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Highway Funding

Recorded on August 31, 2011

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

You'll be hearing a lot about substandard infrastructure and the need to fix our highways. It's a real need. So why is there any controversy over renewing the federal gasoline tax--18-cents a gallon—that expires at the end of September?

The problem is that for decades, at least a third of the gasoline tax money has been taken away from highways and spent on other things, while old roads fall into disrepair and new roads don't get built.

Instead, over a third of the gasoline tax money is spent to subsidize mass transit, to build things like bicycle paths, even for museums. In other words, drivers are not only paying for the roads, but also footing a big part of the bill to provide transportation for people who don't drive.

So if the gasoline tax is simply renewed without fixing this problem, when would we get another chance?

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.