Wailing for more – taxes for infrastructure

The complaint seems to always be the same ol’ supply side — need more to fix it. Education, health, roads, whatever. Mead takes on How the Highway Fund Impasse Illuminates Important Truths About American Life.

“When you look past the political tooth-gnashing and think about it for a second, this is really good news—the kind that Malthusian greens keep trying to ignore. The U.S. highway trust is running out of money because Americans are using much less gas even as our economy grows. Vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, and the patterns of economic development are changing in ways that make energy use less intensive. As a result, gas and diesel taxes aren’t generating revenue growth in the highway fund. This is of course bad news for the highway fund, but we really should be celebrating a big national win here overall.”

“When dealing with the consequences of this happy shift, media coverage looks short-sightedly only on the revenue side. Gas tax receipts aren’t rising fast enough! But the other side of the equation also needs serious examination: What’s going on with the cost of infrastructure?”

The difficulty in the article is that they cite government controls as part of the problem and then beseech intellectuals and philanthropists to solve it. The obvious solution of reducing the government and giving the market a chance seems to be out of sight. That is its own problem as the market has a proven track record of success while that of intellectuals and philanthropists is nowhere near as rosy.

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