Posts Tagged ‘Transportation’

Falling Apart

The federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993. It’s a fixed per-gallon tax, not a percentage of the price of gasoline like a sales tax, so as gas prices have gone up, this hasn’t led to increased gas tax revenues. On the contrary: higher gas prices and more fuel-efficient cars are leading to lower gas purchases, eroding the revenue stream even more. Our road infrastructure is crumbling and as the costs pile up, the funding dwindles. What do you do? Well, if you are Congress, you refuse to pass anything so it all falls apart March 31st.

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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.

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Conservatives against multi-modal transportation

I’ve noticed a trend lately when it comes to transportation issues: conservative Republicans are doing everything they can to argue against a complete, multi-modal approach to dealing with transportation issues. It’s happening at the national level, where Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (a former Republican Congressman, it should be noted) announced a more bike-friendly transportation policy, prompting one Republican Congressman to wonder if LaHood was on drugs. It’s happening at the state level too, where today some Republicans argued against a bill that would encourage, not require, local units of government to take into consideration all road users (drivers, bikers, pedestrians, bus users, and anybody else) when designing roads.

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