More Budget Unseriousness

It’s stories like these that make me wonder if having a rational, adult conversation about budget priorities is even possible. People like roads. They use them every day. Most people would say that the quality of roads in this country is not great. And yet nobody wants to raise the federal gas tax, despite the fact that it has remained unchanged for eighteen years.

There are few more direct funding mechanisms than the gas tax. It pays for pavement, pure and simple. More gas tax, more pavement. Fewer potholes. Better bridges. And yet, despite the fact that people seem to want to improve our transportation infrastructure, they don’t want to pay for it. It just boggles the mind.

You can’t get better roads without more revenue. Despite all the whinging about government “inefficiencies”, the last time I checked we weren’t building gold-plated highways. It’s not as if half of our road spending is lost to waste. Road spending is, however, lost to the fact that there isn’t enough money. If you want better roads, you have to pay for them. It’s that simple. If you don’t want to raise the gas tax, then stop complaining about the quality of our roads.

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