Perhaps the Dailykos community could help me out with something. It is early and the coffee at work tastes even worse than usual, thus my brain is not working quite right and cannot seem to make a decision on if this is a good/bad thing:
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday asked Congress to end the prohibition on tolling existing interstate highways as a way of paying for their reconstruction, marking a major shift away from how the system has been funded for decades.
The proposal is part of President Barack Obama’s $302 billion infrastructure bill aimed at addressing a looming shortfall in the federal Highway Trust Fund. States are currently able to toll interstates only to add lanes, but many simply don’t have the funds they need to widen or rebuild the oldest sections of interstate, and nor does the federal government.We all know the US Highway system is falling apart. It is old, overused and in desperate need of repairs. More than 63,000 bridges are in need of some form of help, many being deemed 'structurally deficient'. Just yesterday a bridge collapse caused a train derailment.
But is a toll the solution? Would these tolls be privatized like so many others throughout the country, with portions of the revenue being syphoned off for profit? Would they be temporary, would the harm low income workers? Would high-road traffic businesses get some sort of exemption/special in the same way that they get for mass-mailings so in a way we the people pay more? Wouldn't it just be better to collect all the billions in unpaid taxes from the corporations that have used our highway system but feel no need to invest in a new one? Can't we just end some loopholes for billionares? Aren't these 'shovel ready jobs' just crying out for a new stimulus?
Libertarians are for it and at least some business seems to be against, which puts me in the awkward position of agreeing a bit with both...