Saturday, April 25, 2009

Big Transportation Bill Needs More Investment Dollars

Congress may authorize nearly $500 billion in a transportation infrastructure bill. The six year plan will worm its way through Congress in May and June. WaPo reported:

"It is clear we need more revenue in the system, more investment dollars..."-Rep. Oberstar, Chair House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

More revenue? The federal Highway Trust Fund suffers from declining receipts. With driver's logging fewer miles, gasoline taxes are down. Last fall Congress refilled the trust-fund tank from general revenue. It will do so again this summer.

The Obama administration says raising the gas tax is off the table. More infrastructure spending with no additional tax revenue? I smell a PEU, private equity underwriter. The PEU boys are itching to put investment dollars into transportation public-private partnerships. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will let them.

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