There’s been much information provided about America’s crumbling infrastructure, but no real action to solve the problem.
According to an article in Industry Week magazine “rebuilding our bridges, roads and waterways is perhaps the best economic investment we can make.”
There hasn’t been much publicity about it but the Highway Trust Fund, which supplies 80 percent of highway funds, is running out of money. The money in the Highway Trust Fund comes from the federal gasoline tax, which has not been raised since 1993.
The federal gasoline tax is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. It is not indexed to inflation, which increased by a total of 64.6 percent from 1993 until 2015.
President Trump has talked about the need for a 25-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase, and he did endorse the hike last February. But there was immediate opposition, especially from anti-tax conservatives.
The president about that time released a $1.5 trillion infrastructure improvement program. We haven’t heard much about the plan from the White House for some time.
A 25-cent hike phased in over five years would generate an additional $375 billion over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which supports the increase. Eighty percent of the $63 million used to build the Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River at Washington came from the federal government.
If something isn’t done to stop our crumbling infrastructure, economic development will suffer dire consequences. It’s the humanitarian thing to do to help other countries, but our first responsibility must be to take care of our needs at home.