“You’d think that after the phrase “bridge to nowhere” became synonymous with Washington’s waste and excess, lawmakers would avoid anything reminiscent of that misbegotten spending project in Alaska. But now we have the “Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act,” which is nowhere near as worthwhile as its bipartisan sponsors in the House would like Americans to think. ...
... Enter the gas tax hike bill’s authors, led by Reps. Jim Renacci (R., Ohio), Bill Pascrell (D., N.J.), Reid Ribble (R., Wis.), and Dan Lipinski (D., Ill.). Their proposal indexes gas taxes to inflation, all but guaranteeing annual tax increases. It also provides for additional and more dramatic gas tax hikes—potentially reaching as high as 42%—if Congress does nothing else to refill the Highway Trust Fund’s expected $168 billion shortfall.
But before considering any policy that would raise additional revenue, Congress should first reform where the fund’s money goes. The Highway Trust Fund now pays for a plethora of projects that have little to do with highways. According to a 2013 analysis by the Heritage Foundation, at least 20% of gas-tax revenues in recent years went toward other programs, from light rail to bike lanes to landscaping projects. Some funds even went toward establishing transportation museums.
Hence the financial problems.”