Paying for Our Transportation Infrastructure

Mac Zimmerman had an interesting editorial in May 26’s Wall Street Journal.  He correctly points out that our Highway Trust Fund will soon be empty unless Congress acts.  Our current fuel tax is insufficient to keep up with current spending, so the easy answer is to increase the gas tax.

However, Zimmerman pointed out this was not necessary.

If Congress directed the fund to spend its money only on highways and other road-related infrastructure—what it was initially created to do—it would be 98% solvent for the next decade.

That is an excellent suggestion.  Zimmerman references other sources that show that a minimum of 20% of the Highway Trust Fund’s spending went toward items such as light rail, bike paths, and transportation museums.  All of these may be laudable projects, but it is unfair to use fuel taxes for these other purposes, especially when our highways and bridges need more funding.

Zimmerman also had some other good suggestions based on facts and economic analysis.  I recommend you read the entire article if you have access.