presidential.  So it's fine now.

We could authorize the Keystone Pipeline.  That wold create lots of jobs, reduce our dependance of foreign energy, make Canada happy (we ought to be nice to any country that's trying to be nice to us), fractionally lower the cost of energy which would be a real bonus to middle and lower income folks.  Who could then afford to buy more gas.  Which would put more money into the Highway Trust Fund.
 
2014-07-04 01:08:03 PM  
I seem to remember that the american tax on petrol is a fixed amount per gallon. Change the tax to a percentage, and you are more or less garantied a rising amount as petrol gets more expensive over time.

If you increase the tax enough, people start driving less and buy smaller cars. You get less trafic, which means less road maintenance expences.

Yes, I know this is unfair to poor people living a 100 miles from the nearest shop or workplace, and Wall Mart may have to increase their prices 0.1%. However the trick is to increase the tax gradually so that everybody have time to ajust.
 
2014-07-04 01:08:08 PM  

Mr. Right: Also, I drive a diesel because of the stuff I need to haul around for the farm. We pay 6 cents a gallon more in Highway Trust Fund taxes than gas users. My suggestion would be to let all you slackers catch up to diesel users who are paying our fair share.


Doesn't diesel afford more effeciency, mpg-wise? I would be interested to see how (miles driven/tax paid) works outs when comparing the two -- a fairer comparison, wouldn't you say?
 
2014-07-04 01:09:27 PM  

FourDirections: Look, it was only a matter of time before Road Warrior became reality, this just bumped it forward by a few years. I recommend a very fast motorcycle, armbands that shoot tiny arrows, and assless chaps.


i.imgur.com
 
2014-07-04 01:11:20 PM  
We could just cut the funding for Sesame Street and we're back online, no problem.
 
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