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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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6293 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jul 2014 at 10:54 AM (10 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



180 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-07-04 09:00:30 AM
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.
 
2014-07-04 09:11:32 AM
The last time I was in Jamaica, the locals just repair some of the roads themselves, and then ask passing cars for donations.

How bootstrappy is that ?

Get ready, USA, your infrastructure will soon be of the same quality as developing Caribbean nations,

/if it isn't already.
 
2014-07-04 09:20:40 AM
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.
 
2014-07-04 09:25:50 AM
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.
 
2014-07-04 10:11:08 AM

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.


Texas has you beat already. We're just using toll roads so bootstrappy rich people won't be inconvenienced when going to protest taxes
 
2014-07-04 10:11:09 AM
There has been more highway construction around here in the last 5 years than I can ever remember, with no end in sight.
 
2014-07-04 10:14:26 AM

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


I'd say you live in southern NH, but I'm pretty sure there has been construction since my friend moved there in 2001.
 
2014-07-04 10:58:28 AM
Maybe spend the money on fixing the roads rather than lining your cronies pockets. Then it may not be a problem.  Ever think of that?
 
2014-07-04 11:01:46 AM

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.


To be fair Blue state drivers shouldn't be on the road . They're not the best you know .
 
2014-07-04 11:02:24 AM
The roads must roll.
 
2014-07-04 11:02:58 AM
Quick, let's piss away a couple trillion dollars blowing up a random nation on the other side of the planet!
 
2014-07-04 11:03:33 AM
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.
 
2014-07-04 11:04:16 AM

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.
 
2014-07-04 11:04:55 AM
Can someone name any government trust fund that hasn't been empty for the past 20 years?

This is a phony crisis trumped up by the same people who steal all the gas tax money to build billion-dollar trolleys.
 
2014-07-04 11:04:59 AM
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?
 
2014-07-04 11:06:16 AM
This doesn't surprise me at all.  All our infrastructure is disintegrating.  Every time it rains, my power goes out for at least one second minimum.  Bigger the storm, the longer it stays out.  I don't bother setting my clocks anymore.
 
2014-07-04 11:06:25 AM
It doesn't take a roads scholar to understand the benefits of prioritizing transportation investment.
 
2014-07-04 11:07:05 AM

BalugaJoe: The roads must roll.


X minus 1
 
2014-07-04 11:11:48 AM
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.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-04 11:12:52 AM
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!"
 
2014-07-04 11:13:00 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?


Enough to pay for several annual "fact-finding missions" to whatever vacation spot is the most trendy at any given time.
 
2014-07-04 11:14:33 AM

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.


Do NOT besmirch the name of Strategic Simulations, Inc. unlike the GOP-led House, they actually produced something.
 
2014-07-04 11:15:47 AM
This is just another example of lazy children not earning their keep and of an inept educational system. They can fundraise, they can harvest materials, they can do maintenance, but do they? Noo-oooo. "Look at me I'm little Bobby, I'm 7 and I don't do jack sht." Bastards.
 
2014-07-04 11:16:06 AM
Toll roads would fix this!  Privatize the roads!  No more taxes!  Taxes bad!  Tolls good because reasons!  I'll carry my guns through the toll booth!  'Murica!
 
2014-07-04 11:16:12 AM

Peter von Nostrand: 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.

Texas has you beat already. We're just using toll roads so bootstrappy rich people won't be inconvenienced when going to protest taxes


Here in Austin they even figured out that the toll roads have to go somewhere people actually want to go.
 
2014-07-04 11:18:04 AM

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.
 
2014-07-04 11:19:56 AM

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'm pretty sure Congress has America wearing assless chaps already. Those aren't toe-touches we're doing.
 
2014-07-04 11:20:47 AM

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.
 
2014-07-04 11:21:03 AM
Tax cuts will solve this problem.  Any fool knows that.
 
2014-07-04 11:21:05 AM

vernonFL: The last time I was in Jamaica, the locals just repair some of the roads themselves, and then ask passing cars for donations.

How bootstrappy is that ?

Get ready, USA, your infrastructure will soon be of the same quality as developing Caribbean nations,

/if it isn't already.


There have been two documented incidents of exactly that happening in my state, so we're already there.

/those guys didn't ask for donations though
 
2014-07-04 11:22:27 AM

Taxcheat: Can someone name any government trust fund that hasn't been empty for the past 20 years?

This is a phony crisis trumped up by the same people who steal all the gas tax money to build billion-dollar trolleys.


...trolleys? Is that a euphemism for "oil war machines?"
 
2014-07-04 11:23:01 AM
If you ...  TRUST... the federal government, you should be paved over as a speed bump
 
2014-07-04 11:23:45 AM
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.
 
2014-07-04 11:25:46 AM
Tubes.
 
2014-07-04 11:28:35 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?


I've heard that "black budgets" exist in various nooks and crannies of the Federal budget, but I'm pretty sure that the U.S. Highway trust fund isn't one of these.

Having said that ... yeah, it kinda seems like a half dozen accountants and a couple support staff would be all you'd need to handle cutting checks to the states.
 
2014-07-04 11:31:50 AM

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.


Could you imagine the screeching of the environmentalists if the interstate highway system were proposed today?  Minority advocates would explode with hate when the maps start showing interstates through urban neighborhoods.
 
2014-07-04 11:33:25 AM

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
 
2014-07-04 11:33:42 AM
How many more $800,000,000,000 shovel ready stimulus packages do we need to fix our roads? Maybe if more than 10% of it actually went to infrastructure there would be more money for roads.
 
2014-07-04 11:34:13 AM
Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) proposed a 12-cent gas-tax hike last month, which would raise $164 billion; the bill would be coupled with corporate tax breaks to offset the tax increase

How do corporate tax breaks offset the increase?  I'm not a corporation.  I'm not offset by this.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-04 11:34:20 AM
The Federal Highway Administration has a useful role in keeping standards sort of similar across states, but they could do that with a tiny fraction of the staff. I heard one of the New Hampshire DOT engineers talking about FHWA getting on his case because the red dots on the new symbolic school bus stop sign were out of place. States were given a new rule on short notice and not provided proper drawings.

