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Picks and Shovels

4:05 PM, Jul 1, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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Another day, another national crisis.  Yesterday it was immigration and another threat/promise to go it alone. Today, it is roads and bridges so, as Justin Sink at The Hill reports:

The president will argue “that by closing unfair tax loopholes for companies that ship profits overseas, we can invest in rebuilding our infrastructure.” 

We had the stimulus spending, early in his administration, which was supposed to get people to work on “shovel ready jobs.”  That turned out to be more difficult than anticipated since there weren’t very many shovel ready projects.  Somehow, though, the money got spent.  

Still, we are now heading toward an infrastructure crisis.  The problem is that the Highway Trust Fund:

… which pays for state and federal highway projects, is running out of money thanks to declining revenues from gasoline taxes. Congress has not increased the 18.4 cent per gallon tax in some two decades, while fuel efficiency has been on the rise. Experts predict that the Transportation Department could run out of money for road projects by August, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs and critical transportation projects.

The tax may not have been raised and that may or may not count as dereliction on the part of Congress, but the money is still rolling in based on the old formula. 

But, as always, it is never enough. 

And unless there is more money, the people must pay in other ways.  

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