It’s been a few weeks since we last discussed the Highway Trust Fund by leaving off with a bit of optimism that just maybe something positive would be done. Well, despite our best efforts, our optimism seems to have been misplaced.
Our friends at the Washington Post put in a full day last Thursday, unlike ratpag, and wrote up a nice Op-Ed begging Congress and President Obama to do something – anything – to keep the Trust Fund from running dry. You see, the last ratpag noticed was Senator Corker and Senator Murphy’s effort to raise the gas tax by 12 cents over the next two years before indexing it to inflation. That seemed like a pretty good idea. Instead, it seems that the White House is “refusing to endorse the needed gas tax hike” while “lawmakers look unlikely to pass any long-term fix before November’s midterm elections.” Great.
As noted in The Hill, President Obama has big ideas for big spending in transportation – namely $302 billion over 4 years – but would like this funding to come via “revenue from a corporate tax reform proposal” which is “considered unlikely to become law this year.” Grand.
These roundabout solutions are coming in light of calls for tax increases from surprising corners, including the American Trucking Associations as well as the “Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.” Wonderful.
We’re not quite sure where this all ends up, funding-wise. We’re sure, at the least, that there will be some kind of continuing resolution to fund transportation projects at the same level as they’ve been in the past but that’s a pretty bad solution. We’re having a hard time understanding how a country can proclaim itself to be so great while literally letting itself fall apart (though we suppose a D+ does qualify as “passing”).
So we’re teaming up (unbeknownst to them) with the American Society of Civil Engineers and support their efforts to tell Congress that we’d like some better infrastructure, please and thank you. They’ve made a nice website called fixthetrustfund.org that has lots of animations and graphs and info to check out. Doing something is better than nothing – that’s the whole reason for ratpag’s entire existence!