The federal DOT should keep making sure that (for example) I-90 is close to a set of design standards for Interstate highways, the potholes won't swallow anything larger than a Smart, and there isn't too much corruption in the federally funded widening contract.
 
2014-07-04 11:34:39 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.


It doesn't matter how they tax, if they charge by miles and weight, everything you buy (that travels on trucks... So, everything) will get more expensive and you'll pay for it that way.

They won't look to go to rail or whatever until after price of goods have gone up, and they want to increase margins.
 
2014-07-04 11:35:28 AM
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.
 
2014-07-04 11:35:57 AM

bhcompy: Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) proposed a 12-cent gas-tax hike last month, which would raise $164 billion; the bill would be coupled with corporate tax breaks to offset the tax increase

How do corporate tax breaks offset the increase?  I'm not a corporation.  I'm not offset by this.


It's cost shifting: Away from the corps, and onto the people.
 
2014-07-04 11:36:12 AM

Demonrats: How many more $800,000,000,000 shovel ready stimulus packages do we need to fix our roads? Maybe if more than 10% of it actually went to infrastructure there would be more money for roads.


economyleague.org
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-04 11:36:58 AM
How do corporate tax breaks offset the increase?

I think the idea is to be revenue neutral so it doesn't feel like a money grab.

But there's a much easier way to solve the same problem, if it is a problem: transfer $164 billion from the general fund to the highway fund. No constitutional principle says general funds can't be spent on roads. Call it an "investment" in transportation and the president's followers will dutifully support it. They can't resist the word investment.
 
2014-07-04 11:37:01 AM

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.


Funny thing is that 'patriots' like this live in areas that absolutely rely on a functioning highway system.  How much mass transit is available in Bumfark, Arizona?  I'm all for eliminating every penny of federal highway money.  In a few years, after the asphalt has disintegrated and the bridges collapsed, the 'patriots' will be isolated out in the middle of nowhere and the rest of us may finally get some peace and quiet.
 
2014-07-04 11:37:35 AM
On the plus side, states can lower their drinking age down to 18 and say, "What withheld funds? There are no farking funds left!'
 
2014-07-04 11:38:51 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.


What unions?
 
2014-07-04 11:39:05 AM
I'll just leave this here:
img.fark.net

/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....
 
2014-07-04 11:40:13 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 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.
 
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.
 
2014-07-04 01:12:46 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.


Waaaay ahead of ya.
 
2014-07-04 01:22:12 PM
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.

Not true. The orginal rational for the interstate system was National Defense.. so today you couldn't get it out of the Senate.
 
2014-07-04 01:30:23 PM

ski9600: 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.


So, let me see if I understand. They came on a bike lane project, and they put a bike lane in. And the fact they didn't do something they weren't supposed to do is upsetting you?

Wow. That's a special kind of stupid right there.
 
2014-07-04 01:32:16 PM

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.


The federal govt also set a record this year for tax revenue, yet there are no dollars for roads.
 
2014-07-04 01:32:26 PM

DrBenway: 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?


Depending on what I'm doing, my diesel is about 50% more efficient than a gas engine doing the same thing.  So I'm not paying more in taxes with a diesel than with a gas engine, I'm just paying more per gallon.

However, my mileage isn't anywhere near what a small passenger car would be so I still pay more per mile than any of them.
 
2014-07-04 01:37:05 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.


Because that worked so well when you look beyond the FDR/New Deal propaganda machine:

www.nazigassings.com
 
2014-07-04 01:39:01 PM

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.


I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter....
 
2014-07-04 01:43:57 PM

johnny_vegas: 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


They've already lost money due to the increase in fuel efficient cars. Thus the need to raise the tax.

Highway funds should only be used for highway projects, but who could have thought that a federal govt office would expand its scope and spending? It's never happened before in our history.

If the tax needs to go up a few points, then so be it.
 
2014-07-04 01:51:48 PM

chuggernaught: Taxes


Government does not have enough money!?!?!?!?



2.bp.blogspot.com


Total Government Revenue Fiscal Year 2014

Federal Direct Revenue $3.0 trillion
State Direct Revenue $1.6 trillion
Local Direct Reveue $1.1 trillion

Total Revenue $5.7 trillion


How will they ever get by?
 
2014-07-04 01:58:47 PM

lizyrd: 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.


the states have no rights vs. the federal government as per the supremacy clause.
 
2014-07-04 02:02:17 PM

Mr. Right: 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.


It would make the price of gasoline go up in the US as the US imports the majority  of its oil from Canada. So instead of selling it to the US, the US would be helping Canada sell it to China, reducing supply to the US and increasing cost. So it benefits Canada and China, but screws the US.
 
2014-07-04 02:14:29 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.


Which brings me to my next point.  What is it with dystopian futures and assless chaps?  Is there some tactical, survival benefit to wearing tight fitting leather everywhere but one's ass, or is it merely a statement that people would flock to assless chaps if only society had not crumbled?  And if THAT is the case, the case being that assless chaps is an inherent, inflexible human desire corralled only by conformity to social expectation, why do we not just agree that we all would be happier if we just wore assless chaps and be done with such Victorian thinking?

Or... is that the message?  The true cause of the fall of society is some sort of Assless Chaps Event Horizon?
 
2014-07-04 02:16:09 PM

hasty ambush: chuggernaught: Taxes

Government does not have enough money!?!?!?!?




Total Government Revenue Fiscal Year 2014

Federal Direct Revenue $3.0 trillion
State Direct Revenue $1.6 trillion
Local Direct Reveue $1.1 trillion

Total Revenue $5.7 trillion

How will they ever get by?


The worse thing is that we still manage to spend all of that every year and then borrow more.
 
2014-07-04 02:17:02 PM

Mister Peejay: 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.

Which brings me to my next point.  What is it with dystopian futures and assless chaps?  Is there some tactical, survival benefit to wearing tight fitting leather everywhere but one's ass, or is it merely a statement that people would flock to assless chaps if only society had not crumbled?  And if THAT is the case, the case being that assless chaps is an inherent, inflexible human desire corralled only by conformity to social expectation, why do we not just agree that we all would be happier if we just wore assless chaps and be done with such Victorian thinking?

