highway trust fund
We all rely on our nation’s transit systems, highways, bridges, ports and railroads to connect us every day to our jobs and
For generations, this country's transportation infrastructure served as the backbone of our economic success. We dreamed big, we built bigger, and our economy flourished. But today, our crumbling infrastructure is slowing economic growth.
On April 19th New Yorkers' have the chance to make Hillary Rodham Clinton the nominee of the Democratic Party. All of us New Yorkers, no matter where we live, whose hearts will always belong to New York, know they will do this resoundingly.
Cheap gasoline raises the perennial question over how the U.S. funds its transportation infrastructure -- a key rationale behind Obama's proposed oil tax. And it makes electric vehicles (EVs) and biofuels less competitive on price, hindering U.S. efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption. Can the U.S. continue to fund upkeep of its infrastructure and reduce emissions from transportation?
State governments need to find other sources of funding to keep their highway programs whole. And many are finding tolling to be that solution. Tolling brings us closer once again to the "user pays" principle that helped create America's modern highways.
Are we one step closer to a Congress that sees the need to boost spending in order to boost jobs and economic output for years to come, as we asked in our last column? It could mean the U.S. Congress has finally seen the folly of austerity policies that shrink growth, as has happened in Europe. Or, it could be because of a so-called "emergency."
There are 61,000 structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. today and 28 percent of urban roads are in substandard condition. Quite simply, the nation's transportation infrastructure is in crisis. Congress has the ability to change it. But it must put forward a bill that takes both funding and safety seriously.
As of now we are stuck with a user-based policy without a user-based program. The program is going towards being partially user funded and partially general funded for the foreseeable future. It is time for Congress to formulate a policy that reflects that reality.
The Highway Trust Fund Bill being considered in Congress has given Senator Grassley an opportunity to let everyone see how tenacious he can be. Surprisingly, his persistence has nothing to do with highways or bridges, although the uninformed might think that was what a bill with such a name was concerned.
Constantly raising fees and taxes at the state level to compensate for promised-yet-undelivered federal dollars is no way to efficiently run a government. The current transportation shortfall has been resolved for now, but this problem will continue to be a thorn in states' sides until they either remove the federal government's footprint from their transportation budgets, or significant reform occurs at the federal level.
We commend Congress for extending funding for the Federal Highway Trust Fund. However, once again, it appears they are electing to kick this can down the road by offering only a short-term solution. While short-term solutions keep the fund solvent, they do nothing to solve the real problem.
Congress will work on a multiyear fix when legislators return in September.
The Senate is expected to pass the extension before the July 31 deadline.