As noted here earlier, while many departments saw major decreases in their 2012 budgets, the transportation budget saw an increase of 68%. Writing in Innovation Briefs, Ken Orski wonders where the funds to pay for the increases will come from.
Considering that the federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and the Highway Trust Fund has had to be subsidized with $34.5 billion from the general fund in 2008, one must wonder how the President will meet his pledge that "his transportation program will be 'fully paid for' (and) that funding for surface transportation will not increase the deficit."
"The tax revenues generated by the gas tax are estimated to total $36.8 billion in FY 2012 and $230 billion over the next six years according to the latest projections of the Congressional Budget Office. How does the President propose to bridge the $70 billion funding shortfall in FY 2012 and the $326 billion shortfall over the life of the next reauthorization?"
The President has proposed a Passenger Rail account to be added to a new unified Transportation Trust Fund. What will be the source of revenue for the Passenger Rail account ?
Thanks to Ken Orski