Or... is that the message?  The true cause of the fall of society is some sort of Assless Chaps Event Horizon?


Dunno...maybe the message is that people in the dystopian futures have so little money, they can't even afford pants with seats.
 
2014-07-04 02:27:55 PM
So ... how much money are just giving to foreign nations? I know we give about two billion to Israel yearly.
 
2014-07-04 02:37:51 PM

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.

That's because the national defense sales angle would fail with today's technology.

vernonFL: Get ready, USA, your infrastructure will soon be of the same quality as developing Caribbean nations,


For the same reason, governments full of thieving sociopaths.

Demonrats: How many more $800,000,000,000 shovel ready stimulus packages do we need to fix our roads? Maybe if more than 10% of it actually went to infrastructure there would be more money for roads.


Wall street and the bankers are more important. That way trillions (including QE etc)  are squandered and we have nothing to show for it. Same with war.

--------------------

All that aside, the problem is that over the last couple-three decades government (and its cronies) has made driving more and more difficult and expensive. The result has been a decrease in miles driven. Add to that the wealth transfer from the public to the 0.01% plus monetary inflation (QE and other forms of increasing the money supply which is a mechanism of transferring wealth to the 0.01%) and gasoline tax revenues fall in real terms considerably. Now throw in the CAFE increases...

Basically government has been doing everything it can to lower gasoline tax revenues.... this is the result.

But it has a solution. Tax by mile. Keep track of everywhere you go by car and tax you for it. Except that won't solve the primary problem, people aren't driving.
people.hofstra.edu
 
2014-07-04 02:38:09 PM

hasty ambush: 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.

Because that worked so well when you look beyond the FDR/New Deal propaganda machine:

[www.nazigassings.com image 600x739]


That graph isn't making the point you think it's making.

/Hint: The New Deal was winding down in 1937
 
2014-07-04 02:39:57 PM

generallyso: Quick, let's piss away a couple trillion dollars blowing up a random nation on the other side of the planet!


to be fair, they do look different than us.
 
2014-07-04 02:40:48 PM

Mr. Right: 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.


Build a pipeline that's going to refineries in a Foreign Trade Zone in Texas that could then reroute this oil that already comes to the Midwest at a low price to tankers to sell it overseas at a higher price would lower gas prices and help lower and middle income folks out?

img.4plebs.org
 
2014-07-04 02:41:59 PM

12349876: Demonrats: How many more $800,000,000,000 shovel ready stimulus packages do we need to fix our roads? Maybe if more than 10% of it actually went to infrastructure there would be more money for roads.

[economyleague.org image 350x242]


So Conservative are admitting that tax cuts aren't always the answer?
 
2014-07-04 02:59:43 PM
100 percent of DoHS personnel, facilities, pensions, health plans, and grant programs are necessary, so don't even think about disbanding that $61B organization to pay for something we actually need.
 
2014-07-04 03:01:39 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]


I am SO sick of this.

There are no people who pay no federal income tax and who have any income.  Your map is dead wrong.
 
2014-07-04 03:07:14 PM

DarkVader: 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]

I am SO sick of this.

There are no people who pay no federal income tax and who have any income.  Your map is dead wrong.


Do tell us how that isn't correct. Because there are large swaths of Americans who, after deductions pay <$0 in Federal Income Taxes.
 
2014-07-04 03:13:23 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.


Welcome to my favorites.
 
2014-07-04 03:18:38 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.


I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.
 
2014-07-04 03:23:03 PM

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.


The needs of the people this nation's government serves might be larger than they were ten years ago. Things also cost more than they did ten years ago, as well as two wars that were off the books, and the cost for the aftermath of those wars.
You actually think the world and the nation stays static for ten years?
 
2014-07-04 03:33:39 PM

alternaloser: the states have no rights vs. the federal government as per the supremacy clause.


Bzzzt.  Wrong answer.

The supremacy clause only makes federal law supersede state law when the two conflict. The Tenth Amendment is fairly clear that the federal government only has the powers enumerated in the Constitution, and that the states have all other power not specifically prohibited by the Constitution. The federal government is not granted the power to, say, determine the legal drinking age. Nor are the states prohibited from such a determination.  It's purely a states' issue.  The supremacy clause does not apply.  It's exactly why there is no national seatbelt law, or national drinking age, or national BAC limit, despite the feds' obvious interest in regulating these issues.  However, the feds have gotten 98% compliance on the seatbelt thing and, as far as I know, 100% compliance on the drinking age through bribery.

Federal highway dollars (and other federal disbursements) are used to goad the states into doing the federal government's bidding.  Lose a percentage here for drinking age under 21, a percentage there for primary seatbelt stops, a little more for having DUI set at .10 instead of .08...and you're suddenly talking real money.  It doesn't matter that it should be a state issue, or that the state voters may not want it, or that state lawmakers may not want it.  The states can't afford to lose billions in federal money, because it isn't like a state's residents will get a lower federal tax rate just because the state is ineligible for highway funding.
 
2014-07-04 03:38:22 PM

Mr. Right: 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.


Your ignorance is very common among those who are as stupid as you sound.

Either that or you are trolling.
 
2014-07-04 03:39:08 PM

Private_Citizen: 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....


Of that Federal spending how much is that for public lands, defense spending, and other non-public assistance based money?

/skewed propaganda is skewed
 
2014-07-04 03:45:41 PM
You know that gridlock thing where republicans and democrats can't get anything done that benefits citizens, yet manage to agree almost entirely on rubber stamping security items without any oversight? Just guessing, but I'll bet something didn't make it out of committee on this.
 
2014-07-04 03:47:39 PM

lizyrd: alternaloser: the states have no rights vs. the federal government as per the supremacy clause.

Bzzzt.  Wrong answer.

The supremacy clause only makes federal law supersede state law when the two conflict. The Tenth Amendment is fairly clear that the federal government only has the powers enumerated in the Constitution, and that the states have all other power not specifically prohibited by the Constitution. The federal government is not granted the power to, say, determine the legal drinking age. Nor are the states prohibited from such a determination.  It's purely a states' issue.  The supremacy clause does not apply.  It's exactly why there is no national seatbelt law, or national drinking age, or national BAC limit, despite the feds' obvious interest in regulating these issues.  However, the feds have gotten 98% compliance on the seatbelt thing and, as far as I know, 100% compliance on the drinking age through bribery.

