loan from Mass Transit account urged for Highway Fund

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Are we going to be taken for another ride?

This NYTimes headline and story is of a kind once available only inside The Onion, "America's finest news source", but my benighted countrymen have been honing their skills as jokesters lately:

Drop in Miles Driven Is Depleting Highway Fund; Loan From Mass Transit Is Urged

WASHINGTON - Gasoline tax revenue is falling so fast that the federal government may not be able to meet its commitments to states for road projects already under way, the secretary of transportation said Monday.

The secretary, Mary E. Peters, said the short-term solution would be for the Highway Trust Fund's highway account to borrow money from the fund's mass transit account, a step that would balance the accounts as highway travel declines and use of mass transit increases. Both trends are being driven by the high price of gasoline and diesel fuel.

Money collected by the federal gas tax goes to the Highway Trust Fund. Most of it goes to highway construction and repair, but a very small percentage goes to help fund what we continue to flatter ourselves in calling our "system of public transportation".

Silly me, that I should have ever thought the Republicans really believed in the beauties of the free market.


[image from ronin691]