By Robert Poole | Reason
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the Highway Trust Fund is going to run out of money in August, and President Barack Obama is spending this week pushing his infrastructure plans. If Congress doesn’t come up with the money to patch the shortfall, many states will likely start cutting back transportation projects, so the looming deadline is prompting an embarrassment of gimmicks and bad ideas.
House Democrats are dreaming of replacing the gas tax with a larger per-barrel tax on oil companies. House Republicans want to violate their own Budget Control Act rules to use 10 years of projected savings from a rag-bag of cuts in unrelated programs to pay for one year of highway funding. And Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) recently proposed raising the federal gas tax, which is a political non-starter in an election year.