Federal highway dollars (and other federal disbursements) are used to goad the states into doing the federal government's bidding.  Lose a percentage here for drinking age under 21, a percentage there for primary seatbelt stops, a little more for having DUI set at .10 instead of .08...and you're suddenly talking real money.  It doesn't matter that it should be a state issue, or that the state voters may not want it, or that state lawmakers may not want it.  The states can't afford to lose billions in federal money, because it isn't like a state's residents will get a lower federal tax rate just because the state is ineligible for highway funding.


You're wrong:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause
 
2014-07-04 03:50:27 PM
Has anyone thought of shifting the lane lines over 1.5', halfway through the expected road surface life?
I don't know why this hasn't been a standard practice.
 
2014-07-04 03:51:52 PM

hasty ambush: How will they ever get by?


And this is why we can't have nice things.
Guess what? Sh*t costs money. You want sh*t. you have to pay for it. Taxes are the dues you pay to live in a first world nation.
 
2014-07-04 04:00:16 PM

jayphat: 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.

I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.


So, you want a mileage tax? Don't go for it.
The gas tax money is supposed to be used for the highways, dangit.
 
2014-07-04 04:08:16 PM

rooftop235: jayphat: 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.

I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.

So, you want a mileage tax? Don't go for it.
The gas tax money is supposed to be used for the highways, dangit.


There are state and federal taxes on gas. Sometimes local as well. When they spend the local on stupid shiat like that, my blood boils.
 
2014-07-04 04:18:15 PM
When I started driving, gasoline taxes were something like 35-40% including state and federal.

Now, it's less than 10%.

Why not just tax per-dollar instead of per-gallon?
 
2014-07-04 04:51:22 PM

ncsu_wolfpack: 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.

It doesn't matter how they tax, if they charge by miles and weight, everything you buy (that travels on trucks... So, everything) will get more expensive and you'll pay for it that way.

They won't look to go to rail or whatever until after price of goods have gone up, and they want to increase margins.


Yes. It will either cost less now or cost more when we're desperate later.
 
2014-07-04 04:54:05 PM

mrmopar5287: 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.


This used to be true. With better aerodymanics, regenerative breaking, pure EVs, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and major fleets running on CNG and LNG, the gasoline tax is being evaded with those vehicles still doing damage to the roads via normal use.

AS MPG goes up and alternative fuel adoption increases, tax revenue decreases per mile traveled.
 
2014-07-04 04:58:30 PM

abhorrent1: Maybe spend the money on fixing the roads rather than lining your cronies pockets. Then it may not be a problem.  Ever think of that?


Roads don't get me reelected. Sound bites that tell the voters what a horrible person my opponent is do.
 
2014-07-04 04:59:21 PM

gingerjet: 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?


State DMVs will asses these new fees as part of vehicle registration, payable yearly for every vehicle you want to drive on the road. The fee will be based on year, make, and model of the vehicle to arrive at the default weight. Your mileage will be self-reported (just like on your automobile insurance) and only really checked by optional an black box (offered by your insurance to prove your good driving and thus receive a lower insurance rate) or by a police officer when/if ever you are pulled over.
 
2014-07-04 05:01:50 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.


Got no parents, never been in a basement. Transportation demand management is actually my professional field. It's my job day-in, day-out to influence what modes of transportation people use to commute to work, to run errands, and to recreate.
 
2014-07-04 05:04:22 PM

johnny_vegas: 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


No important concept only has one funding source. Cigarette taxes, if they were ever able to eliminate smoking, do not fully fund federally-allocated cancer research grants. When/if the people stop using gasoline, there will have been sufficient demand leading up to the "big quit" that will have required other funding.
 
2014-07-04 05:07:18 PM

jaybeezey: johnny_vegas: 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

They've already lost money due to the increase in fuel efficient cars. Thus the need to raise the tax.

Highway funds should only be used for highway projects, but who could have thought that a federal govt office would expand its scope and spending? It's never happened before in our history.

If the tax needs to go up a few points, then so be it.


It would actually need to increase exponentially as MPG increase and people actually stop using gasoline (moving to EVs, CNG/LNG for fleets, Hydrogen Fuel Cells in 20 years time, etc.). The only real, long-term solution is to change the way the trust fund is funded (such as my plan).
 
2014-07-04 05:08:09 PM

TwowheelinTim: 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.

Welcome to my favorites.


Will there be pie? Pie would be nice.
 
2014-07-04 05:18:20 PM

rooftop235: jayphat: 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.

I agree with repair and improvement.

Anecdotal example. There is a large intersection I pass through on my way to work. Road is in good to moderate great shape. There is large signs going up and stupid construction for "lane improvements" right now on this road for the next X number of days. Meanwhile, parallel to the same streets, there are people who live on them literally pooling their money and getting bootstrappy and fixing 3'x5'x1' deep potholes in the road the city says "aren't a priority.

So, you want a mileage tax? Don't go for it.
The gas tax money is supposed to be used for the highways, dangit.


And gas taxes would continue to be if MPG and fuel choice stayed constant. If they did, then you would only need to change the fuel tax per CPI or in reaction to major projects.

Think about it. You own a Dodge Ram. You get 14mpg with your 26 gallon tank and to fill up right now in California, you're paying and pay $107. $18.50 of that tank fill is going to gas taxes. You're going to get 364 miles out of your $107 fill up if you drive conservatively.

On the other hand, your neighbor bought a Nissan Leaf. She recharges her vehicle at night for a cost of $3.36 to get up to 85 miles on that charge. She will drive more miles per dollar than you, on the same roads, damage the roads with her 1.25 ton vehicle and not pay any gas taxes.

What would you suggest to be the most equitable action?
 
2014-07-04 05:19:04 PM

TwowheelinTim: Your ignorance is very common among those who are as stupid as you sound.


Gee, I look at your moniker, check your profile and I'll be damned!  A bicyclist from California.

