Federal Financing Follies
In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Gabriel Roth has an excellent piece on what is wrong with federal financing of transportation. He takes aim at a proposal in the new highway bill that would “jettison a long-standing financing principle – user pays – for a more politically expedient principle: taxpayer pays.” For Roth, the abandonment of the user pays principle is not just fiscally irresponsible, it would “further politicize highway spending, making decisions more dependent on political preferences than on consumer choice.”
So what should be done?
“there is a solution to the funding dilemma: Congress could get out of the business of transportation financing altogether, wind down the Highway Trust Fund, and leave highway financing and decision-making to states, local authorities, and private entities.”