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Breach of Trust Haunts U.S. Transportation System

Recorded on June 13, 2012

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

Years of violating the public trust is bogging down a highways bill in Congress.

Since the 1970's, Congress has been diverting hundreds of billions of dollars out of the highway trust fund—even though the money comes from fuel taxes paid by motorists. The biggest diversion is to local mass transit programs—bus and rail systems—that generally move people within a city rather than between cities.

Siphoning a fortune away from highways has wrecked the principle that travelers would pay their own way. Because other transportation takes the money away from roads, our highways fall into disrepair and congestion clogs the roads.

Motorists should not be forced to subsidize rail and transit. But until those users pay their own way, there's no other solution in sight because excessive spending in other areas means there's no free money. The free rides are over.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.