Would you care to point out where I'm wrong?  The highway fund does designate 10% of federal funds going to states for bike paths, and the HTF gets its funding from fuel taxes.  Bikers are paying no fuel taxes with their bikes.  If they're paying fuel taxes for a vehicle, fine but that vehicle is tearing up the roads commensurate with the taxes they're paying.  When you're not buying fuel for that bicycle, you're not paying any of the state or local fuel taxes or sales taxes on that fuel.  In our state, there is no registration fee for bikes.  If you have one in California, that wouldn't surprise me but in our state, bicyclists pay no registration fees.

In cities, we have bike lanes on some streets.  There are no fees which cyclists pay to maintain those streets.  Out in rural areas, we have bike paths.  Those are paid for by federal highway funds, state highway funds, and donations from philanthropists.  No cycling fees that are equivalent to the fuel taxes.

I'm happy that you enjoy riding your bike.  I don't mind cyclists on the road.  I don't mind sharing the road with cyclists except for those jackasses that travel in packs and clog an entire lane of a county road going 20 mph where the speed limit is 55.  But if the highway trust fund is running out of money, one can look at the fact that fuel usage per mile driven is down, thus revenues per mile of usage on the roads is down.  And when a fund that was designed to build and maintain roads is tapped for all of the projects hasty ambush listed, among them bike paths, that have nothing to do with building or maintaining roads and which related activities do not require the purchase of fuel, the taxes on which pay for the fund; we may have discovered why the fund is running low.  You only need to tip the balance between revenues and expenditures a few points to create a major problem.

But if it makes you feel better to think I'm ignorant, you go right ahead.
 
2014-07-04 05:22:44 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.


You are an ass. The per gallon tax is supposed to pay for road infrastructure. If you want to go to odometer reading, fine! Either way you are paying for use. The people who would bitxh the most about odometer tax are the ones who buy the hybrids. The "heavy users" already pay additional taxes. Have you ever seen an IMCA sticker on commercial vehicles???

Want to tax odometers? Fine. I drive less than 10k miles a year.

Want to tax gallons used? Good. The majority of my miles are on a motorcycle.


Taxing both is asinine.
 
2014-07-04 05:28:20 PM

Mr. Right: TwowheelinTim: Your ignorance is very common among those who are as stupid as you sound.

Gee, I look at your moniker, check your profile and I'll be damned!  A bicyclist from California.

Would you care to point out where I'm wrong?  The highway fund does designate 10% of federal funds going to states for bike paths, and the HTF gets its funding from fuel taxes.  Bikers are paying no fuel taxes with their bikes.  If they're paying fuel taxes for a vehicle, fine but that vehicle is tearing up the roads commensurate with the taxes they're paying.  When you're not buying fuel for that bicycle, you're not paying any of the state or local fuel taxes or sales taxes on that fuel.  In our state, there is no registration fee for bikes.  If you have one in California, that wouldn't surprise me but in our state, bicyclists pay no registration fees.

In cities, we have bike lanes on some streets.  There are no fees which cyclists pay to maintain those streets.  Out in rural areas, we have bike paths.  Those are paid for by federal highway funds, state highway funds, and donations from philanthropists.  No cycling fees that are equivalent to the fuel taxes.

I'm happy that you enjoy riding your bike.  I don't mind cyclists on the road.  I don't mind sharing the road with cyclists except for those jackasses that travel in packs and clog an entire lane of a county road going 20 mph where the speed limit is 55.  But if the highway trust fund is running out of money, one can look at the fact that fuel usage per mile driven is down, thus revenues per mile of usage on the roads is down.  And when a fund that was designed to build and maintain roads is tapped for all of the projects hasty ambush listed, among them bike paths, that have nothing to do with building or maintaining roads and which related activities do not require the purchase of fuel, the taxes on which pay for the fund; we may have discovered why the fund is running low.  You only need to tip the balance between revenue ...



1. Most bicyclists are automobile owners and gas buyers as well. Thus, they pay gas taxes.

2. The Highway Trust Fund SHOULD be getting its money from fuel taxes. Currently, it gets about half its money from fuel taxes. The rest comes from income taxes. Thus, even cyclists who don't buy gasoline pay into the system... much more than they get out of it in fact.

3. Bicycles do immeasurably small damage to the roads that are built for automobiles. But if you want to use my plan based on mileage and bicycle mass, I'm fairly certain most cyclists would jump at the opportunity to pay $.0004/year to get angry motorists to quit saying, "You don't pay a road tax. Get off the road!"

4. While bicycles are afforded the same rights and responsibilities of motor vehicles drivers in most states (including occupying the center of the lane when the right hand edge of the road is hazardous or the lane is too narrow to safely share side-by-side with a motor vehicle), all states have laws that preclude them from freeways unless there is no detour available. (Fun fact-- CalTrans facilitates bicycle transportation on Interstate 5 between Camp Pendleton and Oceanside when the marine base closes for ops or training.)
 
2014-07-04 05:33:02 PM

kendelrio: 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.

You are an ass. The per gallon tax is supposed to pay for road infrastructure. If you want to go to odometer reading, fine! Either way you are paying for use. The people who would bitxh the most about odometer tax are the ones who buy the hybrids. The "heavy users" already pay additional taxes. Have you ever seen an IMCA sticker on commercial vehicles???

Want to tax odometers? Fine. I drive less than 10k miles a year.

Want to tax gallons used? Good. The majority of my miles are on a motorcycle.


Taxing both is asinine.


Don't get me wrong. I don't want to pay any of it. If I could pay for my public services a la cart, I'd be all over it. But I understand that we're all part of the same joint-funded public infrastructural system and if we want the system to be sufficiently kept to ensure our preferred levels of safety, comfort, and convenience, we have to pay for. This method would be the most equitable method of doing so.

It would be up to the states and feds to decide how much to charge per pound or ton and per mile and then how to adjust the gas tax appropriately to reflect the shift in taxing method, but either way, you would be paying more.
 
2014-07-04 05:44:10 PM

RareChimer: kendelrio: 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.

You are an ass. The per gallon tax is supposed to pay for road infrastructure. If you want to go to odometer reading, fine! Either way you are paying for use. The people who would bitxh the most about odometer tax are the ones who buy the hybrids. The "heavy users" already pay additional taxes. Have you ever seen an IMCA sticker on commercial vehicles???

