Transportation: The latest culture war victim

Source: Caltrans
Source: Caltrans

The Washington Post provides a journalistic service in evaluating the growing divisive nature of discussions regarding transportation spending. The bottom line remains that without transportation expenditures for projects to serve Americans burgeoning population and a means to pay for them beyond selling the public commons people will spend more time in traffic and away from their productive jobs, families and lives.

~Thanks to Craig Copelan for this post

2 thoughts on “Transportation: The latest culture war victim

  1. Nothing changes. This country nearly didn’t have a highway system because of disagreements over whether to focus on transcontinental “Peacock Highways,” (desired by the moneyed classes) or a national network of roads that connected farmers to markets and towns. The second option won out around 1916 and became the National Highway System of 1926, but the transcontinental highway faction finally got their way in the Interstate Highway Act of 1956. Then as now, despite the posturing in Washington what most of the people in this country was just to have good roads they could count on.

  2. jdelias

    Regarding the Nov. 8 editorial “A raid on the Federal Reserve”:

    Robert D. Atkinson pointed out in his Nov. 6 Washington Forum commentary, “Our political divide on transportation,” that the world has changed and has become much more partisan over the years. AAA and the American Trucking Associations, with good intentions, have argued for increasing the fees to build and maintain the facilities their members clamor for and the nation needs.

    Our successful highway program has gathered many “friends” willing to help spend the money; in Washington, nothing fails like success. The money —$1.7 billion of annual revenue per penny of tax — attracts sharks.

    Congress knows that the public doesn’t trust what happens to money when it gets to Washington.

    Instead of a system in which users pay for what they get and get what they pay for, the Highway Trust Fund supports doing “nice things” with money as long as it can be labeled “transportation.”

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that people trust giving their money to their states in increased fuel user fees rather than to Washington, where the user fee is now a tax.

    Until the program can be refocused on that which is national in scope and federal in responsibility, the public, wisely but sadly, will resist further taxation.

    Alan E. Pisarski, Lake Barcroft

    The writer is a transportation consultant.

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