Skip to comments.Here's How Conservatives Want To Fundamentally Change The Way The US Pays For Highways
Posted on 07/15/2014 9:00:07 PM PDT by TigerClaws
The House of Representatives is set to vote Tuesday on a short-term patch to the federal Highway Trust Fund, an issue that is making for interesting alliances on Wednesday.
The White House signaled late Monday night that President Obama supports the short-term patch hatched out of the House Ways and Means Committee, even though he and many congressional Democrats are grumbling about the lack of a longer-term fix. But leading the way in opposition to the plan are conservative groups and lawmakers who want transportation policy to fundamentally change within the next year.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
This is a really bone-headed idea that is being proposed.
Why does the Federal Government have to be involved in it at all? If a highway is beneficial for trade to both states as most highways are, there is no reason the states could not get together and arrange a joint construction project.
Of course, we need federal masterminds.
The Feds need to be reinvented, sans the 99% fluff.
Besides having this funding for highways done by the individual states themselves and totally within the state on its own, I’m not really sure what it is that is being proposed by “conservatives” here in this article.
What I’d fear, and perhaps it is cynical, is that this wouldn’t cut federal taxes any even if state taxes and revenues were 100% responsible for the highway system within a state.
What happened to all the shovel-ready, infrastructure money?
Well ... one thing I suspect here in Oklahoma, with the amount of money that is in this state (or rather, NOT in this state) ... is that we would be soon driving on dirt and gravel roads here ... LOL ...
OR ... the other thing that would happen is that I would be paying a TOLL fee every time I drive to the neighborhood grocery store ... :-) ...
Already in Tulsa, there are more TOLL ROADS here than I’ve seen in any other area. There’s a toll going south out of town, there’s a toll going east out of town, there’s a toll going west out of town, there are several tolls around town! It’s already crazy with the present funding the way it is.
Not a cent of any highway fuel tax should go to Mass Transit BS, IMHO, and the tax on Diesel should vanish completely since it's really a tax we pay on absolutely everything that hits the retail shelves, not a tax on Diesel fuel other than in name. The Federal tax on Diesel should vanish just like gasoline tax which should be ended completely, not reduced to about 4 cents.
The Federal grubs handling highway money is always defended by pointing to States that need help.
In reality, though, it's not disbursed according to need as much as according to where the party that's run the country for the past eighty plus years gets the most political return on their investment in a given year.
If they feel a traditional district of theirs is a bit wobbly, more money goes there. If a State Governor is meeting more resistance than usual, that State is suddenly in need of an extra allotment. Some City Mayor in trouble politically? Federal money for the "critical" streets or an infusion of Mass Transit funds for new or existing Mass Transit will show up a hurry. Did the democrat party loose a Governorship? Well, that State doesn't need as much as it had been getting and may suddenly find out they've been "overpaid" in the past so there will be a noticeable drop in cash from the Federal government for a good while, probably about four years.
I could see a small tax somewhere for the Interstate Highways only but there's no such thing as a "lock box" or any other assurance the Federal government makes that keeps various things from quietly being included in one budget item as opposed to another. Interstate Highway only funds would wind up in environmental study grants, community grants, and so on, no matter what the law actually intends.
You can't reduce the size of the eggs a Golden Goose lays and expect that to keep unstoppable thieves from stealing the eggs. You have to either get rid of the Goose laying those golden eggs or put up with the thieves stealing all they can and keep forcing the Goose to lay faster until it finally dies of exhaustion.
And don’t forget, you’re still paying federal gas taxes.
Highway bills are always stuffed with pork.
Mandated pay scales or Union wage is what needs to be addressed
Currently a fork lift driver on a Los Angeles Freeway projects gets over $58 per hour for instance
We can’t afford to maintain our infrastructure at those rates
Interstate transportation ping
All the evidence here in Silicon Valley is that there’s plenty of money for plenty of projects everywhere. Berryessa Road near the flea market, almost every exit/entry from south of San Jose to Gilroy, and half of the Salinas exits are just what come to mind immediately.
Compare Oklahoma’s highway funds with things like the”Big Dig” in Boston(a billion dollars per mile) and commuter rail and subway expansion at hundreds of millions per mile.
Cynical?!?! You could make bank on it!
I don't know why, but that statement made me chuckle. Not only will it NOT result in reduced Federal taxes, State taxes are almost certainly going to go up.
In a sane world...yes. Federal taxes would go down.
The Federal Highway Funds have rankled me for years. As other people have noticed, it is simply a giant slush fund used to reward and penalize behavior on part of states.
My understanding is states are allotted a certain percent, but a given state can get more if a politician needs candy, and can get less if they don't follow Federal guidelines on anything from Common Core to Affirmative Action.
And just who ran the hwy fun BROKE? with shovel ready, show jobs, of putting in those fancy medians with flowers? Wheel chair ramps on ever street crossing? Repaving Military base parking lots that did not need them and installing $7K speed bumps in 5 mph parking lots on Military bases? Commissary and Exchange for the Millington TN BUPERS Navy base. No other offices got them, just places used my most seniors.
You need national, state, and local roads. In spite of what you say, roads that cross jurisdictions almost always change in quality. Not just interstates or US highways but states roads also. Or when a city street becomes a county road. In Texas where each County Commissioner controls the road/bridge money in his precinct, the roads can change drastically at the precinct line.
If you are talking about Interstates and US Highways, the federal money available covers only maintanance and essentially nothing for new roads.
When the Interstate system was designed and built it was primarily an east west system but because of population shifts and NAFTA, we need more/better north south roads.
Nobody wants to talk about it but all over the world we see nations integrating their roads. When the subject of the US and Mexico integrating roads comes up, the kooks start howling about the North American Union.
I don't mean to be cynical but this road issue is like many, many other issues. The GOP's unspoken agenda is to de-plumb and de-wire the federal government before the brown people take over. Rolling back the 20th century.
I could not figure that one out either.