Want to tax odometers? Fine. I drive less than 10k miles a year.

Want to tax gallons used? Good. The majority of my miles are on a motorcycle.


Taxing both is asinine.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to pay any of it. If I could pay for my public services a la cart, I'd be all over it. But I understand that we're all part of the same joint-funded public infrastructural system and if we want the system to be sufficiently kept to ensure our preferred levels of safety, comfort, and convenience, we have to pay for. This method would be the most equitable method of doing so.

It would be up to the states and feds to decide how much to charge per pound or ton and per mile and then how to adjust the gas tax appropriately to reflect the shift in taxing method, but either way, you would be paying more.


So riddle me this: my motorcycle weighs less than 1/4 of what my truck does, uses only one lane and is less damaging in the roads. Do I pay the same tax on both?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-04 05:45:49 PM
Mister Peejay

Massachusetts used to have an alternative percentage or pennies tax: the greater of 19.1% of wholesale price or $0.21 per gallon. In practice it was 21 cents. When the wholesale price went over a dollar in 2000 the legislature, fearing voter revolt, repealed the percentage minimum. They recently raised the tax and made it inflation indexed, because a percentage was too simple. Voters are likely to repeal inflation indexing in November.

I dislike both sides in this fight. Politicians who steal tax money to use against the people who pay it, while proposing more and more complex solutions to problems they created. Taxpayers who lose their minds over a tiny tax.
 
2014-07-04 05:57:19 PM

ZAZ: Taxpayers who lose their minds over a tiny tax.


Those so-called "tiny taxes" add up. It's financial death by a thousand paper cuts.

One of my coworkers makes only 45k a year, yet she doesn't see over 40% of her pay in her check. Only some of it is health insurance co-pay. The rest is taxes.
 
2014-07-04 06:02:51 PM
Dear Gubmint: STFU & fix the roads. Take the money from: Pentagon, YOU, social services and foreign aid. Thanks!
 
2014-07-04 06:12:43 PM

kendelrio: 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.

You are an ass. The per gallon tax is supposed to pay for road infrastructure. If you want to go to odometer reading, fine! Either way you are paying for use. The people who would bitxh the most about odometer tax are the ones who buy the hybrids. The "heavy users" already pay additional taxes. Have you ever seen an IMCA sticker on commercial vehicles???

Want to tax odometers? Fine. I drive less than 10k miles a year.

Want to tax gallons used? Good. The majority of my miles are on a motorcycle.


Taxing both is asinine.


If the infrastructure keeps deteriorating at the present rate, you're gonna need a half-track to get around,,
 
2014-07-04 06:23:48 PM

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.


Infrastructure doesn't just mean roads you moron, it means trains, buses, and other methods of transportation and energy.
 
2014-07-04 06:30:51 PM

peterthx: One of my coworkers makes only 45k a year, yet she doesn't see over 40% of her pay in her check. Only some of it is health insurance co-pay. The rest is taxes.


Ask her how much she gets back in a refund. It's probably a pretty sizable one. Her federal income tax liability on a $45k income (assuming standard deduction, no pre-tax deductions and single filing status) is $4,774. (10.6% marginal rate, 15% tax bracket). If she is on a bi-weekly pay schedule, she should have $183.61 in federal income tax taken out per check.
 
2014-07-04 06:41:45 PM

rewind2846: hasty ambush: How will they ever get by?

And this is why we can't have nice things.
Guess what? Sh*t costs money. You want sh*t. you have to pay for it. Taxes are the dues you pay to live in a first world nation.


I have a right to expect o get my monies worth and we are being grossly overcharged for the quality of what government  is delivering.

We are not getting our monies worth so why should we give them even more money to waste?  Tell me what a transportation museum or a bike lane has to do with keeping  bridges repaired and roads paved?

Like the Memphis VA shutting down a therapeutic pool because they claim they don't have the money but still handing out millions in bonuses despite being one of the worst performing VA regions.

Britain runs its entire NHS on the same mount of money we give to the VA , why can't eh VA do a better job?

So Spare me this  sh*t cost money lecture.  You would not keep quite if your auto repair guy or plumber overcharged you, did a lousy job or billed you and never showed up.  Why do you put up with it from government employees
 
2014-07-04 06:42:21 PM

dustman81: peterthx: One of my coworkers makes only 45k a year, yet she doesn't see over 40% of her pay in her check. Only some of it is health insurance co-pay. The rest is taxes.

Ask her how much she gets back in a refund. It's probably a pretty sizable one. Her federal income tax liability on a $45k income (assuming standard deduction, no pre-tax deductions and single filing status) is $4,774. (10.6% marginal rate, 15% tax bracket). If she is on a bi-weekly pay schedule, she should have $183.61 in federal income tax taken out per check.


We're in CA. There's still SSN, state tax, medicare, retirement, CASDI, and what the union takes out.

I didn't even mention that nearly everything we purchase, save for some food (which have been steadily rising in prices), is sales taxed at 9.25% (state, local, county).

Every little bit combined makes a huge difference. So when they announce a new tax or a raise in a tax it does hurt everyone, not just the fat cats.
 
2014-07-04 07:18:02 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: 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.

Infrastructure doesn't just mean roads you moron, it means trains, buses, and other methods of transportation and energy. New decks, swimming pools, mansions, vacations and other forms of luxury.


FTFY
 
2014-07-04 07:21:40 PM

RareChimer: 1. Most bicyclists are automobile owners and gas buyers as well. Thus, they pay gas taxes.

2. The Highway Trust Fund SHOULD be getting its money from fuel taxes. Currently, it gets about half its money from fuel taxes. The rest comes from income taxes. Thus, even cyclists who don't buy gasoline pay into the system... much more than they get out of it in fact.

3. Bicycles do immeasurably small damage to the roads that are built for automobiles. But if you want to use my plan based on mileage and bicycle mass, I'm fairly certain most cyclists would jump at the opportunity to pay $.0004/year to get angry motorists to quit saying, "You don't pay a road tax. Get off the road!"

