Now that the Obama administration has sent its transportation funding bill to Congress so we can see what’s in it, it’s clear that the GROW AMERICA Act should have more accurately been named the GROW Bureaucracy Act.
Who knows how much taxpayer money is spent coming up with cutesy acronyms to name bills. With the Generating Renewal, Opportunity and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America (GROW AMERICA) bill, we were clearly ripped off. Not just on the cutesy name but in the bill itself.
Afraid to do anything politically risky in a hotly-contested Congressional election year, like making long-overdue hikes to existing fuel tax rates, the administration is pushing expanded tolling on interstate highways as a key funding source for the highway bill.
While the idea of tolling makes the short-term political pain go away, it’s a far more costly way to raise funding in the long run. Worse than the simple dollars and cents part of the equation, there is one certain outcome to expanding tolling - it will GROW bureaucracy.
Another rip off in the proposed bill is increased funding for underused transit and rail projects. Here again, the key feature of funding transit and rail projects isn’t to address flat or declining user demand but to GROW bureaucracy.
Tags: Anthony Foxx
, Highway Funding