October 26, 2011
As lawmakers face the facts of soaring deficits and a mountain of Federal debt, they may opt to rethink the way that Americans pay for the roads and highways they use every day.
According to POLITICO, the Highway Trust Fund, money set aside for resurfacing and highway infrastructure, will be nearly $100 billion in the red by 2021, and the mass transit account will be about $30 billion short. The article says that because gas and diesel taxes have not been increased in two decades, the fund has lost about one-third of its purchasing power since 1992.
Reportedly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Association and AAA have all lobbied lawmakers for an increase in fuel taxes to re-energize revenues, but Congress stands nearly unanimously against the measure. Most lawmakers say that raising fuel taxes in today’s economic climate would greatly harm businesses that rely on ground shipping services to transport goods throughout the country.
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