4. While bicycles are afforded the same rights and responsibilities of motor vehicles drivers in most states (including occupying the center of the lane when the right hand edge of the road is hazardous or the lane is too narrow to safely share side-by-side with a motor vehicle), all states have laws that preclude them from freeways unless there is no detour available. (Fun fact-- CalTrans facilitates bicycle transportation on Interstate 5 between Camp Pendleton and Oceanside when the marine base closes for ops or training.)


1.  I pointed out that if a bicycle owner has a car he's paying taxes.  But he's paying taxes for the car, not the bike.

2.  HTF only gets money from income taxes when it's going broke and Congress bails it out from the general fund.  If all the money collected from gas taxes went to road building and repair, it wouldn't run out of money so often.  Congress just uses HTF as another barrel of pork and then needs to bail it out.

3.  You're right.  You don't do diddly squat damage to roads built for cars with your bikes.  What I object to is the 10% of HTF dollars that are mandated to be spent on bike paths.  If you want bike paths, GREAT!  Find another funding source.  As I pointed out in 2 - Congress just uses HTF as another slush fund from which to buy votes and then they wonder where the money went.  And bike paths aren't even the biggest waste of money from HTF that has nothing to do with building or repairing roads.

4.  It's the feds that prohibit bikes - as well as farm implements, dune buggies, horse and buggies, etc. - from freeways.  But they also mandated a bridge over the freeway for the bike path just down the road from here.  It's right next to a 5 lane overpass that has sidewalks on both sides.  Cost over a million dollars.  I go under it frequently.  I have never seen a bicycle or a pedestrian on it.  Sure is pretty, though.  Wonder how many potholes they could have fixed with all that money.

I'm not trying to pick on bike riders.  Yeah, some of them annoy me to no end but, then again, so do a lot of drivers.  But this thread is about the Highway Trust Fund running out of money and there's this big emergency that politicians and party aparatchiks are lining up to make political hay out of.  It's no damned wonder the HTF is out of money - Congress has exercised the same lack of fiscal restraint and vote buying prowess with it that it has with every other program that's come down the pike.  Bike paths are one way Congress has pissed me off - not that the bike paths exist but that the government mandates them, takes the money out of the trust fund and then claims some terrible emergency that we are all going to have to pay for.
 
2014-07-04 07:29:41 PM

alternaloser: lizyrd: alternaloser: the states have no rights vs. the federal government as per the supremacy clause.

Bzzzt.  Wrong answer.

The supremacy clause only makes federal law supersede state law when the two conflict. The Tenth Amendment is fairly clear that the federal government only has the powers enumerated in the Constitution, and that the states have all other power not specifically prohibited by the Constitution. The federal government is not granted the power to, say, determine the legal drinking age. Nor are the states prohibited from such a determination.  It's purely a states' issue.  The supremacy clause does not apply.  It's exactly why there is no national seatbelt law, or national drinking age, or national BAC limit, despite the feds' obvious interest in regulating these issues.  However, the feds have gotten 98% compliance on the seatbelt thing and, as far as I know, 100% compliance on the drinking age through bribery.

Federal highway dollars (and other federal disbursements) are used to goad the states into doing the federal government's bidding.  Lose a percentage here for drinking age under 21, a percentage there for primary seatbelt stops, a little more for having DUI set at .10 instead of .08...and you're suddenly talking real money.  It doesn't matter that it should be a state issue, or that the state voters may not want it, or that state lawmakers may not want it.  The states can't afford to lose billions in federal money, because it isn't like a state's residents will get a lower federal tax rate just because the state is ineligible for highway funding.

You're wrong:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause


Yep, I'm wrong. From your link:
The supremacy of federal law over state law only applies if Congress is acting in pursuance of its constitutionally authorized powers.

I mean, c'mon man, it's the second paragraph.
 
2014-07-04 07:31:56 PM

peterthx: ZAZ: Taxpayers who lose their minds over a tiny tax.

Those so-called "tiny taxes" add up. It's financial death by a thousand paper cuts.

One of my coworkers makes only 45k a year, yet she doesn't see over 40% of her pay in her check. Only some of it is health insurance co-pay. The rest is taxes.


I'm curious what state that's in.  I know that at around $40k/yr in Oregon (where we have a state income tax but no sales tax) 9% is the rate of state taxes she'd be paying, and I think that's the highest in the country for that pay rate.  At federal and state rates, including social security, medicare, federal and state income taxes, and unemployment insurance withholding adds up to about 20-25% of your income.

I don't believe taxes are taking up 60% of her income, but maybe there are cities with incredibly high tax rates that I'm not aware of.
 
2014-07-04 07:33:30 PM

peterthx: We're in CA. There's still SSN, state tax, medicare, retirement, CASDI, and what the union takes out.


Retirement and what the union takes are not taxes.
 
2014-07-04 07:36:26 PM

Mr. Right: It's the feds that prohibit bikes - as well as farm implements, dune buggies, horse and buggies, etc. - from freeways.


Incorrect.
 
2014-07-04 07:54:23 PM

Mr. Right: 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.


Lowering the price of oil a tiny bit won't do much. The problem is that in the 1990s the big oil companies bought up all the "excess" refining capability and shut it down. Now they match capacity with what they feel is peak demand (and match production with demand for highest profit) so there's not much point in more oil because the amount of gasoline can't be increased significantly nor independently from the bigs who are gaming for the greatest profit.
 
2014-07-04 08:07:29 PM

Mister Peejay: FourDirections:

Or... is that the message?  The true cause of the fall of society is some sort of Assless Chaps Event Horizon?


Have you never tried to pull off leather pants when you're sweaty?


Assless chaps are simply the logical conjunction of two desires; 1) to wear leather pants 2) to not fill those leather pants with your own excrement. Everytime.
 
2014-07-04 08:26:18 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!


Then my Prius C is the mostest damaging of all the Prii.  Hurruh!!
 
2014-07-04 08:32:32 PM

johnny_vegas: 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


Well, that's, like, your opinion, man.  He's punishing people he considers bad, and that's all that matters.  They're doing it wrong and they have to pay.
 
2014-07-04 09:39:35 PM

hasty ambush: I have a right to expect o get my monies worth and we are being grossly overcharged for the quality of what government is delivering.


