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(CityLab)   The US highway trust fund is out of money. Enjoy your summer road trip   (citylab.com) divider line 41
    More: Scary  
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6322 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jul 2014 at 10:54 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-07-04 09:00:30 AM  
17 votes:
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 11:23:45 AM  
5 votes:
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 11:38:51 AM  
4 votes:

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 11:06:16 AM  
4 votes:
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 11:02:24 AM  
4 votes:
The roads must roll.
2014-07-04 02:38:09 PM  
3 votes:

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 12:41:14 PM  
3 votes:
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 11:35:28 AM  
3 votes:
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 11:34:13 AM  
3 votes:
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.
2014-07-04 11:03:33 AM  
3 votes:
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 09:25:50 AM  
3 votes:
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 05:01:50 PM  
2 votes:

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 11:44:35 AM  
2 votes:

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 11:39:05 AM  
2 votes:
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 11:18:04 AM  
2 votes:

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 11:04:55 AM  
2 votes:
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 10:58:28 AM  
2 votes:
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 09:11:32 AM  
2 votes:
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.
2014-07-05 09:47:38 AM  
1 votes:
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 12:39:08 AM  
1 votes:

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.
2014-07-04 04:00:16 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:51:52 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:50:27 PM  
1 votes:
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 02:37:51 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:51:48 PM  
1 votes:

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 12:51:30 PM  
1 votes:

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 12:49:26 PM  
1 votes:

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 12:43:22 PM  
1 votes:

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 12:27:34 PM  
1 votes:
So are they going to make the drinking age 18 again?

/DNRTFA
2014-07-04 11:45:35 AM  
1 votes:

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 11:36:12 AM  
1 votes:

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
2014-07-04 11:35:57 AM  
1 votes:

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 11:33:25 AM  
1 votes:

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 11:20:47 AM  
1 votes:

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 11:13:00 AM  
1 votes:

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.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-04 11:12:52 AM  
1 votes:
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 11:11:48 AM  
1 votes:
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.
2014-07-04 11:07:05 AM  
1 votes:

BalugaJoe: The roads must roll.


X minus 1
2014-07-04 11:04:59 AM  
1 votes:
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 11:02:58 AM  
1 votes:
Quick, let's piss away a couple trillion dollars blowing up a random nation on the other side of the planet!
2014-07-04 09:20:40 AM  
1 votes:
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.
 
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