Broke Peter Robs Broke Paul

Well, well, it seems that the “how much do we owe?” question is getting harder and harder to hide as the people who specialize in robbing from the future to pay for the present are now running out of time. In this case, the Bush administration proposes to “borrow” from the mass transit trust fund to pay for the “highway trust fund” projected to be in the red in 2009. This is in keeping with the normal course of government which is to take funds from sustainable areas to fund those that are not sustainable.

“The Highway Account will fall into the red in 2009, with obligations expected to exceed gas tax receipts and other revenue. Policymakers have long-known about this impending crisis, and even established a commission to study federal transportation revenue with the passage of SAFETEA-LU in 2005 (see MTR’s summary of the commission’s findings). Besides calling for an increase in the national gas tax, the commission recommended several immediate tweaks (such as dedicating transportation taxes to the HTF rather than to the General Fund) that could bring the Highway Account back into solvency. None of its recommendations included a shift in funds from the Mass Transit Account to the Highway Account.”

Short the dollar.

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