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Riddle Me This

Over at Wonkblog today they are bleating the infrastructure canard again. Two points, without dissecting the whole thing.

1. Can someone, somewhere, who is actually a real journalist, show us how much of the highway trust fund has been siphoned off for non-highway related stuff? How much of this has been funneled to municipal and state slush funds for construction groups and special green advocates of light rail and other non-highway related things? 

2. I am TOTALLY on board with the following chart and sentiment. The piece is worried that “the trust fund will run out.” OK, great. I look forward to the next series of articles on, say, Social Security and Medicare. 

Highway Trust Fund: Almost bankrupt. (Department of Transportation)

3 Responses to “Riddle Me This”

  1. RIT_Rich says:

    The first issue I think is whether US “infrastructure” (road, rail etc.) is in fact “crumbling”. I think this is wrong right off the bat.

    Here is the World Bank “Logistics Performance Index”:
    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/LP.LPI.INFR.XQ/countries?display=map

    The US index is 4.14…placing it behind Singapore (4.15), Netherlands (4.15), Germany (4.26). I.e, the US is # 4 in the world, and the difference between 4.14 and 4.15 is probably insignificant, so the US is really tied for #2 in the world (plus Singapore isn’t really a “country”).

    So where is this “crumbling infrastructure”? Being tied for #2 in the world, with only 1 country ahead of you who is 4 times smaller in population and 27 times smaller, is not indicative of a “crumbling infrastructure”. It’s indicative of the bat darn infrastructure in the world.

    Of course, it’s interesting how both the Left and the Right use the “crumbling infrastructure” argument: one to ask for more money, one to ask for less government. But the question of “what crumbling infrastructure” is never questioned.

    • wintercow20 says:

      Great point if I must say so … in fact, this was what I was asking readers to link through and research a few posts ago .. my neighborhood, for example, has fantastic infrastructure. And yes, government provided it (at least with private sector taxes).

  2. Harry says:

    My brother-in-law, whom I hope to disguise from our Gestapo, runs the roads and infrastructure in a county in a western state. When we talked at Christmas, he complained about how his state woefully underfunded the roads. Some of these roads get frozen in the winter, but then some of them get Mississipi temperatures, and this complaint occurred before the Great Polar Vortex, which Harry Reid blames on the Koch Brothers.

    I told him that where we live (he has complimented us for our roads), our little municipality has gotten plenty of money per standard mile from state liquid fuels taxes, and for years the township did not levy any taxes whatever for road maintenance.

    Now, it is likely that Pennsylvania liquid fuels taxes may have been too high, and that some of that money may have slipped into different accounts, and of course those taxes, which went toward bridges, went to Local One of the Iron Workers members and officials, stimulating demand to repair broken windows and crumbling bridges.

    My brother-in-law probably is underfunded, even though my reflex reaction is to resist the More syndrome. Those dollars have been spent elsewhere twenty years ago on the state credit card. The state is out of money and approaching the day when its residents are tapped out.

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