TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: Today in Congress, the House will look at why a federal highway trust fund is about to go broke. Despite last year’s bridge collapse in Minneapolis, despite road problems around the country, the government can’t seem to find the money to make repairs. Marketplace’s Steve Henn reports.
Steve Henn: Back in 2005, Congress approved almost $300 billion in transportation projects. It planned to pay for all this with proceeds from the gas tax. But high gas prices mean Americans are driving less and funds for highway improvements are drying up.
John Horsley runs the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials:
John Horsley: States are facing the loss of approximately $13.5 billion come October. It’ll be a massive cut.
A bipartisan commission recently recommended hiking the gas tax to balance the books. But Jack Basso, a former official at the U.S. Department of Transportation is skeptical.
Jack Basso: I can give you this 100 percent certainty: Before the election, nothing’s going to happen on that issue. That’s for sure.
But over the long haul, Basso believes every option has to be on the table.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.