Here's a clue - it ain't all about you. Your taxes and mine go to fund a plethora of things, most of which I will never see or use. But someone will, and that is what they are for. Those things are what make life easier for those who don't need them as well as for those who do. We don't even come close in what we pay in taxes compared to the rest of the industrial world, so spare me the "grossly overcharged" hyperbole. If you want the services that those countries provide, then you will pay their tax rate. Things cost what they cost.

hasty ambush: Britain runs its entire NHS on the same mount of money we give to the VA , why can't eh VA do a better job?


Because Britain not only has a much smaller population, but it hasn't had any major wars since WWII (the Falklands doesn't count). In the meantime the US has had the Korean Conflict (which Britain assisted in), the Vietnam War, and all the adventures in the middle east under Reagan and subsequent Republican presidents as well as Bosnia and other exercises in humanitarianism under Clinton. That's thousands and thousands of veterans that need care 50 years ago, now and 50 years from now, something Britain doesn't have to deal with at a hell of a lot more expense per person. Mental health care, plastic surgery, prosthetics, counseling, physical therapy, and other costs civilians do not incur.

Also, WTF is your problem with taking care of the people this country sends to be killed for their politics?
Nobody asked how much it would cost when they were sent, so STFU about how much it costs to fix them when they come back.
 
2014-07-04 10:26:54 PM

davidphogan: I don't believe taxes are taking up 60% of her income, but maybe there are cities with incredibly high tax rates that I'm not aware of.


40%

davidphogan: peterthx: We're in CA. There's still SSN, state tax, medicare, retirement, CASDI, and what the union takes out.

Retirement and what the union takes are not taxes.


Unfortunately those are mandatory, so yes they're not taxes but they're not optional deductions either.
 
2014-07-05 12:39:08 AM

DarkSoulNoHope: Infrastructure doesn't just mean roads you moron, it means trains, buses, and other methods of transportation and energy.


Then let the bus riders pay for their share with the bus fare, the train riders pay for their share with the train fare.  Don't tell me that I have to pay for them to get a cheap ride.
 
2014-07-05 12:52:20 AM

mrmopar5287: DarkSoulNoHope: Infrastructure doesn't just mean roads you moron, it means trains, buses, and other methods of transportation and energy.

Then let the bus riders pay for their share with the bus fare, the train riders pay for their share with the train fare.  Don't tell me that I have to pay for them to get a cheap ride.


This is a classic example of "I got mine, fark you".
Here's a tiny little fact... can you imagine how many more cars there would be on the roads were there not alternatives to them? Your hallowed automobile would go nowhere, as there would be traffic jams in most major cities 24 hours a day.
Also, why should people who take the train pay for your activities on roads and highways with their taxes?
You live here, you contribute. You don't like that, then GTFO. That's what it means to live in a country/state/county/city with other people. It ain't all about you.
 
2014-07-05 01:06:23 AM

Mr. Right: We could authorize the Keystone Pipeline. That wold create lots of jobs, reduce our dependance of foreign energy,


How will shipping oil OUT of the country reduce our dependence on foreign energy?

You did know that the purpose of the Keystone Pipeline is to carry oil to the coast where it can be put on tankers and sent to other countries, right?
 
2014-07-05 04:15:08 AM

gingerjet: 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?


Yeah how would the government even know how much I drive? Are we going to hire odometer inspectors everywhere?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-05 08:25:16 AM
ransack.: odometer inspectors

Where I live the state checks your odometer reading every year as part of the mandatory inspection.
 
2014-07-05 08:55:40 AM

ZAZ: ransack.: odometer inspectors

Where I live the state checks your odometer reading every year as part of the mandatory inspection.


Where I live, there is no state inspection.  There is no requirement for a working odometer (or speedometer, for that matter, although "I don't know how fast I was going" is not a viable defense for speeding) and they only time they care about the odometer reading is when you get your title transferred.  I always check the box that says the odometer is inoperative or inaccurate because I don't know the car's history.
 
2014-07-05 09:26:56 AM

Mister Peejay: ZAZ: ransack.: odometer inspectors

Where I live the state checks your odometer reading every year as part of the mandatory inspection.

Where I live, there is no state inspection.  There is no requirement for a working odometer (or speedometer, for that matter, although "I don't know how fast I was going" is not a viable defense for speeding) and they only time they care about the odometer reading is when you get your title transferred.  I always check the box that says the odometer is inoperative or inaccurate because I don't know the car's history.


Yeah no vehicle inspection of any sort here in Indiana either.
 
2014-07-05 09:47:38 AM
The Interstate System was built back in the 50's and 60s'. Those roads and bridges are now at or past their expected life times, and need to be replaced. Not repaired, but replaced. NC is replacing part of I-40's pavement here in Raleigh; it's costing several hundred million dollars just for a few miles of road.  Pavement designs have to be thicker thanks to better understanding of how to spread the loading out as well as heavier vehicles, and traffic volumes have increased, requiring more lanes. Meanwhile the gas taxes haven't gone up since...well it's been a long time since they increased.  States have been trying to do more with less and less Federal money for at least half my career as a highway design engineer, reducing design standards where they don't impact safety, reducing maintenance and stretching construction times and work out as long as they can.  If the gas tax is not increased we're basically looking at a big economic and transportation impact for states all across the country, not to mention the increased safety risk.

Oh btw it's not just highways and roads that are falling apart. Infrastructure also includes, power transmission systems, water and wastewater systems, water transportation and dams.
 
2014-07-05 10:22:10 AM
rewind2846: mrmopar5287: DarkSoulNoHope: Infrastructure doesn't just mean roads you moron, it means trains, buses, and other methods of transportation and energy.

Then let the bus riders pay for their share with the bus fare, the train riders pay for their share with the train fare.  Don't tell me that I have to pay for them to get a cheap ride.

This is a classic example of "I got mine, fark you".
Here's a tiny little fact... can you imagine how many more cars there would be on the roads were there not alternatives to them? Your hallowed automobile would go nowhere, as there would be traffic jams in most major cities 24 hours a day.

Yeah we just love  being stuck at a light while waiting for the light to accommodate the train bringing inbound travelers while we are headed outbound . So basically traffic jams are the same but we had to pay for the hugely overbudget project and we will have to pay to bail them out later .
 
2014-07-05 03:25:37 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.



Pretty much this x a million.
 
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