The Congressional Budget office recently issued a new 10-year estimate of Highway Trust Fund spending and revenue. (Stay with us. It’s only boring if you don’t stick around for the upcoming forehead slapping.)
If you were perusing the back pages of the internet in December you heard that a transportation bill passed, providing funding for the Highway Trust Fund through 2021. Yay! If you read the whole story, though, you learned that it was funded with a patchwork of one-time, less-than-ideal methods that absolutely run out in five years.
The CBO now tells us what we all knew was coming – if we don’t make changes and start figuring out how to really fund the Fund, not only will we be out of infrastructure money in 2021, but by 2026 we could run up a $108 billion cumulative deficit. <insert forehead slap here>
We have a zillion options here. Here’s one: raise the gas tax. Easy, simple to administrate, done. Hate that idea? Howzabout we take tax money away from some other category? Defense? Education? Health Care? What about charging everyone who uses our highways for every mile they drive? No? Never forget that the government’s only source of money is you. Your money. If you don’t like the way the money is gathered, collected, or spent, you have every right to let your representatives know. Here’s a link to contact info for your congressional leadership. Or you can reach them through social media. Drop ‘em a line. Give ’em a Tweet. Tell ‘em what’s what. Then tell them to fix your danged roads!
Or don’t. After all, 2026 is so far away. It’s the faraway future. We’ll be living on Mars by then. <insert back of head slap here> It’s ten years, people. Just ten years until we are 100. Billion. Dollars. Behind. We need to fix this starting now.